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Illustration by Sarah Duvivier.

March 2, 2020

God Keeps His Promises

Again and again throughout my life, I have seen how faithful God is in keeping His promise in Malachi 3:10. As we return to Him that which is His, He does open the windows of heaven because He cannot lie (see Titus 1:2).

My first recollection of God’s faithfulness goes back to when I was a child. My parents were committed to being a single income family so my mother could be home with us children. They also were determined that each of us four children receive a Seventh-day Adventist Christian education through college. My mother did not go back to teaching church school until my youngest brother entered the first grade.

Because we were a single-income family, there were not many extras, yet we had all we needed with God’s blessings because my parents were faithful in returning to God His tithe and offerings. We had plenty to eat, clothes to wear, a comfortable home, and a car that lasted from 1955 until my parents could afford a new one in 1969, after my mother completed her first year back teaching church school.

I remember my parents teaching me while I was young to return tithe and offerings to God out of my earnings from odd jobs, mowing lawns and delivering newspapers. As far back as I can remember, I have re- turned tithe and offerings to God.

Why do I write “return” tithe and offerings to God rather than “paying” tithe and offerings? David writes, The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein (Psalm 24:1 NKJV). Since the earth, its fullness, and those who live on it are all God’s, how much does that leave for us to own? Paul reminds us, Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit Who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; there- fore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s (I Corinthians 6:19, 20 NKJV). Since we and all we have belongs to God, how can we “pay” tithe and offerings? All we can do is return to Him that which is His.

Shortly before graduating from the ministerial program at Southwestern Adventist University, I had the opportunity to bid on a small home in Keene which was being sold by the Texas Conference. Prayerfully, I submitted a sealed bid. I learned after the bids were opened that I had been outbid. However, the next morning, I received a telephone call from the conference treasurer letting me know that the number one bidder had backed out and I was the number two bidder. He wanted to know if I still wanted the house. I told him, “Yes!” Later I learned that my bid was $10 higher than the number three bidder and $15 higher than the number four bidder. God was faithful! By His grace, my bid was high enough, but not too high as the house needed a great deal of work. When the time came to move to another district, sweat equity in this home provided enough to purchase another home.

And so, the equity grew from houses one through three. When the time came to sell house number four (because of a move to another district), the Texas economy had taken a huge hit due to the oil economy. The downturn in the housing market wiped out all the equity and then some that had been gained from the sale of our previous houses. Then came another move to another district in a new conference in southern Oklahoma. House number four was still unsold and two payments were being made. For about four years, two house payments were made, not one was missed! After returning tithes and offerings, God had blessed the remainder unbelievably, and all our needs were cared for. There was great rejoicing, though, when house number four finally sold!

Sometimes there appears to be more expenses or more month than there is money. This situation can be intensified if a job is lost over Sabbath issues. In these situations, it can be tempting to think, “I can’t afford to return tithe and offerings to God.” When that temptation comes, remember Jesus’ promises, But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you (Matthew 6:33 NKJV). What are the “things” Jesus is talking about? — food, drink, shelter and clothes. In other words, our necessities. The truth is, unless we put God first, we cannot be assured that even our necessities will be met.

Since coming to serve God and His people in Indiana, we have had several major experiences where God opened the windows of Heaven for us. The first was the opportunity to serve God and His people in Indiana. That has been a blessing in so many ways and we thank God for this opportunity! He provided a pre-qualified buyer who made us a great offer for our home in Oklahoma. Because of God’s blessing, our home sold within seven months of coming to Indiana. We then prayed for and God provided a wonderful country home for our family, enabling us to live in harmony with the counsel given us as a people.

Are you willing to try Him, to put Him to the test? If so, I feel confident He will open the windows of Heaven so wide you will not be able to receive what He has in store for you! I am confident because He has done that for me!

 

Another experience we had involved a two-vehicle accident in which our car was totaled. My wife and I and our two children were unharmed nor was the other driver, for which we praise the Lord! In this instance, the other half of God’s opening the windows of Heaven for us was that He provided an identical replacement with about half of the miles of our wrecked car for only $800 more than was covered by insurance.

Are you skeptical, wondering how God will keep His promises to you? He says, “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of Heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it” (Malachi 3:10 NKJV).

Are you willing to try Him, to put Him to the test? If so, I feel confident He will open the windows of Heaven so wide you will not be able to receive what He has in store for you! I am confident because He has done that for me! 


Vialo Weis Jr. serves God and the Indiana Conference as Planned Giving & Trust Services director, Public Affairs and Religious Liberty director, Stewardship director, and Association secretary.