WE TITHE TO GOD

 HECTOR & RENDI GONZALES
Most tithing testimonies start with “We didn’t think we could afford to tithe”. Our testimony is different. We didn’t think we could afford NOT to. Not because we had lots of excess money each month, but rather we had recently gone “all in” with our commitment to Christ. Nothing in our lives was more important than growing in our relationship with Him. Work, social engagements, sports, etc. were put second to Him. Notice we didn’t say finances. 

We were convicted with how can you say you trust God with your life, health, marriage and children but not your finances? How can you say to your children, “God will always provide,” if you are acting contrary by not tithing? To call ourselves Christians, to be true followers of Christ, and not follow God’s clear instruction to tithe made us walking hypocrites.

Could we afford it, no. But we often found money for things we couldn’t afford, so that really wasn’t a legitimate excuse. We decided that if God didn’t provide for our mortgage payment after we had given to Him, one of the pastors would have to provide us a comfortable couch to sleep on. It was then we took Malachi 3:10 out for a spin.

“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.”

It’s not often you get to test God, so if He says to test Him, who are we to not listen? 

Did we start with 10%, no, but we started with something that was uncomfortable and scary? It’s not fair to say we trust Him with something we could fit into the budget. We needed to start with an amount that forced us to put our faith in God to provide. 

Every time we’ve had an increase in finances we’ve increased our giving. There have been random increases that would make no sense if trying to understand by a human standard. God handled the IRS for us on multiple occasions. Every time God provided money we gave back to Him and He has truly opened the floodgates of blessings.

We don’t tithe to AFBC because we want to see our pastors employed. We TITHE to GOD. AFBC is just who God has gifted our money to. Our tithing isn’t contingent on anything other than our relationship with Christ and our commitment to loving Him the best we can and following His direction in all aspects of our life. We don’t give because of the tax break at tax time. We give because nothing we have is ours, everything is His to start with and we are more interested in our eternal kingdom in heaven than anything on earth.

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