One time I met a gentleman at The Journey who was a self-professed agnostic. Let’s call him Ben. Ben happened to be visiting with a friend one fall Sunday when I laid out this tithe challenge. Ben was a little older than our average attenders, and he was in the midst of a successful career as an air traffic controller.
After the service, Ben came over to me and said, “Okay, I’m going to test God. I want to take this ‘tithe challenge’ and dispel all his foolishness. I’m going to prove to you that God doesn’t exist.”
So he and I sat down and figured out what 10 percent of his income would be and divided that out over the next four months. He came to church a couple of times during the course of the challenge but not regularly. His tithing, however, was like clockwork. Can you guess what happened?
God shows up in people’s lives when they honor him. He has obligated himself to do so.
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God worked in Ben’s life in amazing ways. He began being blessed, both tangibly and intangibly. To make a long story short, Ben came back to me after those four months fully convinced of God’s existence. Of course, as usually happens when someone takes the tithe challenge, he has continued to tithe.
Ben is not an exception to the rule. I have seen this scenario play out time and time again. God shows up in people’s lives when they honor him. He has obligated himself to do so. God’s promise about tithing is an if/then promise. “If you honor me with your firstfruits, then I will pour out my blessing in your life.”
God’s promise of blessing crosses over into the New Testament. Recall Jesus’s “of course you should tithe” comment in Matthew 23:23. Paul follows that up in 2 Corinthians 8:7: “Since you excel in so many ways–in your faith, your gifted speakers, your knowledge, your enthusiasm, and your love for us–I want you to excel also in the gracious act of giving.” As we excel in grace, we should excel in giving.
God’s promise of blessing crosses over into the New Testament.
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–Nelson Searcy and Jennifer Dykes Henson
The above excerpt is from pgs. 61-62 of The Generosity Ladder: Your Next Step to Financial Peace.
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