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TIGHT BUDGET TITHING

If you believe that you canít afford to tithe right now because you canít afford it Ö Iíve got good news for you. Now is the best time! I have a question for you: Whoís tithe meant more to Jesus when He was watching the people in the Temple throw their money into the treasury? 

Mark 12:41-44
And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. And He called unto Him His disciples, and saith unto them,
Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.

Was it the people who could afford it or the poor widowís tithe that Jesus admired? If you wait until you can afford it, what sacrifice are you making? In fact, if youíre not affected Ö If you donít feel like youíve surrendered anything when you tithe Ö If you donít feel somewhat humbled, youíre not giving enough ... IF you believe Jesusí Words from this story. 

Tithing IS sacrifice. It is giving a gift to God because He gives you so much. How does He feel when you say Ö Lord, wait until I have more than enough, then Iíll give as you have asked. That story would have a totally different ending if instead, the poor widow dropped a note in the treasury that said: Maybe next time, Lord ...

Proverbs 3:9-10 
Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.

Does this mean that your tithes should be the first thing you pay? If you did, perhaps your barns would be filled with plenty and your presses bursting with new wine, and you wouldnít be thinking that you canít afford to do as God has asked of us.

How often should a person tithe? Search your heart on this one my friends. What do you think God expects? One thing I can tell you is that in the Bible, tithes are one tenth of all. If youíre saying to yourself, Man, I canít afford that much Ö Congratulations friend, youíre eligible to receive the kind of recognition that a poor old widow got from Jesus Ö If you make the decision to sacrifice Ö BEFORE you can afford it. Whether your gift is $5 or $500 ... God promises a blessing. 

Iíd like to bring to your attention to the Word of God through the prophet Malachi:

Malachi 3:10
Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of Hosts, if I will not open you the windows of Heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

Well, that's all great and groovy, you might say, But where am I supposed to get the money to tithe on a tight budget? 

In our day and age, the cost of living seems to be going up faster than our wages, so budgeting is a must for most people. One thing you can be certain of, is that God understands how much of a sacrifice your tithing is, and that's also why He appreciates it even more when you have to put more effort (sacrifice) into giving your gift.

It's all about attitude!

2 Corinthians 9:7
Every man according as he purposeth in his heart (intentionally, not forced), so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a
cheerful giver.

Many people just throw their hands up in the air and give up on tithing, figuring that what they can afford isn't enough, but your offering, no matter the amount, shows God your willingness. I'd like to share some of Paul's second letter to the Corinthians with you, but first I'd like to give you a little background.

 In his first letter to the people of Corinth, he asked the Christians to save whatever they could on the first day of each week for the collection of the Saints. This collection was a pledge of sorts, being that Paul wouldnít be there to actually collect it for some time. Then, Paulís visit was postponed and an entire year had passed, so Paul wrote to announce his newly scheduled visit saying, Okay, itís time to give what youíve saved for the Saints ... Remember, we talked about it before. Then he assures them that if they were doing this with genuine generosity (a willing mind is what Paul called it) any amount given was acceptable.

2 Corinthians 8:10-12
And herein I give my advice: for this is expedient for you, who have begun before, not only to do, but also to be forward a year ago. Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that which ye have. For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.

You see, Paul knew that just like today, circumstances would arise for the people to spend their money on other things, but if you have an eager attitude ... If you can't wait to give to GOD'S purpose, because you know how the Lord feels about it ... If you can't wait to give your effort, your sacrifice, your offering, your gift to God, how much easier is it actually complete or perform the doing thereof?

You can perform what God has asked ya know!

I'm gonna show you how to get started. First of all give your tithing program a name. Here are some suggestions:

Blessings On A Budget
Tin Can Tithing
Gifts for God
Jar of Generosity

You can come up with a clever idea of your own if you like, I'm sure you can come up with a great one. The next thing to do is to get a can or a jar or an envelope and write down the name of your tithing program on it. That's the second hardest part ... But the hardest part of this is not actually finding the money to give, but putting the money in the jar! If you procrastinate, you WILL spend the money on something else instead.

Now I'm going to give you a list of things you can do, to save $2 a month. If you do only 5 of these things, once a month, you will have $10 to tithe! After the first month, you'll be finding dozens of ways you can save a buck here and there, and the amount of your next tithe will surprise you.

Before we get started, I want to encourage you to write us with any suggestions you may have for others who are on a budget but want to begin tithing, like yourself ... For instance: teens, stay at home wives, elderly, homebound, and anyone else who may feel like tithing is difficult to afford for any reason.

One more suggestion. For those who pay for things by check, it may be best if you actually make an entry in your register for the savings that you plan to tithe, each time you save, then write one check at the end of the month for your tithe. To keep a visual record for yourself though, and so you can keep track of where you stand, also write down the amount you save and how, on a small slip of paper and put it in your jar, can or envelope.

Ready? Here we go!

Save $2 per month for tithing by:
Giving up a magazine subscription. Read your Bible instead, or read the Christian Walk Studies at Christianity Oasis during the times when you'd normally be reading your magazine. On large amounts like this that you want to spread out through the year, write yourself that check for $24 that you would spend on a year subscription, cash it and put it in a special envelope that you can take $2 out of each month for your tithe.

