by Robert Aaron
I am a single man living with my parents and help them with living expenses. My jobs include pianist for a Lutheran church and a school bus driver for a neighboring district.
Each month my paychecks arrive via direct deposit and I pay most, if not all, my bills online. The first thing I do after determining my gross income for the month is to take out the tithe and offerings for the Lord's work and lay them aside. I remember a few years ago there was one month that was particularly hard on our family. I cannot remember the details but I knew it would be a stretch to pay all the bills.
Now the Bible says to bring all the tithes into the "storehouse." The tithe, or 10%, is automatically the Lord's. But this one month I had a little chat with the Lord. "Lord, I know the tithe is Yours and I will return that this month. However, my offering to the local church and school budgets is going to have to wait. I just don't see how I'm going to have it with the amount of money there is available."
I was amazed at what happened next. I heard a "still, small voice" talking to me.
It wasn't my imagination. It wasn't anyone else in the room; I was alone at this particular moment. It was not a vision; it was not a dream. It was a "still, small voice." And it spoke as clearly as if the person was standing in front of me. It said, "Just run the numbers." Nothing more, nothing less. "Just run the numbers."
Having taken accounting in college, I love numbers so I sat down with my calculator and my ledger and calculated the tithe. Then I calculated what the budget and mission offerings would be for the month. After that, it was on to Bill #1, Bill #2, Bill #3....etc. until I had all the bills added up. Taking my original net earnings, subtracting the Lord's portion--including tithe, budget, and mission--followed by subtracting all payments owed......I HAD MONEY LEFT OVER! LEFT OVER!! LEFT OVER!!
I humbly asked the Lord to forgive my doubts. I will never doubt again. Those words "Just run the numbers" came from the Holy Spirit. The Lord has promised:
Malachi 3:10, NASB: "'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."
I know from experience that you can never outgive the Lord. NEVER!
Since that experience, I have never been tempted to not give the Lord His share and the money always lasts until the bills are paid with money left over.