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Prove God – bring your tithe!

Ten years ago, when I came to Christ in the church “Hope” I decided to be obedient to God and to bring Him my tithe. In 1998 my salary was 95 grivna (that’s about 50 USD at that time). So I had to bring 9.50 grivna to God, and to pay 45 grivna for the public utilities. We had times when my son brought empty paint oil bottles, we cleaned and sold them and after that we had money to buy bread. It’s frightful to recall, but we had time when had no sugar, no flour, and butter. We bought the cheapest and the worst. I walked to work to save 25 kopeks for the trolley bus ticket. I couldn’t even dream of going to work by bus and to pay 30 kopeks for the bus ticket!

That was the time when I started to bring the tithe.

I was ashamed to pay 9.50 grivna, so I gave 10 grivna. Soon my salary raised and I started to pay 12 grivna. But poverty was frightful – I didn’t hear the preaching because was so hungry. I had dreams about sweet buns and patties, I dreamt to have enough of white bread, to cook borsch with meat. Once I was walking home from church and wasn’t thinking about what I’d just heard at the church, but I was only whispering: “Lord, I want to eat!”. When my acquaintance has heard that I bring the tithe, she started to rebuke me: “Don’t you know what to do with 120 grivna a year?! Are you a rich one? My mother also disapproved of it: “What kind of church is it that they take your money?”

That was the time when I constantly and willfully was bringing my tithe.

My salary was growing, but my needs were growing faster! We always lacked something, and every time I’ve heard that whispering voice asking: “Why do you need this? 300 grivna a year! Where? To whom? Look at your clothes!” But I disciplined myself in the issue of tithe, that as soon as I got my salary I automatically subtracted the tithe amount. So when I received 250 grivna salary I thought of it only as a 225 grivna salary. I got used that I put away the tithe before I put the salary to my purse. That was a debt that had to be paid immediately! Later I started to round off numbers and to give bigger tithe – not 27, but 30, not 32, but 35. And one time I noticed that I started to get unexpected income – fees or payments that I hadn’t been expecting, and hoped for…

And then I realized how the heavenly bank works, that makes no mistakes and has no debts. When you bring bigger tithe, then in this bank they make a correction… and make your salary higher! Because they will not give you back extra 3-5 grivna!

It was a pleasure for me to bring a bigger tithe to see God’s strength and faithfulness! I started to grow in bringing my tithe – I started to pray not for my income, but for the growing of the tithe. I remember what a great prayer it was: “God, I want to bring you 50 grivna tithes!” For me it was an enormous amount! I was even afraid of saying it outloud! But God wasn’t afraid – I started to bring 50, 60, 80 and 100 grivna tithes.

But I think that it’s very important to have fear before the Lord – it’s not a bargain, and it’s not an exchange – “I give you 10 – and you give me back 100”. If you act like this, you are not obedient to the Lord’s command: “Bring!”

Bringing the tithes became the need of my life and it also became the joy and the part of my life. I understand that I don’t have enough time to work for God because of my business at work, but other people serve God, and my tithe can be used for spreading the Gospel. I bless the tithe, I thank God, that He is steadfast in His Word. In addition to the rise of our financial income, God blesses us in many different ways: saves our finances from wasteful expenditures, from robbery and from evil.

Prepare your hearts, trust God - to Whom belongs all the gold of the world, and – test Him! And you will see, that God always returns the favor. Your small tithe is a little reflection of His endless blessings which are prepared for those people whose hearts are fully devoted to Him.

Tamara Goloborod’ko

Poltava Evangelical Christian Church “Hope”

 

Translated by Oksana Nadelina

 

January 2008

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