I’m sorry, how much??

Today I want to share a part of my journey in Jesus with you, but let’s start with a prayer to prepare our hearts.

Father, we come before You this morning with open hearts, hoping for You to do a work in us. You know us better than we know ourselves and You know right where we are, this very moment. You love us more than we will ever understand and desire for greater things in this life. I pray that we keep our eyes on You in all things. In the precious name of Jesus I pray these things. Amen.

I have been walking with Jesus for some time now and have learned so much, He has turned this life upside down and made me realize that I am now actually right side up. Do you understand what I mean by that? Can you relate to that feeling of a new start, a new chance, a view of love and grace that you never even knew possible? As I began my walk in Christ, I was able to look back at my life and see His hand on me. I could see that those impossible situations that nearly took my life were those moments when God came down and saved me. He had a plan for me. He has a plan for every singe person on this planet.

In the beginning I attended a church that opened my eyes to the Lord, but ended up not being a great fit for me and my family. As I was looking for a church home, I was told about my current church and it took me a long time to learn to trust them. I was always waiting for the other shoe to drop, waiting for them to judge me and tell me I didn’t belong, but it never happened. The more I shared, the more I realized that these people were just like me. We all struggle, we are all lost and we have battles we are facing each day. This realization was a large driving force behind this blog. Let’s share and be transparent before one another. Let’s encourage those struggling with the same things Jesus has worked through in us.

This brings me to the topic of tithing. Can I tell you what a struggle tithing has been over the years? As a single mom, there was no way I could tithe, I told myself. As a newly weds we didn’t have the funds to pay our bills on time, never mind give up 10% right off the bat. We had all the right reasons to not give. We were serving in the church, our time mattered. We would give sporadically throughout the year and it would come close to 10% at the end of the year, or by tax time. Giving larger chunks here and there was easier.

I am a bit of a dork and absolutely love spreadsheets. I use them to track and figure everything, including our family budget, I have done so for years. We have about a year ahead mapped out at any given time. As God was putting this tithing thing on my heart, I would try a few different approaches, but was never giving on a regular basis. It was still a line item that was able to be moved, decreased and taken out all together if something came up. This went on for years. The cycle of conviction, feeling guilty, arguing with God over the numbers not adding up. My husband and I are not selfish people, we love to give to others and we want to please the Lord in all things. Our hearts desired to please Him, our flesh was getting in the way.

Finally we had come to a place where we were giving up control. God had been doing such amazing things in our lives and we were seeing that none of what we possessed was really ours. We were given these things by our most gracious Lord and we were abusing what was given to us in a way that was unintentional, but was still happening. We made the difficult decision to tithe every single week no matter what came up financially. We decided to trust our living God and ask Him to show up for us. He tells us to test Him in this area and so we were. I pulled up my spreadsheet and worked the numbers the best I could and we left those weeks that didn’t add up in God’s capable hands. I mean, the Creator of this vast universe loves me and here I was thinking He couldn’t possibly make the numbers work. As I put things into perspective, I was excited to see what would happen. Then an amazing thing happened, wlost a huge chunk of income out of no where.

I mean the timing was no coincide in my mind. The small steps we were taking were quickly becoming leaps. We were stressed and uncertain as to how we were going to tithe and feed our family at the same time. That’s what our flesh was saying. Our hearts knew better, we know that God provides for His children and so we adjusted that spreadsheet as well as we were able to on our end and lifted all those negative balanced to the Lord.

He showed up. As He promises us all, our Lord showed up and continues to show up every time. Those weeks that seemed impossible were blessed in abundance, I kid you not. Between overtime that was not supposed to happen, to mileage checks, to unexplained payment of vacation time early, our God showed up. Those weeks that shouldn’t have added up turned into such blessings for our family.

We still struggle with seeing those impossible weeks showing up on our spreadsheet, but now we have the experience to look back on. We know that we will be taken care of.

Those line items that were once negotiable are set in stone in our eyes. God’s money is not to be touched. We see that our grocery budget is suffering and we are tempted to pull from that tithing box, but we don’t and we wait in expectancy.

