VIDEO The Blessing of Giving

“Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try 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 such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it.” Malachi 3:10

In times past, self-discipline was needed to set aside a portion of every harvest to provide seeds for the next year. There is a parallel when it comes to tithing of our resources to the Lord.

Israelites were required to “honor the Lord with…the firstfruits of all [their] increase” (Proverbs 3:9). God promised to bless the Israelites as long as they continued to honor Him with their tithes (Deuteronomy 28:1-2). Even before the Mosaic Law, Abraham gave a tithe to the priest of God, Melchizedek, showing it to be a long-standing norm for God’s people (Genesis 14:20). And Malachi showed the post-Babylon nation that they were robbing God of His tithe.

If you are not already tithing, begin to set aside a tenth of God’s provision as an offering of thanks to God—a way to honor Him for His blessings.

Giving in a regular, disciplined, generous way—up to and beyond the tithe—is simply good sense in view of the promises of God. John Piper


Trust God in Your Giving


 

Advertisements

Growing Gratitude

For from him and through him and for him are all things. Romans 11:36

Would you like to cultivate a greater sense of gratitude? George Herbert, a seventeenth-century British poet, encourages readers toward that goal in his poem “Gratefulness”: “Thou that hast given so much to me, give one thing more: a grateful heart.”

Herbert recognized the only thing he needed in order to be thankful was simply an awareness of the blessings God had already given him.

For from him and through him and for him are all things. Romans 11:36

The Bible declares Christ Jesus as the source of all blessing in Romans 11:36, “For from him and through him and for him are all things.” “All things” encompasses both the extravagant and the mundane, everyday gifts in our lives. Everything we receive in life comes directly from our heavenly Father (James 1:17), and He willingly gives us those gifts out of His love for us.

To expand my awareness of God’s blessings in my life, I am learning to cultivate a heart that acknowledges the source of all the joys I experience each day, but especially the ones I often take for granted. Today those included a crisp morning to run, the anticipation of an evening with friends, a stocked pantry so I could make French toast with my daughters, the beauty of the world outside my window, and the aroma of freshly brewed coffee.

What is the “so much” that God has already given to you? Opening our eyes to those blessings will help us to develop grateful hearts.

Take a few minutes to thank God for what comes to your mind right now. Try to do that throughout the day as well.

When you think of all that’s good, thank God.

By Lisa Samra

INSIGHT

Do you tend to think of yourself as more or less thankful than other people? Consider how the apostle Paul used that question to set a love-trap for some of his readers. Early in his letter to the Romans he describes those who have no interest in worshiping or giving thanks to their Creator (Romans 1:21). For the rest of chapter he describes the unraveling lives of those who refuse to acknowledge the goodness of their God.

Then it happens. Paul anticipates that someone has taken the bait. With no warning he asks his readers whether they really think they are any different than the unthankful sinners he has been condemning (2:1). Paul then spends much of the rest of his letter giving his readers reasons to give thanks to God for revealing in Christ the greatest good news the world has ever heard. Just before erupting in his great expression of worshipful praise to God (11:33–36), Paul concludes, “For God has bound everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all” (v. 32).

In the smallest kindness, a thankful heart can sense the greatness of our God.

Mart DeHaan

Misplaced Priorities

Luke 12:16-21

The Lord’s parable of the foolish wealthy man is a study in misplaced priorities. Modern believers can learn from three mistakes he made: providing for himself, not others; providing for his body, not his spirit; and providing for this life, not the one to come.

There is a penalty for misplaced priorities. This foolish man passed away with no opportunity to enjoy his goods. What’s even worse, he died with a bankrupt soul.

Serving the Lord and His kingdom is the key to setting correct goals. When believers make service for God a main concern, they will use a lens of righteousness to order their priorities. The question we ought to be asking is not “What shall I do?” but rather “Lord, what would You have me do?” The answer—which should be prayerfully sought and biblically evaluated—dictates which things we must put first in order to achieve God’s purpose for us.

Life is not something that simply happens to people. Where we are today is largely determined by the way we prioritized our concerns in previous months and years. This means that we can positively impact our future by organizing our priorities according to biblical guidelines. Then, unlike the foolish man in Jesus’ parable, we will learn the eternal value of providing for others so that our own soul is fed. More than that, we will “store up for [our]selves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal” (Matt. 6:20).

