I am the Lord All-Powerful, and I challenge you to put me to the test. Bring the entire ten percent into the storehouse, so there will be food in my house. Then I will open the windows of heaven and flood you with blessing after blessing. (Malachi 3:10 CEV)
You know the childhood saying as you intertwine your fingers… “Here is the church, here is the steeple… Open it up and see all the stains from the PBJ sandwich your mom made you for lunch.” Well… it goes something like that anyway.
Well you guessed it… you’re right. It’s about the people (not the stains… though some are quick to point out the coffee stains on the carpet). Church… is about the people. Not the decor (because that changes). Not the style of service (for that will change too). But church is about… the people. The people inside of the church… AND the people outside of the church that have yet to hear about the love and grace of a Saviour who died and rose again to give us life (ok… now I’m moving into “next week’s” thoughts).
So when we give to the ‘church’, we’re really giving to God in order to reach the ‘people’; the resources, the ministries, and all of the things that are necessary to make sure that the ‘people’ (whether here… or not here yet) are being ministered to.
So conversely when we “don’t” give, we therefore are really “not” giving to God in order to “not” reach the people. When we choose not to give it’s kind of like we’re saying to God, “Thanks for taking care of me and all that people sacrificed in order for You to reach me. But I’m good with being the end of the road. You don’t have to keep reaching people now.”
Maybe that seems a little harsh. Maybe it seems a little extreme. But maybe the fact that God calls us to support the work of the Kingdom IS extreme. Maybe, just maybe, the same God who created everything in the universe from simply His limitless wonder gave us the opportunity to partner with Him in doing something new again… that because of what ‘we’ give Him, He then can change ‘other’ people’s lives… just like He changed ours.
At least that’s how I see it,