The Miracles of Tithing from GROSS Income
The Inspiration to Tithe from Gross Income
In 2006, I experienced many incredible miracles related to tithing (giving 10% of my salary to the church). The miracles, amazing as they were, were related to tithing from my NET income. A new revelation has now come to me, that is to tithe from GROSS income. The reasoning is as follows:
What we truly receive is GROSS income;
The government taxes the GROSS income at a percentage usually larger than 10%. The tax is often done at source, leaving us with NET in hand.
With God, however, He allows His 10% to remain with us to see if He could trust us to return it to Him.
As I pondered on this, I realised if the government gets taxes from my gross income, why shouldn't God also get tithe from my gross? After all, God has done far more for me than what the government could ever do. So, this inspired me to tithe to God from my gross income as of now (August 2009). I told Him that I was doing this because I love Him so much that I wanted to love Him more than He loves me (as in a friendly competition :-) ).
The Miracle of Tithing from Gross Income
As usual, God responded to my heart for tithing; this was the sequence of events that took place:
I learnt about tithing from gross income on Thursday and made a decision to do so;
I worked and logged out of my computer on Friday;
I gave my tithe with all the love I could muster on Saturday;
I logged into work on Sunday evening to check my emails, and saw that one of the big bosses, the Director of the Knowledge Management Department in the United States had written to me, and given me an award of £310.
This was an incredible recognition from someone so high up who barely knew me. The award was sent to me on Friday morning (US time) which is equivalent to Friday around midnight where I was (well after I left work). This was the reason why I hadn't seen it when I logged out on Friday; not until I logged back in on Sunday.
A Beautiful Conclusion
God saw the intentions of my heart to honour and to love Him with my tithing (from GROSS income), so He honoured me back in love. He did it in such a beautiful way as to beat me to it! He blessed me with an award BEFORE I even gave my tithe, but He didn't let me see it until AFTER I gave.
The award and recognition were amazing, but there was something more; something mind blowing in the whole experience of competing with God in love. I wanted to love God more than He loves me. Of course, I could never win as God is an eternal being without limits to His power, and I am a human being with limitations in every aspect.
His blessing me first before I gave my tithe showed His superior love for me. He won! However, what was wonderful was that He was courteous enough to let me try to compete with Him, to out-love Him, knowing full well He would out-manoeuvre me in a clever, and timely way. He also made losing to Him an indescribable experience; one that filled my eyes with tears of joy!
A Continuation: The Multicoloured Coat
The story didn't end there, something else happened. The £310 award came in the form of a voucher that could only be spent / redeemed at a certain fashion shop. It could not be exchanged for cash, so I had to spend as much of it as possible (preferably all of it). As I visited the shop, I looked at all the things they had, but things were either too cheap or too expensive, and it was difficult working out several items that I could buy to make up the £310.
Just as I was about to give up working things out, I spotted an area in the shop that I had not browsed. It was a small area in the corner, tucked away from the rest of the shop. As I approached the corner, a coat caught my eye. It was the most beautiful coat I had ever seen. It was multicoloured, designed by Desigual. There were a few there, and all of them were unique. One particular one stood out from the rest, I took it and tried it on, it fitted perfectly. I looked at the price, it was £310....
"What?!", I thought, "This must be what God wanted me to buy!"
So, I bought it.
The coat has been with me for several years now. Every time I wore it, it would attract so much attention from people that they would come to chat to me. The coat is an ice breaker! What a way to get to know people, and to love them with God's love.
© Photos by Robert Larsen
God's Fatherly Love
One day, as I was preparing for a tithing sermon, I looked back at this miracle of tithing from gross income, and realised something amazing that I had missed all these years.
This multicoloured coat that God had led me to buy is reminiscent of another ornate robe in the Bible - that of Joseph's. Indeed, Joseph was given one by his father because his father loved him dearly (Genesis 37:3). In the same way, God was trying to tell me He loves me dearly, and that He is my Father. So, in fact, God had out-loved me in two ways: the timing of the award and voucher above, and this coat! It was a double whammy of a win for God!
Now, whenever I wear the coat, a special meaning enters my heart - it reminds of how God has out-loved me. The memory of this brings tears to my eyes because it really was an indescribable experience.
Bird Poo Marking
Then another thing happened. One day as I was wearing the coat, I looked at myself in the mirror, and thought I saw what looked like a white bird poo on it (see above right picture, front panel of the coat, underneath the red block of fabric). I started to wipe it clean, but the mark wouldn't go away. When I looked more closely, it was actually a white thread that had been woven into the coat as part of the pattern. I laughed out loud, not only because I had mistaken it for a bird poo, but also because I knew God wanted me to think it was a bird poo; a marking, that yet again signified His love for me (see my bird/pigeon poo story). This was such a funny story showing God's excellent sense of humour.
In all this, I realised that it wasn't a double whammy of a win for God, but a triple whammy! Wow! His love is just so incredible! I love Him more and more as I see how He works in my life. But even so, my love could never exceed His for me. What an amazing God He is - Praise be to Him!
© Elma Larsen. All rights reserved.