Memorable Scripture: Love & Greed

1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

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Memorable Scripture: Tithing, Giving, Stealing, and Robbing

Malachi 3:8
“Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings.” Continue reading

Christmas Gift

Nearly every nativity scene contains three wise men. Though this story is not included in any other Gospel other than Matthew and follows immediately after the birth of the Christ.

It is unlikely that the Wise men showed up at the birth since the star was over a house and Jesus is called a young Child.

One thing for sure,

And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Matt 2:11

Of course, gifts are given at Christmas and justified by this story. More than that, the gifts are evidence of God’s provision.

The little family will be traveling to Egypt to escape the tyranny of King Herod, who orders the killing of all male children two-years old and under.

A trip to Egypt could not have been cheap; plus the time spent living there. Like you, they may have had some money to live day to day but a sudden trip is an extra expense. The gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh could have been used to finance such a trip and stay.

God provides!

I have many stories of Him providing for us and I am not alone. I have heard many stories of providential provision.

I like to give gifts. I love to make someone happy with a small gift. But if I pray earnestly before getting a gift for someone, I would find myself getting a gift of provision by being led by the Holy Spirit.

Abba, Your gift of Salvation through the Babe of the manger is the best ever. YES&AMEN

What will You give me?

Gen 15:2 Abram said, “Lord God, what will You give me…

What did Abram already have?

The Bible reports he was rich in gold, silver, and cattle. He had a beautiful wife that was desired by other men even though she was in her 70’s.

He had trained servants that could take on the armies of four different kingdoms. He had the promise of possessing all the land.

And most importantly, he had God!

It’s not what you have from God that you are concerned about – it’s what you don’t have.

Though Abram was a rich man with a lot to be happy about, he had no children.

Gen 15:2
Abram said, “Lord God, what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?”

Abram had one other thing – God’s promise of an heir from his own body, but it was one promise he struggled to patiently wait on.

Look around your home at all the things you possess. It’s proof that people are never satisfied. Garage sales are further proof of too much around the house.

Can your possessions compare to the gift of eternal life from God?

Matt 16:26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?

How much of your life can you give God credit for having?
Are you coming to Him and asking for more?
Can you wait for God’s promises to be fulfilled?

Abba, I am rich because of You! My greatest possession is my salvation. Every day I only ask that I can encourage someone else, in Jesus name, with the Good News.YES&AMEN

A Bribe from the Devil

Gen 14:21 Now the king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the persons, and take the goods for yourself.”

There are some people, companies, and organizations that you should not take anything from. Don’t take a bribe from the devil!

Abram gives us this example when he was willing to give the recaptured hostages back to the king of Sodom but then he refused to keep anything else.

Abram would pay tithes to Melchizedek and, at least in principle, it look as if Bera wanted to do the same to Abram.

He refused it.

I think we need to be careful with where our money comes from.

For years the Italian mafia has been a part of the Catholic church. Now I’m not here to disrespect the Catholic church but if a mobster comes to church and puts something in the offering plate, what is the history behind that money – how was it earned? It would be a hard temptation to turn away from a large amount of money in an offering plate, even if you know it may be from illegitimate or sinful means.

Gen 14:22-23 Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have raised my hand to the Lord, God Most High, the Possessor of heaven and earth, that I will take nothing, from a thread to a sandal strap, and that I will not take anything that is yours!”

Abram refused Bera’s offer. And so there are times you should too!

Let your blessing be from God Most High and not the devil!

Abba, give me discernment over the gifts given to me and the strength to refuse those that would curse and not bless me. In Jesus name, YES&AMEN

Hard Work and Cheerfulness

2 Cor 9:7 God loves a cheerful giver.

I experience it. My children experienced it – the act of giving.

When I grew up and could buy and give a gift. I felt so good to buy my parents or Linda’s parents something for anniversaries, birthdays, and Christmas.

My children have felt the same joy with giving to us.

The ability to give comes with hard work and talent; the harder you work, the more you earn, the more you can give.

He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 2 Cor 9:6
In the world of agriculture it takes hard work to sow bountifully – to plant many seeds. It’s easy to plant one or two seeds and gather the harvest from them. It’s easy to keep the weeds away from one or two.

Plant an acre of seeds and it’s a totally different story. You will have to work hard to plant and to keep invasive predators and plants under control. You will work hard to gather the harvest but what a bountiful harvest you will have.

You have worked very hard and have more than you need. What a joy to give to someone else! You have become a cheerful giver.

And so it should be in church. You work hard to earn your pay but what a joy it is to give and see your church prosper and change the community. What joy to see your missionaries be blessed by your giving.

You become the cheerful giver.

Abba, though the sacrifice of Your Son has cost you much and it must have grieved You so – You must also have great joy at the response of sinners that have found the forgiveness in what was done. I for one thank You for giving. I pray I may do the same for others – give of myself. In Jesus’ name, YES&AMEN

Unlimited Giving

Heb 7:1-2 For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all,

I admit that tithing was required under the Law of Moses but Abram and Jacob practiced it before the Law demanded it.

Giving to support the work of God is supported by God and by His people.

God doesn’t move backwards but forward; He doesn’t lower the standard but raises it. He didn’t move from the blood of bulls and goats down to the blood of chickens or squeezing blood from a turnip – He moved the standard up and gave the blood of HIS OWN SON!

So if God once demanded 10% from His people, do you think He would now be happy with 5% or 1%?

But you do how you feel led to do! The early church did and they did not limit themselves.
Acts 4:34-for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, 35 and laid them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need.

But you do how you feel led to do!
2 Cor 9:7 So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.

Abba, I don’t want to give just 10%. In Jesus’ name, I want to give all I have for Your service. I want to do it cheerfully. I know Your blessings for me will far out-weigh any anything I can give back. YES&AMEN

The Heart of Giving

Gen 14:20 And he gave him a tithe of all.

Tithing is a hot, debatable topic in the church. Some say it was Law and therefore Christians are not bound to it; this despite the fact that Abram giving tithe to Melchizedek was before the Law.

Giving is not mandated by a law – giving comes from the heart and a need to help someone.

In my research on the subject one commentator said that Abram did not tithe to Melchizedek of his own resources but with the spoils he took in the rescue of Lot.
The Bible does affirm this but can you make it a legitimate excuse not to tithe because of it?

Years later, Abraham’s grandson, Jacob said, “…of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You.” Gen 28:22
His decision also predated any law to do so.
His decision was also based on the resources God would bless him with.

There is no easy answer to whether you believe in tithing or not. You either do or you don’t.

Despite the fact that it’s in the Law, do you think God would demand less of His people today – the people He fills with His own Holy Spirit?
If God demanded 10% from His people under the Law – do you think He would now be happy with you giving 1% under Christ?
Does God move backward or forward?
Does He lower His standards or raise them?

There is more to be said and so I shall.

Abba, I ask for guidance in giving. You have abundantly blessed and I should never be stingy or greedy with what wasn’t mine to begin with. I am just a steward. In Jesus’ name, YES&AMEN