Looking for Adventure? – Try a Life of Faith….
By Rob Hull
The 700 Club
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CBN.com —Russ Smith was a sheet metal worker with a good job. He was at church when he first heard that God asks us to tithe ten percent of our income, and he wasn’t too happy about it.
“I said a quiet prayer to God and said, ‘okay, if you give me the money I’ll tithe,” remembers Russ. “And He kept coming back, ‘no, you tithe and I’ll give you the money.’ I became angry and indignant and I looked at God and said, ‘fine, I’ll tithe and give you ten percent of every penny I pick up and when I am broke and on the street and when I don’t have any food to eat I can tell you I told you so.’”
His resistance didn’t last long.
“About six weeks later, I got a job making three times what I was making at that time,” says Russ. “It was all about God and Him honoring my tithe even though in the beginning I was indignant and disrespectful.”
A few years later Russ married Rose and they started a blended family. She was a little skeptical about the idea of tithing, but Russ insisted, and soon she saw how faithful God was.
“I wasn’t a hundred percent on board,” remembers Rose. ”I was nervous because I was concerned at how are we going to pay for tithing and bills and taking care of the kids and all that. Somehow something just kinda comes through and we go, ‘oh, okay Lord, I am listening.’ God has come through for us tremendously in more ways than I can even express.”
On top of tithing to their church, Russ and Rose give to CBN.
“The 700 Club is one of the most wonderful things I’ve come across,” says Russ. “The stories are encouraging, and the opportunity that I have to give to the 700 Club and see how the money is benefiting other people who are really in need is important.”
“Seeing the water wells being dug, that is just phenomenal,” adds Rose.
In 2008 Russ was laid off from his job. As their personal finances became a challenge they considered stopping their pledge to CBN.
“The thing that came to mind was if I choose to do that, then where’s my faith for one, and two, if there ever was a time when we needed to be disciplined about the amount of money that we were offering to the 700 Club, then it would have to be now,” says Russ.
“I felt like I just had a peace come over me that just made me understand that God was going to take care of us and that you know, stop fretting, stop worrying about it,” says Rose.
“I was concerned until I realized it all belongs to God anyway. He’s the one that provided it and He’s the one that will continue to provide for our family so I need to put my faith in Him and not in the money that I have saved,” says Russ.
As they continue to give, God continues to provide. Russ now teaches skateboarding lessons and does odd jobs while looking for full-time work. Rose has started her own house cleaning business. They see their obedience to tithe intertwined with God’s faithfulness to provide.
“Tithing is not just obedience; it is an opportunity to live by faith,” says Russ. “To take your trust out of the hands of what you can do or what your money can do and put it in the hands of God. And he is absolutely taking care of every need we’ve had.”
Being obedient to God's truth made an incredible difference for this family. They made themselves available for God's love to flow through them to others, and they are reaping a blessing themselves as well. Join them in partnering with CBN. You will make a difference in lives around the world, through medical missions, food and clothing programs, humanitarian outreaches and so much -- all in the name of Jesus.
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