Tithing From the Heart

“Have you given a tithing of the heart lately?”

If someone asked you a question similar to this, how would you answer? No doubt you’d want to know what they meant by ‘tithing of the heart’.

While the words may seem obvious, it’s not to be confused with a monetary tithing or offering, which are also of the heart and spirit.

We, as church-going worshipers of Christ, tithe. Some of us to our church, some of us to other Christian organizations doing work for the Lord, and some of us tithe to both. All depending on our means and where the need is, as the Holy Spirit leads us.

But, in a tithing of the heart it’s a little different and usually may not cost much more than a few dollars.

A heart tithing can be gas money to get to a retirement or nursing home. A few dollars invested in a small gift or card to say “Jesus loves you”, or “I’m thinking of you”. It could be secretly paying for a perm or dress for a poor elderly lady during the holidays who could never afford that luxury, except that our Lord Jesus intends for her to have it. Or, some other luxury she can’t afford but that we may take for granted.

There are many ways to do a tithing, and some don’t cost a thing (maybe just a little bit of elbow grease or energy). You could walk to an elderly neighbor’s house and do their dishes, sweep their floor, or cook them a good meal. Even invite them to lunch or dinner.

You could cook for them, when you make your dinner, and deliver theirs hot, along with a nice plate, silver and a lovely cloth napkin(s), that you insist be piled in a small box or basket, and not be washed. The cleanup is your privilege.

Many of these little things that you would do for them are chores they could have done for themselves before age caught up with them. They may still do these things, but if they are living at home and maintaining their independence without much help it drains their already-restricted level of energy.

Another avenue to explore is helping a young family having a difficult time financially. So many people are now out of work (a two-job family now down to one) as prices still continue to rise for the most basic of things such as food, clothing, and shelter. The person who has some time to spare can shop at yard sales for nicer items of clothing to help a family with children. If the items are big ones—like shoes, coats and jeans— it will be especially appreciated.

What about new parents who have fallen on difficult times as well. Every mother and father knows how fast infants and toddlers grow out of their clothing. Then there are the big ticket items for them, such as highchairs, baby beds and walkers, and even these can be bought at yard sales and polished up or fixed to be almost ‘good as new’.

As God’s children, there are so many ways we who are doing alright can help His other children in need. The joy from giving to another will satisfy our spirit.

It’s my personal preference, when giving a tithing, that the recipient be the most lonely and neediest of persons.

What good does it do to bestow gifts and acts of kindness on a person or couple who already have all their financial and social needs met? I’ll give them my pleasant conversation, but my energy, time, and money will go to someone that doesn’t have much in this life.

I believe it’s easy to like and do for the lovelier people of America. It’s not so easy to love the poor, the broken, or the ugliest of our land. What good does it do to invite someone to eat who can easily repay that generosity?

I’ll always do what my Lord and Savior Christ Jesus tells me to do, either by responding when He speaks to my heart or by following the prompting of His Holy Spirit.

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SALVATION . . . Accept No Substitute

 

            Father God in heaven, in the name of Jesus Christ, Your only begotten Son, I pray this prayer today.

            May Your hand be upon each person who reads this. I ask a blessing for each one and I ask Your guidance for them to fully understand the content of this entry and the courage to act on my suggestion for their family, friends, and church family. I ask this, Father, in the name of Your Son and my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. May everyone who reads this say “Amen.”

As a Christian, I’ve noticed certain things that happen when I’m in a crowd or even mingling with other self-proclaiming Christians. Even at family gatherings.

Here is an example of what happens to me. I walk into a room at a family gathering and suddenly the room clears out. When it happens, I feel a pressing need to check my hygiene. You know, blow into a hand or sniff under an arm, that type of thing. Just to be sure my deodorant still works.

I now understand why it happens, although it took me awhile, and it doesn’t have anything to do with personal cleanliness.

This action from others prompts the question, “Are they running from the Lord?”

This surfaced in my mind again one day last week, as cool air blew over lush grass and sweet smelling floral, and found its way through my open window. It was accompanied by the sound of birds singing as they flitted from fence to tree to feeder, as they socialized in our bird-friendly and sheltered backyard. They seem to feel safe – like humans do when they have salvation.

I decided to explore why the question periodically comes to mind and the circumstances that bring it.

These people who flee the room when I enter are running from their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit (who resides in every Christian)—not from me.

Many people sit in churches and other religious facilities believing they are saved because they pray to God. But the truth is, if He’s the only one they acknowledge, then they aren’t. They are not saved unless they have accepted the full pardon of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

            The Bible, the Word of God, tells us plainly that we must come through His Son Jesus Christ if God is to hear us. If we don’t accept Jesus’ pardon for our life, yet we want to know His Father, we are trying to enter the back door into heaven and it will definitely be closed to everyone who rattles the door knob. (1John 2:23, John 10:38, Ephesians 5:20, Matthew 11:26)

            I would ask this of people who run from Jesus:

“Don’t want anything to do with grace, or goodness, or eternal life with a loving God?”

“A God who won’t throw you away, won’t destroy you for all eternity?”

Are you, or do you know, someone who sits in the pew each worship day and looks around feeling confident they are saved in the Lord—just because they have been raised in a good church family?

These people just know that their salvation must be secure. They followed the church rules and participated in all the programs and Wednesday night worships.

They may have even joined the choir or sang special music, playing an instrument their parents started them on at birth…well, maybe made a choice which one they would play at that time.

I can testify personally that He, God Almighty, will extend every opportunity to bring you into His glorious family, to bring you life and not death. Through the saving Grace of His son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

The most loving and wonderful thing you can do for these people, whether church friends or your family, is tell them the truth.

One day in the future, maybe today, it will be their last day on earth. Once they are dead their destiny is set. If they have not accepted Jesus Christ’s Salvation, a pardon purchased  for them through His death on the cross, then they are destined for hell.

Yes there is a real hell and that is the destination for anyone not saved by the blood of Jesus Christ, Lord and Savior.

If you know this truth, tell it to anyone you suspect does not know it.

If they don’t act on securing their place for all eternity, in Heaven, it is not your fault and you will have done what the Lord our God expects of you.

This ball is in your hands. What are you going to do with it?

I pray the Lord’s guidance for you in this important decision.