“In addition, he required the people in Jerusalem to bring a portion of their goods to the priests and Levites, so they could devote themselves fully to the Law of the LORD. When the people of Israel heard these requirements, they responded generously by bringing the first share of their grain, new wine, olive oil, honey, and all the produce of their fields. They brought a large quantity—a tithe of all they produced.” 2 Chronicles 31:4-5 NLT. http://bible.com/116/2ch.31.4-5.nlt
How strange would it be for the American public to pay their taxes with joy? That's exactly what was going on here in Israel. Hezekiah gave generously himself and the people of his kingdom responded in kind. We do everything we can to get out of paying our taxes. We find every loophole and even resort to some dishonesty to keep our money. I/We blame this on our inept government. I am in that camp. Our government is full of waste and abuse. This mega-beauracracy of the US government is not good at running anything. That's why I'm for smaller government. But, Christians withhold their tithe the same way they withhold their taxes.
As Christians, nothing we own belongs to us. Everything belongs to the Lord. Do we live that way? Or do we try to find every loophole and hide everything we have from our Lord? Generosity, the joy of giving is just not the norm in our society. Giving back when we have so much is rare even in the center of our faith communities. We need to re-examine our money, our resources, and commit everything we have to the Lord. Our time, our energy, our money, and our lives need to be 100% devoted to Christ. Are we "all in" or do we withhold some of our precious life from the lord?
Dear Lord, I love you and beg your forgiveness for my selfish attitude. I am fully devoted to you. I am ashamed that I do not give more and give with more joy. I owe everything to you and all of the stuff I have is meaningless without you. Forgive me. Guide me and my giving. Guide my heart to you. Amen!