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Should you really tithe during hardships?

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“The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.” Psalm 23:1

Good morning dear children, my young friends.

It is yet again a new week, a blessed opportunity to hear from each other, and to bless the Lord with the service of our hands. Last week, we were discussing giving and tithing and at the end of my message I told you that this week I’d like to talk to you about the biblical story of Prophet Elijah. When in a very difficult time of famine, God sent him to the household of a widow who was hungry herself and left with only one day’s meal provision to make that last meal and eat it with her son and die.

Prophet Elijah, having walked with God all his life, never ever questioned God’s directives. Many times he found himself living in very difficult circumstances. But God was always with him.

So this time, God told Elijah to go to the widow in Zarephath and God said: “I have commanded a widow there to sustain you.”

The Biblical story goes like this:

“Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. See, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.” – 1 Kings 17:9 (AMPC)

Indeed, when Elijah got there, the widow happened to be at the gate of the city, and she was busy gathering firewood. Elijah called to her and asked her for a cup of water. She was willing and as she turned to go for the water, Elijah also asked for a slice of bread. That’s when she said, “Hey man! I don’t have bread, only a handful of flour in a bin and a little oil in a jar. As you can see, I am just gathering ‘a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son that we may eat it and die.”

This is where Elijah, the man of God, also said to her, “Do not fear: go and do as you have said, but make me a small cake fruit FIRST and bring it to me, and afterward make some for yourself and your son.”

Here, I want you guys to note that Elijah told the widow to give him first and then herself and her son. This widow, by God’s grace, believed in God and also trusted the words of Elijah, to serve him first. That’s how she was blessed with a miracle. As Elijah said to the widow, “For thus says the Lord God of Israel: The bin of flour shall not be used up, nor shall the jar of oil run dry, until the day the Lord sends rain on the Earth.”

You do realise that it may have been difficult for the widow to serve a stranger with the only food she was left with, even before her own son. But her belief in God was the reason Elijah came in the first place. God may have fed Elijah with manna from Heaven as He did with the children of Israel in the wilderness; in fact, there had been other times when God fed Elijah with bread and water when he was out in the wild sleeping alone. God would wake him up to eat, and there would be bread and water in the flask waiting for him. Therefore, Elijah did not have to come to the widow, but God wanted to save the widow and her son, so He sent Elijah. However, if the widow did not have the strong belief in God to obey the message of Elijah, her blessing would have passed her by.

That’s why I’d like to say to @nyansiephinah who informed me last week that she has 200 chickens, but because she has no market for her chickens, she cannot give anything to God. I want to say to that daughter of mine: do you doubt that God can find market for you?

But you see, it takes prayer and trust in God.

So I’d like to advise you to pray for wisdom that God shows you the way forward and don’t stop praying every day until you get a breakthrough for your 200 chickens. When you do, let all of us know what God has done for you, and also remember the tithe!

I pray God will be gracious to you all, so that our country Uganda can find a way to God’s blessings for your generation.

Maama Janet K. Museveni

First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports.


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