Editor’s note: April is National Volunteer Month. All month, we’ll be featuring devotional thoughts from Buckner volunteers around Texas. If you’d like to browse our online database of current volunteer opportunities, click here.
“At the end of every three years, bring all the tithes of that year’s produce and store it in your towns, so that the Levites (who have no allotment or inheritance of their own) and the foreigners, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns may come and eat and be satisfied, and so that the Lord you God may bless you in all the work of your hands.” -Deuteronomy 14: 28-29
When I think about tithing, I usually think of money. In Deuteronomy, Moses is leading the Israelites to the Promised Land and God asked them to tithe “a tenth of all that your fields produce each year.” At the end of chapter 14, he then tells them the purpose of their tithe was to provide food for the Levites, the foreigners, the fatherless and the widows. Through the Israelites’ obedience to God, provision was made for those in need.
God doesn’t ask for our tithe because he needs it, he asks for it because our obedience allows us to experience His goodness. I've been thinking a lot about all the Buckner volunteers lately since April is National Volunteer Appreciation Month. They may not be thinking of their service as a form of a tithe, but I do. Their gift of time puts them in a place to be used as a tool in God’s redemptive work at Buckner.
Most of the volunteers I have met aren’t serving because they have an abundance of spare time. Many of them are volunteering on top of a full-time job, in the midst of college classes or while raising a family. Many of them drive to areas of town they have never been before to serve children and families with Buckner. They are motivated by ministry to give the “first fruits” of their time and energy to God’s work.
2 Corinthians 9:7 says that, “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” In a culture where time can be one of the most precious resources to give, I’m so grateful for more than 8,000 volunteers each year who give it so freely to the ministry at Buckner. Through your obedience and time, we are seeing God’s provision for children and families. Words cannot say thank you enough. Happy Volunteer Appreciation Month!
Lindsay Miller is the manager of volunteer engagement at Buckner.
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