Summary: Believe it or not, but God has not changed the challenge to prove or test Him in this area. I have done so and He has been faithful!

Malachi 3:8  Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. 

9  Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. 

10  Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. 

11  And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts. 

12  And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts. 

I know some say the tithe is not for today, but all I hear is blah, blah, blah. We are not under Law, but the tithe was before the Law. There is no new direction to replace it in the New Testament. The passages they use are clearly about giving to the poor, not about supporting the pastor. We still take up freewill offerings, but we do not use them wisely. Those issue are for a different sermon.

Tithing was not meant to be a burden. It was to be an act of obedience in faith that God would provide for us as the tithe provided for the priesthood. If we attained wealth with 100% of our money, we would say it was our wisdom and power that did it. Even with the tithe many think it is their financial prowess that gave them what they have.

I started tithing at a time where I did not believe I could afford it after God turned my head towards my model train collection to show me I could tithe. Since that time, I have had jobs I was not qualified for making money more than I would have made normally. I retired from an IT job without ever going to college or tech school for that career.

We have been able to support a couple of girls in Africa when it was clearly God supporting my two children while in college and through a couple of periods of unemployment.

My wife is our bird dog looking for people in need and sends money to an organization here in the US that cares for kids in need. We support a pastor in the Philippines.

Because He has blessed my income and my careers, I was able to retire early and become a volunteer in both my church and community rather than working until I am ninety or die on the job.

Then again learning to live off of 90%, thanks to a frugal wife, helped us make wise decisions. We only paid for the cars we needed, not what people said we could afford. The same with homes. Real Estate agents would say you can afford a larger house. I said I want to retire so I can live in the house not live for the house. Indeed, living below our means helped us prepare for retirement and making less than we did working. I am not Bill Gates, but we are comfortable and better off than most of my peers according to the reports I have read.

When we married my wife was one who could stretch a nickel into a $50 bill and I was able to turn a $50 bill into a nickel in no time flat. It was a bit of a challenge until I realized that unless I wanted to be hungry, naked and homeless it was best for her to manage the finances. Many could learn from her! If we were to want less we would need less and live quite nicely.

Indeed, I am sorry the minimalist thing was not around when we were younger. I would have more money because I would not have bought so much stuff that just creates clutter or became a burden when we moved around. Less is better. Indeed, clutter causes stress so if you are stressed out get rid of stuff to the point where you can even downsize your house and put some money in the bank. If you are storing stuff, it may not take very long until the rent money you spend is more than the stuff is worth.

As I look back on what God has done, I really could not afford to not tithe. It is something God said you could actually test Him or prove Him. In my experience, He has shown Himself to be true and faithful in my finances.

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