Welcome back! If you are just joining us, we are using the YouVersion Bible App to follow a devotional together. Read THIS POST to get all the information you need to join in and then you can read THIS MORNING'S POST to see the promises we are focusing on this week.
Did you get a chance to spend some time with this week's promises? I love when one of the promises immediately takes me back to an earlier time in life and I can remember exactly how God fulfilled this promise for me. This week, the promise I chose is...
Your faithful trusting of your resources to Me means you'll have plenty. Proverbs 3:9-10
Those first couple years of our marriage were a STRETCH in the financial department. We got married when we were both still in college. I had a full year left and Micah had one remaining semester. We got married in mid-June of 2006 and I didn't work the entire summer because I had a job (at $9/hr) waiting for me when school began (probably not my smartest move). I spent the summer putting the house together and reading my huge list of novels for upcoming classes. Micah worked 40 hours a week at his school but he was making barely above minimum wage. We had a HOUSE PAYMENT. Yeah, two broke college students that owned a house.
I married into the house so it's not totally my fault, guys. Micah bought the house his sophomore year of college so his buddies could rent out rooms and save them all money. It was great for them because renting a room in the house was WAY cheaper than regular rent. But then we got married and all the roommates left. That meant the entire mortgage and utilities fell to us. Oy.
On paper we shouldn't have made it. We should have been way behind on bills and there should have been no ends to meet together let alone barely meet. But we did and I fully believe it is due to our faithfulness and cheerfulness in our tithing. We didn't do it grudgingly or as a last ditch effort but we knew that ten percent would automatically be given to church that Sunday. We wrote our checks without a second thought of what that money could be used for if we kept it. It wasn't ours to keep. It was our gift back to God for all he was providing for us.
A couple months after Micah graduated he landed his first "adult" job. Woo! We were so excited over a real salary and not an hourly wage. And we still tithed. I didn't work during my spring semester because I was student teaching and needed to treat that as a real job. And we still tithed. Not long after graduating I took a temp job doing office work until I decided if I wanted to pursue a teaching job (spoiler alert - I didn't). We still tithed.
Things got a little scary in the financial department at this point of our marriage. We were about a year and half in and student loans were now needing to be payed back. I think our student loan payments came close to our mortgage payment. Yikes. Although Micah had a real job it was still very low pay. And I made about $11/hr doing mind-numbing office work. We ate lots of sandwiches. We found meals that were pretty cheap and rotated them frequently. And we still tithed. We had seen the benefits of being faithful with little and we knew it was the right choice.
In February of 2008 we found out we were pregnant. We were thrilled but also incredibly nervous about the cost of a baby. Hospital bills were probably the most terrifying part because we were already paying insurance premiums out of pocket and then adding extra bills for delivery and appointments on top of that? But our faithfulness with giving back to God was about to come back to us again.
Not long after finding out we were going to be parents a former boss called Micah to tell him there was a job opening at the company and she'd love to have Micah apply. He did and she did everything she could to get him the job. He started his new position at his old company three months later. The job was everything we wanted and needed. It was a job he was (and still is) very passionate about, higher pay, and amazing benefits - including fully covered health insurance! And we continued to tithe.
Even in the scrimpiest (totally not a word but I'm making it one) years when we weren't sure how bills were going to get paid we made a point of giving back to God first. Not paying our tithe with a burdened heart but with a cheerful heart, trusting that God would provide what we needed. Compared to those first several years it feels as though our barns and vats are overflowing. We do have a little left each month and are able to put away money for the future. Sure it's not oodles of cash but that is more than what we could do before. He continues to provide what we need and often more than what we need. We have been blown away sometimes at his provisions. We have to fulfill our side of this promise in order for God to fulfill his.
Are your barns filled with plenty or are you wondering where everything went? Are you honoring God with your first fruits? Can I challenge you to give to him first before anything else? If you haven't tithed (given 10%) before you may need to cut back on other expenses first to make sure you have money remaining for other bills but give to God first and then see where he takes you and how he provides. Have faith that he will take care of you.
Do you have a testimony from faithful giving? I'd love to hear it!
What verse did you choose this week? Is there one you need a little more faith to believe?