“Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, ‘I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test!’”
As we wrap up our Wealth and Poverty series, we want to continue our discussion on how to build wealth. Two weeks ago, we identified the first step to building wealth: Work for It and the fact that God designed and gifted us with the ability, desire, capacity, and need to work hard. Last week we talked about what happens when we abandon the Biblical pattern for producing wealth and the devastation that follows.
As counterintuitive as it seems, the second step—and possibly the most critical—in building wealth and prosperity is to Give it Away. Nowhere else in scripture do we see a clearer promise of material blessing and prosperity than in Malachi chapter 3.
But we’re not to give away our wealth to just anybody or anything. Scripture is very clear on priorities for giving. The principle of tithing, or the giving of 10% of your income, is established in Genesis chapter 14 when Abram gave a tenth of everything to Melchizedek. This practice is seen in both the Old and New Testaments (see Numbers 18:26, Proverbs 3:9-10, 2 Chronicles 31:4-5, Romans 8:4, and Matthew 23:23).
Beyond that, we are instructed to care for specific categories of people: We are compelled as citizens of heaven to help orphans and widows (James 1:27), care for the poor (Proverbs 19:17), and help strangers (1 John 3:17). Christians feed the poor, provide housing for the homeless, and offer services to the underserved all around the world.
It’s important to note that the burden for caring for the underserved is placed on the Church, not the government. According to Jim Garlow in his book Well Versed, “Care for the poor is so close to the heart of God that He placed the role with the people of God. Apparently, He knew the government could not handle it properly.” We can’t abdicate our responsibility for providing for the poor or others in need to the government or anyone else.
On a personal note, my family and I—and many of you—take the responsibility of caring for widows and orphans very seriously. I want to take this opportunity to thank EVERY ONE OF YOU who has contributed to Maisha School and Orphange in Kagadi, Uganda over the past year. It’s been a very difficult fifteen months, as you may imagine. But thanks to your faithfulness, the children under the care of Maisha are doing well.
Milly and Robert would like to thank you for all that you do for the widows and orphans in their community. May God continue to bless and prosper you because of your faithfulness!
I also want to take this occasion to introduce you to Perry’s and my Ugandan grandson, Travis! Born June 29, 2021. Mom and baby are doing well.
Lastly, thank you to everyone who completed the survey last week. We will look to address some of your questions in the upcoming weeks. Stay tuned!