Stretch My Little Bit
Vonyee lives in coastal Northeast Florida. She came to know the Lord Jesus Christ as a senior in college. She is a woman who loves to help others find and follow their life’s purpose. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, knitting, and writing.
Malachi 3:10 (ESV) “Bring the full tithe into the storehouse that there may be food in my house. And thereby put Me to the test, say the Lord of Hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need. . .”
Luke 6:38 (ESV) “Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”
I grew up hearing and believing Malachi 3:10. God says “Bring the full tithe”. He says that if you do then you can test Him. As we bring our 10% of income to our local church, God rains down blessings. In verse 11 of that chapter, He says “I will rebuke the devourer for you so that it will not destroy the fruits of your soil . . .” As we give, He also holds back the devil. During my childhood, I watched my parents give in accordance with this scripture. I saw God provide as my dad moved from working as a bus mechanic to a bus driver safety consultant within a matter of months. I truly believe that it wasn’t just my dad’s hard work but more importantly the fact that he continued to give out of his little bit.
In my 20’s and 30’s, I constantly asked God to “stretch my little bit” for my finances. I had jobs that did not pay much and sometimes it was a choice between gas to get to work and buying food. I always chose gas. Food was unimportant. During that same time, I was enrolled in a debt management program through the local women’s center. The counselor for the program reviewed my bills and other expenses. The list of expenses included tithes and offerings to my local church. The counselor recommended that I put that money toward one of my debts. He counted tithes and offerings as unnecessary discretionary spending. I explained that this was a non-negotiable expense. It was the first time I defended the need to give ten percent plus to my local church. It was not the last. What the counselor did not understand was that Malachi 3:10 was a command with a promise. I stood on that command and promise. Paying my tithes opened the door for God to bless my finances and more.
As I grew in my walk of faith, the Lord brought another scripture to my attention as I continued to ask Him to “stretch my little bit”. I was not asking for finances this time. I asked for extension of my strength (both physical and mental); for grace, for peace, and for a host of other intangibles. The new scripture was Luke 6:38. Like Malachi 3:10, Luke 6:38 is a command with a promise. The command was “Give” while the promise “it will be given to you.” Again, like Malachi, the scripture promises that it will be over and above what we have given. I put my faith into action. I paid my tithes, gave offerings, and shared out of the little of whatever bit I had. A friend told “Giving does not always mean giving out of your finances.” I gave a stamp because I had one (no charge). I babysat a friend’s young son while she worked on her dissertation. I gave grace to others when I wanted to feel offended by their actions. I saw God show up time after time and again. God stretched my little bit. I had more money to give. I had more time to spend helping others. I had more grace for others as they moved toward their God ordained destiny.
Lord Jesus, please stretch my resources. Give me more as I share out of both my abundance and my little bit! Help me Lord knowing it is You who works in me both to will and to do Your good pleasure. Amen!
Your Turn: With Easter around the corner, how do you honor Our Risen King with your tithes, and or resources? Do you have a faith story to share? How has God stretched your “little bit”? How have you blesses others out of your abundance?