By Greg Laurie
“On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come.”
1 Corinthians 16:2
The other day I was with my son Jonathan and my grandson, Christopher. Christopher was enjoying a bag of chips that Jonathan had given him, and Jonathan said, “Hey, buddy, can I have a chip?”
“Son,” Jonathan said, “give me a chip. I gave you those chips. Now give me a chip back.”
Christopher scrunched up his face like he was in pain. Then he reached in the bag, pulled out a pathetic-looking little chip, and reluctantly held it out.
“No,” Jonathan said. “I want a big chip. Give me a good chip, son.”
Eventually Christopher gave his dad a decent chip.
As I watched all this, I thought about how we can be that way with God. All too often we want to give God our leftovers. God gives us our lives, our health, our income . . . it all comes from Him. Then He says, “I’d like you to give a percentage back to Me.” And we feel pain.
God established certain laws for Israel regarding tithing. The people were to bring one-tenth of their material resources to the temple and bring the best, not the worst, to God. Some would argue that tithing is not in the New Testament. But in the New Testament, the standards of the Old Testament are never lowered. They’re always raised.
Ten percent is entry level. It’s where you start, not where you stop. Every believer should systematically give of his or her finances to the Lord. We love to hear what the Bible says about prayer, about hope, about the return of Christ, about comfort. But when it comes to giving, we’re like Christopher and the little chip. We should welcome everything the Bible says about everything and simply do it. We should surrender to the Word of God.
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