Read This Week’s Passage: Malachi 3:7–12
We live in world where there is a lack of transparency. Whether it be in government, families, marriages, or business relationships, there seems to be trend in which people are hiding pertinent information. Everyone, it seems, is hiding something. The fact is that information is power, and the one who manipulates information can be put in a position to abuse power.
God is the most powerful Being in the universe, not only in terms of physical might but also because He has all the information. Yet God chooses the path of transparency and openness in how He decides our eternal salvation.After receiving the Adventist message in the 1940s through Daniel Lewis, the first Adventist missionary to Albania, Sister Meropi Gjika, got caught in the religious oppression of her country.
For more than 40 years, Gjika had three dreams and got to see two of them happen in her lifetime. The first was to her baptism. Having waited fifty years, she eventually went into the watery grave when Communist rule ended. Her second dream was to see the construction of an Adventist church building in Tirana, her hometown. Though she never saw it with her own eyes, the Tirana-Center Adventist Church was eventually inaugurated in 2017, years after her death. Her third and most well-known desire was to return her tithe and offerings to the church. For exactly 46 years she had no contact with the outside Adventist church, yet she heeded the biblical principle of stewardship and set aside her tithe and offerings. Though Albania was one of the poorest countries in Eastern Europe, she never “borrowed” from this fund but placed the money in biscuit tins that she hid under her bed.
Gjika read three chapters of the Bible each day and five on Sabbath. Through her devotional life and Bible study, she was convicted to obey the biblical principles of stewardship. She knew this to be the will of God, and through her trials, God sustained her through thick and thin. How was Sister Gjika so sure that this was the will of God? Does God have counsel regarding finances? This week’s lesson looks at tithe—the biblical number going to the biblical place for the biblical purpose in the biblical manner.