A couple of weeks ago, before our 5PM worship service, a guy handed me a $25 check and said this is my tithe. He set his check on the table where I was sitting and we started talking about what God was doing in his life. During our conversation the man said that he was currently out of work. So, I asked him. How can this be a tithe if you are not earning/receiving any income?
What followed was a fun conversation.
What this man gave wasn't a tithe. It was generosity! If a tithe could be seen as obedience, then generosity could be seen as an expression of gratitude.
There's a story in the Gospels that intrigues me.
"Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box. He also saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. He said, 'I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all offered their gifts out of their wealth. But she, out of her poverty, put in everything she had to live on.'" Luke 21:1-4 (NET)
The conversation I had that Sunday night with the gentleman that gave the $25 was all about how much he loved God and how he was noticing God doing so many things in his life.
Now for the fun part. When I looked closer at his check...It wasn't for $25! It was for $25.02. I asked him, what's up with the .02 cents? He said went on to tell me that during a time of his life when he was without, he told God any money he found on the ground he would give back to God...Because that's all he had. He told me that he had found two pennies on the ground that day and wanted to also give that God.
How might our personal worship transform, if we moved from only obedience and into living a grateful life. Exited to worship God with all we have and all we do.
Start with obedience then take a step towards generosity.