Today's Christian thought: Friday January 23rd, 2004
Today we are going to discuss tithing, the practice of giving back to the Lord a bit of what the Lord has given to you. Let us start with Scripture.
¶ But this I say, he which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.
Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: (2 Corinthians 9:6-8)
Do you know what that means? It means that you should immediately empty your savings and checking account, sell your house, car and property, dissolve your 401K, convert all you own into cash and send it to me. But not just send it, send it cheerfully, with a smile on your face and enclosed with a note promising more as soon as you sell your first born. NO, that is not what it means, not at all.
Let's look at some of what Jesus had to say about tithing.
Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow Me. (Matthew 19:21 ACP/KJV)
Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. (Luke 6:38 ACP/KJV)
In the verses above, we see the Lord instructing us to give to the poor, and that the way we measure out our giving is the way our rewards will be measured out to us. That by the same standard we give will be the standard in which we receive. So, what is the right way to give? Well I can tell you this, it is not to sell all you have and send it to me! No, it is to start by giving to your own needy within your own family.
1 Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, 2 "Why do Thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread." 3 But He answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?
4 For God commanded, saying, HONOUR THY FATHER AND MOTHER: AND, HE THAT CURSETH FATHER OR MOTHER, LET HIM DIE THE DEATH. (Exodus 21:17) 5 But ye say, "Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift," by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; 6 And honour not his father or his mother, "he shall be free". Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.
7 Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias (Isaiah) prophesy of you, saying, 8 THIS PEOPLE DRAWETH NIGH UNTO ME WITH THEIR MOUTH, AND HONOURETH ME WITH THEIR LIPS; BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR FROM ME. 9 BUT IN VAIN THEY DO WORSHIP ME, TEACHING FOR DOCTRINES THE COMMANDMENTS OF MEN. (Isaiah 29:13 ACP/KJV) (Matthew 15:1-9 ACP/KJV) ACP/KJV)
If, you are doing as you should, and are setting aside a minimum of ten percent of your gross for the Lord's work, and you have a needy member of your family, then that is where you should start giving. When you were little, your dad and mom took care of you, now it may be your time to take care of them. If you are giving to some form of organized religious activity, regardless of how good that religious activity may be, before taking care of your own you will some day wish you had not been so foolish.
The very first thing to keep in mind when caring for your parents is this, you are entitled to no inheritance. What they have is theirs till they die. So, if you have elderly parents you need to help them first. This does not mean that you take out of your pocket while they still have assets, no you forget the inheritance and liquidate what they have first for their care and then reach into your pockets and assets, and be prepared to reach deep.
For a member of a Christians family to be on any form of welfare before the Christian himself is broke is unacceptable. One of the many ways to help parents who have their own home is through the reverse mortgage program offered by many banks. By using it, you will inherit less, but your parents will live better.
And why is it so important to give correctly? Let this next verse sink in my brothers and sisters, let it sink in deep.
Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents! (Matthew 55:28 ACP/KJV)
Putting God's word ahead of religion and the norms of society can be hard, hard indeed, but it is worth it. For after all it is Christ we serve not religion or society.
I understand, that when not all the heirs are Born Again Christians, liquidating their share of the inheritance just to keep mom and dad comfortable and off the public dole is not going to go over well. But, take a few minutes some time to read how many of the so called disciples of Jesus reacted when He insisted on doing and saying what was right instead of what was religiously correct. Take some time to read John chapter six.
Guys, stand up and do what is right in the eyes of God, be prepared to be bashed, kicked and fought with, but stand firm knowing that what you do here for the Lord will be rewarded a zillion times over in heaven. If you do it by giving with a cheerful heart.
Lord give us strength, amen.
Pray for my friend Mac, pray for Rush and Michael Savage. While the Lord does not need the platforms and audiences that Rush and Michael have, they, Rush, Michael and their audiences need the Lord.
Pray for the President, pray for Attorney General John Ashcroft, pray for me, pray for all those who open their mouths or take pen in hand in an effort to sway public opinion.
The Lord God of the Universe, Messiah Y'shua be with you all, amen.
It is better to be a horse fly in the stables of the Lord Jesus than the CEO of hell.
All Scripture quoted, in both sermons and daily thoughts, except when done by a guest, is from the ACP/authorized 1611 King James Version. The words in red are those quotes of God the Son, the Lord Jesus and the words in purple are those qoutes spoken directly by God the Father and the words in this sickly greenish color are of satan. But all of the Bible is spoken by God and should be viewed as God's handbook for us to run our lives by 2 Timothy 3:16.
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