Read: Haggai 1:4-7 NKJV |
This series allows us to relate the steps in giving of our tithes and offerings to the steps of sowing seed in a garden. In the series, we have Identified “where” to sow/give, followed by “when”, “how”, the actual “sowing” and now “the caring and nurturing” of the plants.
Table: Giving is Sowing
2. Understand the timing of when to sow (when)
3. Prepare the area to be sown (how)
4. Plant the seed (sow)
5. Care and nurturing (care)
6. Reaping what has been sowed (reap)
In our verse today, we find Haggai delivering a wake-call from God. At this point, he reminds the Jewish nation that 15 years ago God had given the Jews the assignment to finish the temple after He had delivered them from captivity. After all that time, they had built themselves nice houses with panels and siding, but built nothing for God. Simply put, they had misplaced their allegiance. They had fallen prey to giving little allegiance to God. Instead, they spent more time nurturing their physical health than their spiritual health.
In parallel, I wonder if we sometimes do the same thing. You see, we too have been delivered from sin and death. The temple of God in our hearts needs our allegiance and our stewardship. God gave us the Great Commission centuries ago and instructed us to be stewards. Giving of our time, talent and treasure to God and serving Him each day reveals the degree of our stewardship. Yet it struck me that when we give our tithes and offerings, do we stay around to help nurture the organization where our money is going? If not, are we are guilty of “drive-by tithing”?
“Drive-by tithing” is giving to God without connecting to God. A drive-by tithe may fill a need, but still leaves a void that requires a human touch. If our giving to God is connected to God, we seek to care and nurture within the area we give our gift(s).
Recognizing that we physically cannot go everywhere our tithe/offering goes, we can certainly make an effort to help nurture growth when it is possible. For instance, we can tithe toward the general funds of the Church. The money does help, that’s a given. Yet, what else can we do to help the Church achieve its ministry goals. Possibly, we can multiply the gift by also giving our time and talent in a ministry at the Church. The extra effort takes the tithe to a three Dimensional level. Giving in 3T, with our time, talent and treasure is the ultimate goal.
When we fail to care and nurture, weeds grow. Unlike plants, which need care, fertilizer and water, weeds sprout up without effort. In our spiritual lives, weeds can occur if we neglect to give God the glory for the gift we have planted or we seek to raise our status by the size of our gift. Care and nurturing of our gift and our attitude towards our gift work hand-in-hand.
As Haggai said, “Consider your ways!” Consider praising God for using you to plant the gift. Consider what ministry to join which will help achieve the goals of your Church. Consider and follow the will and ways of God. Give in 3T to nurture others so we do not produce shallow-rooted Christians who blow over during the first storm. Give in three dimensions – time, talent and treasure – because God will show you favor for following His will.