There is something about giving from the heart which touches God’s heart. A missionary was sitting in his hut in Africa, when he heard a knock on the door. He opened it to find a little boy with a huge fish in his hands. The missionary said to the child, “What in the world are you doing with that big fish?”

The child looked up at the missionary and said, “You have been teaching about tithing, and this is my tithe.”

“Well, thank you, that really means a lot, but where are the other nine fish?”

“They are still in the river. I am going back down there right now to catch them.”

This little boy understood the importance of giving to the Lord. We should follow his example in our giving. Nothing cheers the heart of God more than seeing His children cheerfully give to Him, but we will only give cheerfully if we understand why we do it. Tithing is simply the dedication of a tenth of our income to God. The practice is first found in Scripture during the time of Abraham. While not a requirement for Christians today, tithing is an act of faith which affirms our belief that living on 90% with God’s blessing is better than living on 100% without it. It is also an acknowledgement that God owns everything we possess.

Maybe you are reluctant to give 10% of your already-stretched income to the Lord. You are worried that if you try tithing, you will soon fall behind on your bill payments. Are you willing to put God’s faithfulness to the test? The new year is a great time to get started with tithing. Try it for a month, and see if God cannot provide for your needs. When you put first things first, your faith will not be in vain.

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.