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So Much Blessing

    Dec 19, 2021 | by The Fellowship

    As we think back on how God has moved in our lives, my husband and I are beyond amazed!  God has given us so much more than we could hope -- a family of friends we love so much, security, peace in our hearts, gratitude, and purpose for our lives.

    Though believers who have lived in this area over 25 years, we attended a number of churches -- but never really committed to any of them. Then a family member started attending The Fellowship, so we decided to check it out.

    Our plan was to remain as anonymous as possible, to just slip in each week without giving any information or making any connections. When we walked in for the first time, there was no inkling of how our lives were about to rotate 180 degrees.

    Right away we noticed that the sermons were speaking directly to us.  “Do they have a listening device in our home?” we wondered.  It seemed to be uncanny how what was going on in our lives was being addressed in the Sunday messages. 

    After three months we decided this church was for real and it would be OK to fill out an information card.  That week a member of the church gave us a call and said she was coming over to meet us.  My husband said to me, “I told you I just wanted to stick my toes in the water, not dive in!”  But like a whirlwind this lady had us going out to lunch with them and we joined a LIFE Group.   This group of people has become our family – because our relatives all live very far away.  And the Lord keeps on drawing us closer to him.  It was not long before we professed our faith in Jesus as our Savior and Lord and were baptized!

    Fast forward to the recent message series on the importance of giving to the Lord’s work through the church and helping others.  My father was a child of the depression, and I was raised to be very cautions with money, feeling a need to save up as much as possible.  My husband and I had been giving for some time to The Fellowship through online deductions -- more modestly at first and then with gradual increases.  But not nearly as much as the tithe which is the standard set by God in His Word!

    Pastor Brian said some things during the message series about the importance of obeying God in everything, including giving, that made me a bit uncomfortable.  When asked to take the 90-day challenge to tithe, my husband said we needed to do it and I, knowing it was going to be a stretch, left it up to him to figure out how.  But we prayed and put it in God’s hands. 

    Over several months, we have been paying toward a vacation planned for early 2022, and the next payment was due.  A week after our 90-day tithing commitment, my husband called the company.  “You do not owe us a thing,” they said.  “Your account has been paid in full!”  My husband could not believe what he was hearing.  After further questioning, he learned that the balance had been paid by his boss.  He tried to reimburse his boss and argued fervently with him.  But his boss said, “I can give you the same amount of money as a bonus on which you will have to pay taxes -- or I can gift it to you this way!  Either way, I am giving this to you.”  My husband was almost in tears when he called to tell me.

    But God was not through yet.  In my job, I contract with numerous vendors to provide services.  One of them, who typically gives me a gift at Christmas (like nice lotions or wine), a few days ago handed me a Christmas card.  I did not think much about it.  When opening it later, I discovered it contained numerous Visa cards of sizable amounts.  Right away I knew God was providing so that we could help and bless others – like a friend who is struggling to pay her bills this month.   What an incredible blessing!

    I want to emphasize again that God’s blessings are so much more than just monetary.  As Pastor Brian says, “We do not give to get.”  But when we obey God and put Him first in our lives, the blessings and the joy are unbelievable!

    Grateful Challenged Tithers

    “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse… Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty,”
    and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much
    blessing that you will not have room enough for it.” 
    Malachi 3:10

     

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