Give to Provide

“So that the Levites (who have no allotment or inheritance of their own) and the foreigners, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns may come and eat and be satisfied, and so that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.” (Deu 14:29)

Those of us who have been provided for have an obligation to meet the needs of others. In this case it is those who work fulltime for the church, foreigners, and those who have had misfortune in the loss of fathers and husbands, who were the providers of the time.

There are two groups that are a priority for God: those without finances and those who serve in church. We would do well to neglect neither.

There is a consequence attached to the actions we take. If we obey and provide for the poor and church workers, God Himself will bless us in all the work of our hands—that is, in our work at work.

Quick Prayer: Bless me as I give to Your house and the poor. Lord, according to Your Word may it be done to me. Amen.

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.

 

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.