Daily Devotions from The Word Of God… From the heart of Ed Algreen

Posts tagged ‘Tithing’

Put God To The Test

Wednesday, 2016-07-13

Scripture

Bible Reference: Malachi 3:8–10

Bible Text:  8 “Should people cheat God? Yet you have cheated me!
“But you ask, ‘What do you mean? When did we ever cheat you?’
“You have cheated me of the tithes and offerings due to me. 9 You are under a curse, for your whole nation has been cheating me. 10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test!

Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

My Take

I would imagine that most of us would get highly upset, and probably angry, if someone accused us of cheating. But what if God accused you of cheating? I believe that we would be extremely saddened, because for those of us who study the Word; or attend church to learn more about the Word; we try desperately to adhere to the expectations of Jesus. We want to please Him, right? But wait a minute, this is the same example given in the verses above, so let’s examine the church today – ‘us’. In the Bible, God gives us guidance on what he refers to as a ‘Tithe’ – 10% of all that God has blessed us with. But there are also liberties taught around the idea of giving: from a cheerful heart; Giving from the abundance of the heart; and giving as the Lord impresses upon the individual; just to name a few. Therefore, some tend to give a tithe (10%) of their gross income and they make it the first check that they write, based on the teaching that the first fruits belong to God. I believe that You will notice some tend to think that the heart will hurt too much if they give so much to the work of the Lord, so they give 10% of some other figure – either of their net check or net after all expenses are paid for the period. God is our Judge, and I will not assume His exalted position on this subject, but a simple analysis of the facts that I have shared will indicate that God can still accuse us of cheating – either cheating Him, or cheating our families of extra income. I have heard of folk who count the pills received in their prescriptions, to make sure they were not ‘cheated’. When we find our own descriptions or explanations for something that God has declared, and wind up not giving God the full share of what He has ‘prescribed’ for us, could that be considered ‘cheating’? The work of the Lord through local churches is shutting down in many instances because folk are ‘cheating’ God of their time (to worship and fellowship together with other believers) and their money, through not bringing their tithe to the storehouse (the church) to help it meet the physical and spiritual needs of the body. God has promised to bless us by pouring out His blessing on us, if we obey His command to tithe. He has even offed somewhat of a guarantee to us by promising to fill our barns. He also dared us to test Him and see if He wouldn’t do what He has promised. From a personal testimony, I can assure you that if you are obedient, God will meet your every need, as if you had access to your full check to spend it any way you would like. There is never too little, or too much income. 10% may result in a $1 tithe, or perhaps a $1,000 tithe. The same principle applies friend. Take God at His word – Test Him!

Prayer

At a time when so many churches are closing their doors because of lack of income, we also find that many are closing because of lack of attendance. Father, please melt the hearts of Your precious children and help us all to draw closer to You. As this occurs, we will want to draw closer to other children of Yours – our Brothers and Sisters, and we will want to learn more about our awesome Savior. As we do this we will want to be obedient to You, and this will include being faithful in our giving, as instructed in Your Word. As You continue to bless us financially, please help us to also bless the work of our local church so that Your ministry might continue, especially to the end that more and more non-Christians will come to accept You as their Lord and Savior.  In Your name I pray, and with a heart filled with thanksgiving, AMEN!

Footnote

If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Attitude More Important Than Sacrifice

The Holy Bible

10 Here is my advice: It would be good for you to finish what you started a year ago. Last year you were the first who wanted to give, and you were the first to begin doing it. 11 Now you should finish what you started. Let the eagerness you showed in the beginning be matched now by your giving. Give in proportion to what you have. 12 Whatever you give is acceptable if you give it eagerly. And give according to what you have, not what you don’t have.

(Bible Translation and Location: New Living Translation – 2 Corinthians 8:10-12)

Thoughts:

In my previous devotional I addressed the idea of giving to God, as we are blessed. In today’s scripture I am reminded of the New Testament story of the ‘Widow’s Mite’ where Jesus highlighted the penny offering dropped in by a widow. Because it was given from the heart and represented everything the widow had to give, Jesus was overjoyed with her gift. Personally in growing up, a quarter was a frequent offering given to me to place in the offering plate. Later while still at home, I remember that increased to a dollar. When I started working and was taught about the biblical standards for giving, it almost killed me to know that I was actually giving one hundred dollars to the church at one time! It wasn’t until I recognized that God was blessing me beyond measure with the 90% I had left to meet my bills with, and spend recreationally, that I understood that I had no reason to judge what the church might do with all this extra money I was giving. Rather, I learned to praise God for all His many riches that He blessed me with each day, and in return, for allowing me to give a portion back to Him for His continued work here on earth. I am a firm believer in church members giving freely of their tithes and offering to the Lord. I am also a firm believer that, based on my personal experience, God will open the doors of heaven and bless you with more than enough to still meet your earthly financial obligations. Let me encourage you to look at your income in this way: If you earn $1,000 gross pay, $200 of that may be taken out in taxes – so you can’t bank on the $1,000 as your spendable income, you can only count on $800. If you are a follower of Christ, then you can’t bank on the $800, because $100 of that gross income belongs to God as your tithe, so you can only bank on actual spendable income of $700. Now for those who are new to this principle, there is no economic class that will teach you how God can help you meet $800 worth of bills with only $700, but friend let me be quick to remind you that no professor can tell you how the Red Sea was parted for God’s chosen people to cross safely across to the other side either. Nor how Lazarus, who had already begun to decompose in his grave, yet he was brought back to life by Jesus! Remember, if we could figure the acts of Jesus out in our minds, then it is, or was not an act of Jesus. The one thing I can encourage you with this morning, based on personal experiences, is that when you place your faith and trust in Jesus, then you must do what He says, in expectation and assurance that He will do what He said He would do for you! His love never changes, and He’s still God, friend!

Prayer:

When I consider the beauty around me today: the ocean and all that it brings forth for us to survive on and enjoy; the plants and all the vegetables and fruit that plays such a vital part in my health; the wonderful family, friends and even strangers that I meet who enrich my life; who am I to question You oh God about working out Your will and way in my life? I just celebrated my 44th year at work, when some stay only a very short time before moving on to ‘greener grasses’. I will be celebrating my 39th wedding anniversary tomorrow (God willing) to the same lovely lady, while I look at statistics that more than 50% of marriages end in divorce. I can thank my God from the bottom of my heart that He’s still God in every way, especially in my life. With all that reassurance Lord, I humbly ask that You will continue to bless me, and Your other servants who has Your heart to give in support of Your work here on earth. May our hearts always be appreciative of Your many gifts that You provide for us, as incentive to continue giving from hearts of love. May Your work flourish in our churches and in our communities. May we continue to willingly and gladly serve You in and through everything we do and say everyday, so that those who may not have accepted You as Lord yet, will see Your hand at work in us and have a stronger desire and intent to know You more today than ever considered before in their life.

FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each days devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL!

Tag Cloud