Until There Is No More Need

I recently posted the following statement: “Contentment and generosity, in tandem, are the keys that unlock the healthiest you”. As I witness people around me complain, whine, or even joke about the price of gas lately, it occurs to me that having these thoughts is 1) a statement about our lack of contentment and 2) a hindrance to our generosity as we are bound by concern over our own finances.

When we talk about money from a church perspective, we often talk about the passage from Malachi 3 which says, in part: “Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing. . .” – Malachi 3:10

Earlier in that same chapter God tells His people they are robbing Him by not giving their tithes & contributions. Then He challenges us to test Him by bringing in the full tithe (full being explained more below).

But let’s go back to verse 10 from Malachi 3, particularly the end where I put three periods (. . .). When I’ve heard this passage taught, we end up putting a single period at the end of the statement above. We talk about how God has told us to test Him and bring the full tithe and then watch him open the windows of heaven and pour down a blessing upon us. Period. But once again, we’ve put a period where God has more to say. Look at the full verse:

“Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.” – Malachi 3:10

Why are we to bring the full tithe into the storehouse? So that through us, God can pour out blessing until we have met every need. Listen – there is enough resource in this world to meet all the need. Why, then, is there still need? Because we have come to believe that the blessing is for us. Quite the opposite is true, as we see from Psalm 67 – “May God be gracious to us and bless us and make His face to shine upon us, {so} that Your way may be known on earth, Your saving power among all nations.” God’s blessing is not for us, except to be used by us to show the earth His blessing!

In the Old Testament, a tithe was 10%. This was used for the temple upkeep and the priests (i.e., storehouse, place of worship, church). There was a 2nd annual tithe, and a 3rd tithe every 3rd year (bringing the full tithe to 23 1/3%), and these dealt with the needs of the people. Jesus Himself affirmed these ideas when He chastised the Pharisees as recorded in Matthew 23: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done without neglecting the others.” We are instructed to tithe AND provide for people’s needs. Until there is no more need.

This requires generosity that can only be fueled by contentment with the blessing God has poured down on us! These two, in tandem, are the keys that unlock the healthiest you. Imagine being involved in something bigger than just you.

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