At the end of every Divine Liturgy we pray from the book of James:
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights (James 1:17)
God is the source of everything. By His word creation came into being. He has given us the breath in our lungs and the heartbeat in our chest. It is by His grace we have the gifts, the talents, the ability and energy to go to work and earn an income.
Spiritually speaking, money and possessions is something everyone seems to struggle with. Two thirds of our Lord’s parables address man’s issues money and possessions. There are more verses in the bible concerning money and possession than prayer!
Jesus knows we struggle with fears concerning money and possessions. He says these words to us:
“Do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat, nor about your body, what you shall put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! . . . . . . . do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be of anxious mind. For all the nations of the world seek these things; and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things shall be yours as well. . (Luke 12:22-32)
Because of our fears we tend to store up things. A very important sentence in the New Testament when it comes to our hearts, our souls and money:
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Matt 6:19-21)
For where our treasure is, our heart will be there also! This is something that is very important for us to understand.
Our Lord is telling us the eternal truth that our heart is anchored in our wallets. There is this big fat chain that connects our heart, our soul, to money and things. Our hearts, our souls or tethered to our possessions
God is a giving God.
John 3:16 “God so loved the world that He gave his only Son. . . .”
Giving is what God does. To give is to act like God. Giving is holy
The biblical model, the model established by God in the Church for giving is the tithe. Tithing is a form of proportional giving. It is a 10% portion of our income.
Proportional giving is dedicating our heart to God through our wallet. Because our heart is tethered to our wallet, proportional giving is a necessary spiritual discipline.
The only place in the Bible that God says to test Him is when it comes to giving to His storehouse, the Church. This testing that God challenges us to helps overcome our fears when it comes to giving.
Bring the full tithes 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 an overflowing blessing. (Mal 3:10)
God invites you to test him to help you overcome your fears. He wants to open the windows of heaven and bless us.
In the Church money is not about money. Money is a spiritual issue. It is always about faith. It is about our faith in God. He created all of creation and owns everything and has entrusted us. He gives an income and asks us to tithe it to the Church to support the work of the Church into the world.
If you are not a proportional giver, if you do not tithe, we invite you to move the anchor of your heart from this world, trust God, and set the anchor in heaven.
“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Mt 6:21)