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God Multiplies the Very First Tithe

 

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Choose to Study the Scriptures

The one thing that did not change immediately after my decision to become a Christ follower was my finances. In my early days, I really needed the Lord to reveal Himself as my Provider.  Before I discovered the power of the tithe, I had about $10,000 in credit card debt plus a car payment for an RX-7 convertible and rent of $450.  This seemed like a huge debt and a friend suggested I should consider filing bankruptcy.  Filing bankruptcy was never an option for me because I was always taught to protect my credit rating above everything else, and to use credit wisely. I had an excellent credit rating because I always made the minimum payments and I wanted to keep it that way.  Instead, I decided to study the scriptures.  I reasoned that maybe the Lord had a financial system to discover, so I bought a concordance and began to read for hours at a time every scripture I could find about giving, money, finances, gold, generosity, saving and faith. After a few weeks, I found dozens of scriptures that described how the Lord wished to bless us financially, and how much he wanted us to see that He is our source. I was shocked at how much practical advice the bible contained about finances.

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Promises of God

I discovered some verses on giving in the book of Malachi, chapter three. In this chapter Malachi talks about how to return to the Lord after we have left Him. That sounded like me. He also told of the importance of tithing and giving to His Kingdom. He challenged us to test Him in this and gave this promise in verse ten,

I will open the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. 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. And all nations shall call you blessed: for you shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of Hosts.

Next, He led me to the sixth chapter of Mathew. It described the right attitude to have when we give and contained more promises of God to take care of our needs.

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do no labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we wear?” For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them (Mat. 6:25-32).

Needless to say, after I read these passages it became clear to me that God had a better way to use our finances and that we can trust Him. In the last part of Matthew chapter six, there is an often quoted verse that reads,

But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Therefore, do not be anxious for tomorrow, for tomorrow will take care of itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own (Mat. 6:33-34).

Test God with the Tithe

As I began to stand on these verses, and give tithes to the church and other anointed ministries, I saw miracle after miracle occur in my life. They did not come easily or all at once. The first time I gave a true tithe, (10% of gross income), I had to choose between the tithe and the purchase of some wood to heat my house. The front of the house was heated with an oil furnace. The back part of the house, which included the den and three bedrooms, were heated by a forced-air wood stove. I was completely out of wood and it was cold at night. Sometimes it would get so cold that the dishes would be frozen together the next morning if I didn’t clean them the night before.

I prayed about it and decided to trust God. I put $50 in the offering plate and thanked the Lord that He had already met my need when I asked in faith. Ironically, the pastor preached on giving the same Sunday I determined to give my first gift! The point of his sermon was to give joyfully and then act in faith for what you need and God will bless the works of your hands.

offering plate

Boldly Combine Faith with Action

I decided to act on what I had just heard, so on the way home I stopped by a neighbor’s house. Even though I didn’t have any money to pay for some wood, I boldly knocked on his door and asked him if he would sell me some. He said, “no” but that he knew of another neighbor that had a huge pile that he didn’t use. I went to his house next. The next neighbor said he wanted to keep his wood and didn’t want to sell any. I began to get discouraged until he suggested I go three houses up the road and talk to another neighbor.

I prayed all the way up there to try to quench my nerves. However, I sensed in my heart that God was getting ready to move. When I met this neighbor and told him my story about going to two other homes, he began to laugh. He immediately asked, “Do you have a pickup truck?”  I said, “I could probably borrow one.”  He then asked me when I could come back and start loading wood. I asked him how much wood he had and he said, “Follow me, I’ll show you.”  We walked to the top of the hill behind his house. My jaw dropped!

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Apparently, he had been clearing his back yard for a garden, and had chopped dozens of trees down. Most of the wood was already cut too! I asked him how much he wanted for all of the wood. He said, “If you can get it out of here today, you can have all it all.”  I quickly called a friend to borrow his truck, and set to work for the rest of the day.  I carried several loads of wood back to my house. That wood lasted the rest of the winter and the next winter as well. I was still burning the wood from my very first tithe when I carried my new bride, Sabrina, into our home two years later! God had my attention.

wood pile

Growing in Faith

Each time I chose to be faithful to God, and take a step of faith, it felt like the first time. In the beginning, I felt like it was such a huge risk, however, He consistently proved Himself to me and I learned to trust His word because I had personally experienced his character. For example, there were times when I had a choice to make between the electric bill and the tithe. I had to choose once between the tithe and buying groceries and even medicine. He told me to test Him, and each time I honored His word, He fed me by sending people to buy me dinner and lunches or lowered the electric bill.

To the sick He is the healer. To the lonely He is the comforter. To the helpless He is the protector. Whatever we need, God is. He is right now working in our tomorrow to bring about His best for our lives if we only let Him. He desires to show Himself strong in your life too just like he did in mine. It’s not a risk to trust God. It’s faith in His character, which is perfect.

Testimony of Kurt Feldmeyer from 1996

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