by Tom Shadoin
Over the decades I have heard many sermons and sermonettes about tithing, as well as many stories of the blessings God has poured out on those who have obeyed His instructions in this matter.
And I had to ask myself the question: If, as God promises, He will provide for and bless those who tithe, does that not also provide just one more proof that He does exist? Too many times I have heard the plaintive complaint that we can’t prove that God exists. But if God’s laws are proven to exist and work–like tithing does–therein lies proof that the Lawgiver exists! Many of the famous as well as not-so-famous have put God to this test. James Cash Penney (founder of JC Penney’s) in fact began to tithe at age 16.
When I learned about tithing, I had to understand that it means, paying 10%, and not giving what I think I can give, or when I think I can do so. I saw that there are no halfway measures with God–it is either His way or nothing. And since He owns the business (so to speak), He sets the rules. I had to learn that there is no reason to complain if I pay less than a tithe and He does not respond.
I always remember the stories I heard from ministers who were stationed in the Philippines. One told us about a sermon he gave to poor Filipino farmers about tithing. After the sermon, one person came up to him. “Pastor,” he said, “if I tithe from my field and livestock, and God doesn’t provide for me and my family, we will starve.” “You tithe as God commands,” the pastor told him, “and if God doesn’t take care of your family, I will.” We in the congregation all chuckled as the pastor finished the story saying, “And BOY was I glad God prospered that family!”
Another pastor related the story of the Filipino farmer who showed up at his door one afternoon and handed the pastor a fish. “Here,” he said, “is my tithe.” Noticing that the farmer had no other fish with him, the pastor asked where the other nine fish were. “I’m going back to catch them right now!” the farmer said confidentially, walking away.
Especially the last story impressed on me that kind of confidence which I have to have. I have seen God’s blessing in my life when I obey Him and tithe faithfully. God challenges me to prove Him, constantly, and I would say, His very existence, by following His command to tithe. As long as I continue to do it, I know that I will never regret it and that I will never have to look back!