Eating Your Tithe?

“Then exchange your tithe for silver, and take the silver with you and go to the place the Lord your God will choose. Use the silver to buy whatever you like: cattle, sheep, wine or other fermented drink, or anything you wish. Then you and your household shall eat there in the presence of the Lord your God and rejoice.” (Deu 14:25–26)

Here is a Scripture that proponents of a legalistic approach to tithing may want to overlook. It says to take what you were going to give and go and buy wine, great food, and whatever else you want and have a great party before the Lord.

We have lost something of the heart of God if this makes us slightly uncomfortable. It makes me a bit uncomfortable. But why? It reflects the heart and desire of God to be joyful before Him, and He enjoys seeing us blessed. I think this is the kind of party where Jesus implored us to go to the highway and byways and invite the unlovely and socially unacceptable. Now that is what church is all about.

Quick Prayer: Thank You that sometimes a sacrifice is to be shared and enjoyed. Amen.

Before the Law

“‘And praise be to God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand.’ Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.” (Gen 14:20)

The truth of giving as a principle goes beyond the law. This example of giving predates Moses and the covenant. Abram (who would become Abraham) gave Melchizedek one-tenth of the spoils of war after a great victory.

We are not called the sons of Moses but the sons of Abraham, because we are children of faith, not children of the law. He is a model for us, as is his covenant, which is one of blessing and righteousness by faith. When God gives us victory and blessing, Abram showed us the way to give thanks and acknowledge who is our provider.

Quick Prayer: Teach me about giving Your way—not man’s way or a church’s way but Your way; the way ordained for me. Amen.

 

Rich in Many Ways

“You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.” (2 Cor 9:11)

I love to give. This is something I can take no pride in. It is something God has done in my heart over many years. I have learned the joy of generosity as I have seen the fruit of sowing into people’s lives.

God will ensure that we are enriched so we can be generous. What do you have in your hand? Is it just a little? Ask God to show you a need, and meet it. Joy will fill your heart, and He will be honored.

Quick Prayer: Show me how to be generous in every way, and open my heart to give freely. Amen.

What Is More Important?

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.” (Mat 23:23)

There is a lot of chatter in churches about giving. If we were to be perfectly transparent with each other, it is usually by leaders who want you to give more and churchgoers looking to give less.

Is giving important? Yes it is, and it should not be neglected. But more important is justice, mercy, and faithfulness. These are the behaviors we should covet and endeavor to have in abundance.

Please give, and give regularly and generously, but never forget the priorities that are the fruit of a life transformed by Jesus: faithfulness, mercy, and justice.

Quick Prayer: Thank You for the pattern and discipline of regular giving. Amen.

 

Sacrificial Giving?

“For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own.” (2 Cor 8:3)

While we are all blessed with a brain and a certain amount of common sense, we sometimes have to be open to an unreasonable request. Giving in a practical sense meets the needs of the local church and other things we support. A measure of diligence and consistency is definitely required.

However, sometimes God will move our hearts in compassion for others. My strong recommendation is to go with your heart rather than your head. God will occasionally call you to give beyond all reason. His ways are not our ways, and sometimes it will be irrational from an earthly perspective.

When I have been moved in this way and been obedient to the call God, He has seen that it is put to good use. Often He will take what you have given and multiply its effect.

Quick Prayer: “I know that sometimes you will call me to give beyond reason, keep me open to be obedient to your call.” Amen.