One time I had a chance to talk to a millionaire in Kenya. “Sir, I plan to be a millionaire just like you. What advice can you give me; something you wish you had done?”
He told me that the most important thing was giving, something many people would not consider as a way to build wealth.
He explained to me how most of the world’s religions emphasise and encourage people to give 10 per cent of their income to charity. Many people’s plans and schemes to become wealthy focus on ‘getting’ and forget about ‘giving’.
They are not based on a spiritual foundation. When God is in the equation and the right principles are applied, wealth – well-being and wholeness – is assured.
Constantly sow in the Kingdom of God and you will make the right decisions. The Bible gives an account of a woman from Shunem who persuaded Prophet Elisha to eat food in her house whenever he passed by.
Elisha prayed for her and she conceived and bore a son although they were an old couple. Unfortunately, the boy fell sick and died.
The mother went after Elisha and brought him to her house. He prayed for the boy and he came to life. Through her benevolence to the man of God, she received more than she had in life.
Practice the acts of giving and tithing. The word ‘tithe’ comes from an old English root meaning one-tenth. Tithing is the act of giving gratitude for the 100 per cent we received by leaving 10 per cent with our Source – that is, the person(s) or place(s) where we experience the presence of God in our lives.
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Traditionally, tithing has been associated with giving to the place of worship to which we belong.
According to American Minister Dr Catherine Ponder, often theologians have tended to stress what tithing would do for the church, instead of what it could do for the tither.
She says “systematic giving opens the way to systematic receiving.” When we see tithing as a spiritual practice, it is the tither who will be prospered and blessed although the recipient will be blessed too.
You need to note and understand the fact that tithe is holy and does not belong to you but to God; even though you may have it in your possession. What belongs to you is the 90 per cent.
“Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed me! But you say in what way have we robbed you? In tithes and offerings; you are cursed with a curse, for you have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house and try me in this, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing, that there will not be room enough to receive it.” (Malachi 3:8-10)
The word ‘blessings’ here means empowered to prosper while the word ‘curse’ connotes empowered to fail. Tithing is very important because it is a biblical test of faithfulness and stewardship and qualifies one to access God’s wealth and abundance. Abraham and Jacob were faithful tithers and their stewardship resulted in them becoming the richest men of their generations.
Tithing has everything to do with your heart and love for God. You tithe not because you ‘have to’ but because you ‘want to’. “And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes so that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field, says the Lord of Hosts.” (Malachi 3:11) There are great blessings that you will experience when you decide to be a faithful giver: 1) The church continues to be a blessing to you from a full storehouse and to disciple you and evangelise to the world. 2) Heaven will be open over you such that you will hear from the Lord and walk in his presence and power at all times.
3) The devourer will be rebuked and God will protect your finances from being ‘eaten away’ by Satan and the wicked financial systems of the world. 4) Your hard work will bear fruit; that is, your career, business, investments and other fields will be profitable, and prosperous and bring good returns.
Some of the prominent millionaires of the 20th Century attribute their extraordinary success to the practice of giving. For example, in 1855, as a young man, John D. Rockefeller began giving a tenth of his income.
His total income for that year was $95.00 from which he gave $9.50 to his church. Between 1855 and 1934, he gave away $531 million dollars. His standard reply to critics of his generosity was, “God gave me my money.”
It is said that ‘you can give without loving but you cannot love without giving’. If you really love God, be a faithful giver and try him in this and see him bless you.