"I dare you." That's essentially what God says in Malachi 3. He challenges the Israelites to give away their money and possessions. If they do so, he will provide them with more blessings than they will know what to do with. God dictates that we are to give back to him a portion of all his blessings to us. Keep it, and you rob God. Give it away, and you get it back.
It's one thing to claim to believe in doing it but quite another to actually follow through—to give away a portion of the money you have, the money you need. Brad Schumacher found himself challenged to act on his belief—but it wasn't easy.
It was Brad's junior year at Texas A&M University. As part of the city's Big Brother program, Brad met once a week with 16-year-old Steve, who had no father at home and had been in and out of juvenile detention. Steve and his mom lived in government housing and struggled to make ends meet.
One week while Steve and Brad were having dinner together, Steve explained that the electric company was threatening to shut off the electricity in their apartment because his mom couldn't pay the bill. Brad asked, "How much do you need to pay it?" Steve's answer: thirty dollars.
Brad swallowed hard. He had exactly thirty dollars in his wallet, but it was all he had to live on for a week. Then he thought of Steve’s family and handed over the money.
The next day Brad’s friend asked him to repair her father’s computer. Brad did so gladly, and it only took him a few minutes. But his friend’s father considered the work highly valuable and insisted on paying Brad for it. The amount? Thirty dollars.
Brad smiled. He knew this was no coincidence. It was God keeping his promise.