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To The Penny
"Lord," I'd pray, "we're not making it. Everything we make is going
to pay for Seminary and the new baby, we need more money."
We weren't economically challenged. We were flat broke. We were sharing
a small apartment with several hundred cockroaches and often were only
able to eat a partial meal each day. Times were tough.
The church I was pastoring was growing, but most of the new money was
going into programs and for the new building we were planning. I took on
some side jobs teaching Speech at a Christian school and substituting in
the public school system to help ease the pressure, but we needed divine
intervention. We were in over our heads.
When I prayed about our situation, I kept hearing God say the same thing-"increase
your giving." "You've got to be kidding," I'd pray, "increase our giving?
You don't understand, we need more money, not less."
We were already tithers, giving 10% of our income to the Lord, but now
He was asking us to take a step of faith and increase our giving to be
a tithe of our need, not our income. When I put a pencil to the paper,
I calculated that we needed $12,000.00 more a year to make it, that meant,
if we were to tithe on our need, we'd have to start giving an additional
$100.00 a month.
Somehow we did it. Don't ask me how, I'm not an economist, all I know
is we made it happen. Giving stopped being routine for us, it became an
expression of faith. "God, this doesn't make any sense to me, but I feel
like you've told me to do it, so here is our tithe on our need, not our
income." I'd pray as I wrote out the check.
We didn't talk about it to anyone, we just did it. The next year the
church gave us a substantial raise. More than I'd ever gotten before or
since. The amount? You guessed it. To the penny!
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that corresponds to this devotional.