Today’s challenge comes from Genesis 22, Acts 5, and Psalm 8
Without God’s word as our guide it would be impossible to determine what God asks of us. What does He want us to give? Christian cults ask you to give everything, most churches teach us to give at least a tithe (tenth) of all we earn, and some churches teach that you should only give what you can give joyfully. Each of these types of giving can be supported by at least one passage of scripture. I’m convinced from the totality of scripture (not proof-texting) that a tithe is the starting point for Christian giving and that the Holy Spirit will convict us of what to give above and beyond the tithe.
But God doesn’t care about amounts and percentages except that they demonstrate faith and obedience. He owns it all and needs nothing from us. God cares about our obedience and our growth. Ananias and Sapphira were struck dead by God, not because they didn’t give all they had, but because they lied about how much they gave (Acts 5:1-11). They were free to give as much or as little as they determined to give, but they told the church they had given it all.
Abraham was willing to give it all and he laid it all on the altar as God had asked him to do. Abraham was willing to sacrifice his only son, the son through whom God had promised to bless him, if that is what God wanted. Abraham was confident that God would be faithful (Genesis 22:1-19). Abraham gave it all and God gave his offering back to him, plus a ton of blessings besides.
What is God asking you to give? Is He asking for you to get off the couch and get to church on the Lord’s day? Is He asking you to commit to His word, to fellowship, or to service? Is He asking you to increase your commitment to these things? Is He asking you to trust Him by giving out of your financial need? I challenge you to do it! God never hurts or abandons His people and our acts of obedience are met with God’s greater provision. When we stretch ourselves God proves Himself to us and we emerge with a stronger and more unshakeable faith.