By Pastor Melvin O. Marriner
Periodically the Powerball Lottery jackpot soars to an amount that creates a buying frenzy across the nation. With dreams for a better and bigger life, folks stand in long lines for a chance to become the next big winner. As the media fuels the hype by asking these lottery winner hopefuls about their plans for the money, invariably some will say, ‘First, I’m going to pay my church tithes.’ I often find myself wondering if they currently pay their tithes because I believe that if you don’t pay your tithes while you are in a ‘canoe’ you probably won’t pay them in your yacht.
What takes precedence in your life? God desires us to put Him first in our lives – ahead of family, career, television, social media and all those earthly trappings that so easily entangle us. It’s been said that one’s priorities can sometimes be determined by looking at one’s checkbook. What does it say about you when you go to the movies weekly, dine out three or four times a week, then attend church on Sunday and place five dollars in the offering plate?
Giving God’s way isn’t about how much we give, it’s about how we give; it’s not about equal giving, but equal sacrifice. Giving God’s way is also about using the biblical principle of bringing our ‘first fruits’ to God; not our leftovers. Notice I said to God – not to the church or the pastor, but to God’s storehouse. Malachi 3:10 tells us to “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.”
Peace and power,
© Dr. Melvin O. Marriner, March 2016
We invite you to join us at Grove Church, 5910 West Norfolk Road, Portsmouth, Virginia, Sundays at 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., Tuesdays at noon and Wednesdays at 7 p.m.