Save $2 per month for tithing by:
Looking in the Food section of the newspaper, the weekend coupon section, or there are also many places on the web where you can even print your own manufacturer's coupons for groceries. Sometimes on the packages or inside the packages themselves of the items you buy, there may be coupons you can use. Each time you go to the store and use them, put the amount of money you saved into your container for tithing and/or subtract it from your check register. You can certainly find $2/month worth of coupons for the things you buy ... that's only one 50Ę coupon per week! The hardest part ... actually putting that savings in your jar.

Save $2 per month for tithing by:
Switching from name brand to generic on a few things that you normally buy. This can really add up on things like over the counter medicines, lotions, shampoos, detergents, etc. You'll find that the ingredients are EXACTLY the same, only the prices are different ... and drastically I might add. Put the money you save into your jar, and/or subtract the amount you save from your check register and put your slip of paper in your jar.

Save $2 per month for tithing by:
Doing the "wants" or "needs" check once a month at the grocery check out. When you're waiting in line for the cashier, take a good look at all the things in your basket and ask yourself, Do I really need this, or is it just something I want? Is it something I can live without so that I can feel better in my heart about giving more to God? Go ahead and take it out of your basket and leave it right there next to the Chicklets. Don't worry, they pay people to put those things back in the aisles where they belong. Don't forget to put that money you didn't spend on those un-necessities into your tithing jar and/or keep up with your check register.

Save $2 per month for tithing by:
Going to the Dollar Store! You'll be astonished at how much you can save if you go to the Dollar Store once a month. Soon you'll be going once a week instead and saving scads of dough! Be sure to put it where it goes!

Save $2 per month for tithing by:
Cooling it! You wouldn't believe it if you watched your electric meter spin while you use appliances that produce heat! Hair dryers, the dry cycle on your dishwasher, clothes dryers, irons ... whew! Once a month, let your dishes air dry, hang your clothes out to dry, and/or let your hair dry by itself (that heat isn't good for it anyway). You're sure to save more than two bucks! Did you put it in your jar?

REMINDER:
If you don't put your savings in the jar each time you save it, when it comes time to tithe, you'll find that you've spent your savings elsewhere.

REMEMBER WHAT WE WERE TAUGHT ...
Perform the doing thereof!

Save $2 per month for tithing by:
Switching containers? Switching from individual bottles of drinking water to gallons is sure to save at least $2 per month. If you already use gallons, you can save even more by refilling your own containers from the machines that are usually located at the entrance of many supermarkets. Don't forget to keep track of your savings for your tithe.

Save $2 per month for tithing by:
Making your own ice once a month if you usually buy bags of ice at the store. Plunk two George Washingtons in the jar!

Save $2 per month for tithing by:
Printing your own greeting cards instead of giving the money to Hallmark. (Saves you a trip to the store where you'd probably buy something else you don't need, too!)

Save $2 per month for tithing by:
Banking online. Do you pay more than 15 bills by mail each month? If so, it could save you money to pay your bills online. If your bank charges $5.95/mo. service fee for online banking, that's about the same as 15 stamps, so every 5 stamps after that, you're saving $2. Tithe it!

Well, that's enough to save $20/month to tithe. Pretty painless, huh?

Here are some other things that you may consider giving up 2 dollars worth of, each month:

Cigarettes
Make your own with pre-made paper tubes and loose tobacco.
You can save a considerable amount of money for tithing by doing this. To give you an idea: A carton of cigarettes costs around $45-50 OR MORE nowadays. To make your own, costs about 20 bucks. That's $25-$30 per carton that you can tithe! Oh, you have a small initial investment for the little machine that stuffs the tobacco into the tubes, but in the long run, it's a fortune that's not going up in smoke, but you can think of it as a different kind of burnt offering. Or check into those newfangled electronic smokes.

Gourmet Coffee

Chips

Cookies

Pizza

Theater movies

Movie rentals

Ice Cream

Long distance phone calls

Soda

Candy

Lottery Tickets

Restaurant meals

Super sizing it

Chewing gum

 

Even though most people feel they can't afford to tithe, they feel like they can afford these luxuries. I won't mention cell phones because of the emergency factor, but you have to wonder:
 
1) How did people live without cell phones for so long? 
and 
2) How often are they really used for emergencies as compared to convenience?

 


More tithing suggestions:


Interested in interest? Tithe the interest that you make on a certain bank account.

Tithe part of your allowance if you're a teen.

Tithe a portion of your income tax return, (only if you're getting money back, thank you very much).

Tithe the money from your glass bottle and aluminum can deposits.

Tithe your loose change at the end of each day.

Tithe part of your babysitting money, birthday money, Christmas money, lawn mowing money, etc.

Sell any of your jewelry that doesn't represent God and tithe the money.

 

You see, it's easy to tithe ... all you need is an earnest attitude!

 2 Corinthians 9:7
Every man according as he purposeth in his heart (intentionally, not forced), so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth
a cheerful giver.

Don't forget to e-mail your ideas and we'll add them to the list!

 

IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS
YOU CAN CONTACT US AT:

 

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