Wednesday, October 22, 2014
“But I have received everything in full and have an abundance; I am amply supplied, having received from Epaphroditus what you have sent, a fragrant aroma, AN ACCEPTABLE SACRIFICE, WELL-PLEASING TO GOD” ~ Philippians 4:18.
God’s Spirit moves the heart of man to give into His work in many ways, beginning with the tithe, which is required of all for the provision of God’s work through our local congregations. Malachi advises and warns us:
“‘Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, “How have we robbed You?” In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing Me, the whole nation of you! Bring the WHOLE TITHE into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and TEST ME NOW IN THIS,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘if I will not OPEN FOR YOU THE WINDOWS OF HEAVEN AND POUR OUT FOR YOU A BLESSING UNTIL IT OVERFLOWS. THEN I WILL REBUKE THE DEVOURER FOR YOU, so that it will not destroy the fruits of the ground; nor will your vine in the field cast its grapes,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘All the nations will call you blessed, for you shall be a delightful land,’ says the Lord of hosts” ~ Malachi 3:8-12 (Read the whole of Malachi, paying close attention to the things taught about giving to God or in God’s name).
God promises to open His storehouses of provision and to rebuke and stop those things that devour our provisions when we are faithful to pour the whole tithe into His storehouses for the provision of His house. The full tithe is 10% of gross, all that is earned. Some say it is 10% of net, but if the bill for our taxes and insurances, and etc., were not paid out before we receive that net amount, we would get the bill in the mail. So to fail to pay gross is to rob God. Still others say that 10% is not required, but suggested. Yet the word “tithe” means “tenth”. Sounds pretty specific to me that 1/10 is the starting place and least amount for obedience sake.
Then there are the opportunities for giving special offerings: sometimes through the storehouses (churches) and other times just through the course of our day as a need is revealed and as the Spirit stirs our hearts to do so. As Moses and all of Israel prepared to build the temple, we see the perfect picture of such giving.
“And they came, each one whose heart stirred him up and whose spirit made him willing, and brought the Lord’s offering to be used for the [new] Tent of Meeting, for all its service, and the holy garments” ~ Exodus 35:21.
The offering is above and beyond the tithe, it is not part of the tithe. It is giving from the heart as moved by the Spirit and made willing to meet a special / specific need.
Does your paycheck seem to disappear before you get it? Are you constantly struggling to meet some need? Are things wearing out with no sight of provision for replacement? There are three questions to ask self: One – “Are we realizing and recognizing that all our provision and all we have comes from and truly belongs to the Lord?” Two – “Are we being faithful to give the full tithe with faith in God’s promise of supply and protection?” And three – “Are we practicing wisdom in the use of God’s supply?”
If we have ourselves in a mess of debt, it can take time and work to dig our way out, but the first debt to be paid should always be the whole tithe with faith in God who promises to meet us at our need if we are faithful to supply His storehouse. Then seek His wisdom for the remainder and trust His lead. He will not fail to keep His word for those who trust in Him.
“Do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased” ~ Hebrews 13:16.
Sound shofar every day that God leads you to do so: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t38UINaExeQ&list=PLTgpTgKDYWUKLo8IZe-fo1SSUsfaGQmIN