Are you Taking Care of God's House?

Hair done, car serviced, nails done, membership paid, tickets purchased, takeout ordered, the list can go on and on full of things, services, and people that we spend our money on. But somehow there are months where our tithes don’t quite make the list and our offering is the change we had leftover from a more “pleasurable” or “prioritized” purchase. To no surprise the month ended just like every other month, BROKE, living paycheck to paycheck.
“Is it possible your house has not reaped because in His house you have not sown?”
-Pastor Nate Green
In a sermon by Pastor Steven Furtick, he mentioned a conversation he had with a business man. The man said he didn’t understand how churches stayed open because they service clients that don’t always pay for the services they receive. Although he took a comedic approach when sharing this story, this is the reality of many churches; congregations are dishonoring God by not returning the tithe.
“Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed me. But you say, How have we robbed you? In tithes and offerings. ” -Malachi 3:8
Sometimes we put more faith in the gift, than the giver under the misconception that God is not able to supply all of our needs. In the Black community we are not far removed from slavery, sharecropping, Jim Crow and other institutionalized forms of oppression that normalized the experience of living from a place of lack and being seen as less than. In my personal experience I remember growing up hearing my parents fighting about money, seeing my father overwork himself so that we could have enough money, and now as an adult I sometimes view money from a place of lack even though I have more than enough to supply my needs.

I believe that the lack of faith we have with our currency, stems from the lack of understanding we have for the currency that Jesus paid for us. It doesn’t make logical sense for Him to love a wretch like me, for Him to have died and shed His blood for a sinner like me, for Him to leave the 99 just for me. It’s hard to trust something you don’t understand, and without understanding God’s love, God’s grace, God’s mercy, God’s power, God’s word, and seeing God as Lord over ALL including our finances we keep a closed fist and a hard heart when it comes to “our” money. We believe that the church just wants our money, instead of seeing it as our duty to return the tithe and bless the house that blesses us because it is God who truly provides us with money.
“But you shall remember the LORD your God: for it is he that gives you power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he swore to your fathers, as it is this day."
-Deuteronomy 8:18
Not only does the Lord provide us with the ability to get wealth, He also provides us with air in our lungs, a pep in our step, movement in our limbs, a place to lay our head, food in our bellies, eyes to see the works of His hands, ears to hear the sounds of His glory, peace, joy, love, companionship, answered prayers, protection, eternity & so much more than this world could ever give us. For these unlimited reasons I gladly return to Him my tithe & praise Him with my offering. 

I strongly believe that the church is God’s provision on earth, that He calls us to build His temple so that we can be a blessing to others (Matthew 9:35-38). God has a heart for those in need, and anything that God has a heart for we should have a heart for. There are too many churches across the nation for poverty to continue to increase, for health to decline, and for people to suffer in silence. God commands us to be a light and to be love in this dark world, and honoring His house with our finances increases our capacity to fulfill the Lord’s command. 

The Israelites were just like us faithful in one season, faithless in the next, walking in the light one day, and hiding in the dark the next. Although they were a mess, God loved them anyways & in their obedience in building His temple God promised to bless them now and in future generations (Haggai 2). God blesses us for Himself, for others, and for ourselves, and we do not need to be perfect to receive a blessing from God.

We will all reap what we sow. When we sow in response to God’s perfect love for us with our money, our time, & our gifts, not only will we reap the benefits, but God will allow others to be blessed from our blessing (Acts 20:35). 

So don’t block the blessing!

Preaching to myself,

Imani Nailah

Imani Brooks

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