Tithing regularly has truly been such a blessing. I have heard people say this so many times and never really understood. Today I understand and pray that you all do too. To see our God show up for us and to take care of us is beautiful. To know that I can give up control and see things blossom in ways I never thought possible. My faith had grown tremendously in this. My knowledge of God’s love has deepened and this has trickled into other areas of my heart.

I want you all to know that tithing is difficult in the beginning, don’t beat yourself up! Every child of God struggles in one way or another in this, area, you are not alone. Giving God back a portion of what He gives us so freely, there are no words for the magic that takes place there. Try it, test God there and take that leap of faith. He won’t let you fall.

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Proverbs Study Day 14

Day 14 and I am feeling great about this study. Doing such large chunks does make it difficult to dig very deep, but I am enjoying how the Word speaks to my heart in different ways as I read. Hope you are feeling the same way!


Proverbs 14

A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands. Those who follow the right path fear the Lordthose who take the wrong path despise him. A fool’s proud talk becomes a rod that beats him, but the words of the wise keep them safe. Without oxen a stable stays clean, but you need a strong ox for a large harvest. An honest witness does not lie; a false witness breathes lies. A mocker seeks wisdom and never finds it, but knowledge comes easily to those with understanding. Stay away from fools, for you won’t find knowledge on their lips. The prudent understand where they are going, but fools deceive themselves. Fools make fun of guilt, but the godly acknowledge it and seek reconciliation. Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can fully share its joy. The house of the wicked will be destroyed, but the tent of the godly will flourish. There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death. Laughter can conceal a heavy heart, but when the laughter ends, the grief remains. Backsliders get what they deserve; good people receive their reward. Only simpletons believe everything  they’re told! The prudent carefully consider their steps. The wise are cautious and avoid danger; fools plunge ahead with reckless confidence. Short-tempered people do foolish things, and schemers are hated. Simpletons are clothed with foolishness, but the prudent are crowned with knowledge. Evil people will bow before good people; the wicked will bow at the gates of the godly. The poor are despised even by their neighbors, while the rich have many “friends.” It is a sin to belittle one’s neighbor; blessed are those who help the poor. If you plan to do evil, you will be lost; if you plan to do good, you will receive unfailing love and faithfulness. Work brings profit, but mere talk leads to poverty! Wealth is a crown for the wise; the effort of fools yields only foolishness. A truthful witness saves lives, but a false witness is a traitor. Those who fear the Lord are secure; he will be a refuge for their children. Fear of the Lord is a life-giving fountain; it offers escape from the snares of death. A growing population is a king’s glory; a prince without subjects has nothing. People with understanding control their anger; a hot temper shows great foolishness. A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body; jealousy is like cancer in the bones. Those who oppress the poor insult their Maker, but helping the poor honors him. The wicked are crushed by disaster, but the godly have a refuge when they die. Wisdom is enshrined in an understanding heart; wisdom is not found among fools. Godliness makes a nation great, but sin is a disgrace to any people. A king rejoices in wise servants but is angry with those who disgrace him.


 

 

 

What did I learn from this chapter today:

I want to be a wise woman and I am conscious of building up my home. I realize how my actions have a huge impact on my family. I have a choice every day. If I find myself in a place of feeling resentful and self righteous, I know I am walking the wrong path. Then it is time to step back, repent, examine and lay it all down before the Lord. I want to be wise in my relationships.

Honesty and hard work are important. As I read about the honest and godly will prevail, I am reminded that it may not be on this planet. Those that accept Jesus as our Savior will be rewarded in heaven. It’s important that we keep our eyes and hearts on eternity.

A peaceful heart heals the body. I can attest to the fact that I have lost a good amount of weight this year, and it happened while I was going through the process of healing old wounds. As God heals me, I become free. It’s amazing the work He does when asked. He desires to free us from the bonds we inflict upon ourselves. We only need to allow Him to. Only I get it the way of the beauty Jesus wishes to bring into my darkest places within.

I am also reminded to pray for our nation, as Godliness makes a nation great.

My prayer for today :

Lord, humbled I come before You and thank You for the love and healing You have given me so freely. I don’t deserve it, yet You show such grace and kindness. I pray that you continue to work on this heart and to shine into my very core. I want to let You in completely. I pray that all who read this will do the same. That we choose the Living Water You offer us all. That we recognize the path You lay before us and choose life. In the precious name of Jesus I pray these things.