Testimony on Finance
When I was a little boy, my parents always gave me a quarter to but in the offering basket at church every week
When I grew up and began working full time, I had money taken out of my paycheck each week as a donation to the United Way. Then when someone called asking us to donate to their cause, I would say “I gave at the office.”
Many years went by and this was the only giving of finances I participated in.
After Dianne and I were married in 1984, we decided to attend church with the children. Giving was done on a pledge basis—once a year the church would have financial campaign where they would explain the financial condition of the church and let us know how much we as a church body needed to give this year to meet our obligations and goals for the new year. They issued numbered envelopes so we would not forget to give all 52 weeks. Without them, many who skipped a Sunday, would skip giving for that week—only giving when they attended; kind of an entrance fee rather than an offering.
Before 1991 our business was going pretty well. We were paying our bills and food was on the table. However, the children and my mother-in-law did refer to me as cheap. We gave to various charities as well as our weekly pledge envelope.
After our encounter with God in 1991, we accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Our lives changed and we no longer fit at the church we were attended. We found a church that believed in the healing Dianne had received. It is there we learned about tithing.
Ten percent was a big commitment for me. I was used to $20 a week and our income was more than $200 a week. Using the old pledging philosophy, I took our 1040 gross income and divided it by 52 to come up with a weekly amount. Of course after deductions, this was not close to our actual income each week. But it was considerably more than that $20 per week.
Then we heard a message about gross versus net–do you want a gross blessing from God or a Net blessing. This got us thinking and we went to one of the pastors and asked how much we should give. When you run your own business and do not take a paycheck each week out of it, there is no gross/net to figure on. He told us to ask God. Although this was a good answer, I did not think so at the time. God didn’t talk to me and this whole tithing thing was intellectual to me–I was giving out of a need to give because I wanted to please God; I wanted to do what I was supposed to do to fit in.
Then we heard a message on the message in Malachi.
Malachi 3:8 "Should people cheat God? Yet you have cheated me! "But you ask, 'What do you mean? When did we ever cheat you?' "You have cheated me of the tithes and offerings due to me. You are under a curse, for your whole nation has been cheating me. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do," says the LORD Almighty, "I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won't have enough room to take it in! Try it! [Test me in this!] Let me prove it to you! Your crops will be abundant, for I will guard them from insects and disease. Your grapes will not shrivel before they are ripe," says the LORD Almighty.
God was getting to us. Our heart was beginning to take over and our giving increased.
In 1999 we felt led to form The Evans Ministries and have a weekly fellowship (we had been meeting weekly with others in our home ever since Dianne’s healing in 1991) as part of the ministry God had called us to.
We were meeting for a number of months, but nothing was opening up for us–we had our weekly meeting but doors were not opening for us to go out and minister, to give the message God had put on our heart to give.
I questioned God. I was thinking perhaps we had not heard correctly. Then we received a check for $54,000 from someone not involved with our weekly meeting. God had spoken and we knew that we knew we were to continue on the path we were on.
Out tithing was easier at this point. God had opened up a larger door at the college and I was receiving a regular paycheck. We gave off the GROSS amount. On the business side, we began to give on the checks being received from my computer consulting instead of on the estimated income after expenses.
Then we heard a message about the difference between tithes and offerings. When you don’t tithe, you are giving an offering. This is what we had been doing for years. And without the tithe, the offering is like seed planted on hard ground. The offering is above and beyond the tithe.
This was a new concept for us. Since then, when we have those weeks when we do not receive a check, we give an offering. When we see others in need, we give them our offering. We sow seed above and beyond our 10%.
Since then, our lives have never been without what we need.
We pay our tithe first, then we take care of ourselves and our bills. There is always enough left over. We give offerings above and beyond the tithe. And when things seem dark, when our ability to earn is shaken, He always comes through.
Extra work from book publisher when class canceled
Full time appointment at the college when income low
Asked to review books for major book publisher when one summer class was dropped
Asked to write a textbook after the temporary appointment was finished
Given additional Full Time appointments as we have needed them
Had the insurance company on site in FL after hurricane Charlie before anyone else, with money, and completed the restoration a year before many others
As we obey His Word, He makes a way where there does not seem to be one.