Mighty Hand of God

“That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the LORD, that it is mighty: that ye might fear the LORD your God for ever.” (Joshua 4:24)

The testimony of Joshua to the children of Israel as they entered the promised land reminded them of the tremendous strength in the mighty hand of God whom they were to fear and trust forever. This is only one of about 20 references in the Scriptures to God’s mighty hand. Moses had often recalled how “the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt” (Deuteronomy 7:8).

The first reference to God’s mighty hand is in Jacob’s dying prophecy concerning Joseph. “His bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob” (Genesis 49:24)

Like those of Joseph, our hands also can be strong when they are placed in the mighty hands of God. Some may note that this is only a figure of speech, for God is Spirit and has no physical hands. Yes, but “he that planted the ear, shall he not hear? he that formed the eye, shall he not see?” (Psalm 94:9). God indeed is God of the mighty hand!

The final reference to God’s mighty hand and the only specific reference in the New Testament is in the apostle Peter’s exhortation to humility. “God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time” (1 Peter 5:5-6). Our human might is only a vapor, but “in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength” (Isaiah 26:4).

Jesus said concerning His followers, “They shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand” (John 10:28). HMM

Wherewith shall I come before the Lord

Micah 4

Micah also came forward to support Isaiah’s testimony. Quite a company of holy seers shone forth like stars in the evening of Judah’s history. In the chapter which we are about to read, Micah’s far-seeing eye beheld the Lord Jesus in the glory of the latter days.

Micah 4:1, 2

God reserves his best things to the last. In Messiah’s days the true faith and the true church will have wide dominion; that which the material temple typified shall be fully revealed and reverenced far and wide.

Micah 4:4

For this unbroken peace we sigh; it will not come by means of civilisation, commerce and moral advancement: Jesus alone is the world’s Peacemaker.

Micah 4:7

From the poor relics of the Jewish nation we have received the gospel, and so in a spiritual sense mount Zion triumphs in her reigning Lord.

Micah 4:9, 10

Jerusalem was troubled sorely, but good would come of it; the people would be carried into Babylon, but God would deliver them. While Jesus lives, his church is safe.

Micah 4:11, 12

Faith beholds her enemies as sheaves for her to thresh, and by divine help she treads them down. We are more than conquerors, through our loving God.

 

No strife shall vex Messiah’s reign

Or mar those peaceful years;

To ploughshares men shall beat their swords,

To pruning-hooks their spears.

 

No longer hosts encountering hosts,

Their millions slain deplore;

They hang the trumpet in the hall,

And study war no more.

 

Come, then! oh come from every land,

To worship at his shrine,

And, walking in the light of God,

With holy beauties shine.

 

Yes, Explore God’s Word

Thy word have I hid in mine heart (Psalm 119:11)

What a strange paradox! The atheistic free-thinker rants and raves about the Bible being a “dangerous” book at the very same time that the Word of God is speaking life to my soul!

Strange indeed that some humans have the idea that the Word of God can only be approached with shivering fears. But that is true only of those who love their sin and hate their Savior.

The blessed truth is that if I hate my sin and love my Savior, the Word of God is a wonderful revelation, indeed, and a trustworthy guide.

We need to be aware always that if we do not keep the Word of God on our side, we will be miserable in our souls continually. It is up to us. What do we sincerely will to do with God and His revealed Word?

Years ago, the saintly George Mueller said he had read the Bible hundreds of times, and then he added: “with meditation!”

Let us see to it that we read the Word. More than that, we should actually explore it!

 

Here Are Four Ways We Can Rob Ourselves Of God’s Blessing

1. Judge ourselves:

 

I do not even examine myself (literally: Judge, try, condemn)The one who examines me is the Lordwho will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of mens hearts… ” ( 1 Corinthians 4:3-5)

 

Paul did, however, “examine” his heart, but the element of self-condemnation was absent:

 

Test (Literally: assay, scrutinize) yourselves to see if you are in the faith.” (2 Corinthians 13:5)

 

2. Condemn ourselves:

 

There isno condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1)

 

God is infinitely greater than our hearts ( in not condemning us). When we realize this, our hearts no longer accuse us(and) we may have the utmost confidence in Gods presence.” (1 John 3:20-22 – Phillips)

 

3. Not accept His unconditional love:

 

I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have drawn you with loving kindness .God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Jeremiah 31:3; Romans 5:8)

 

4. Not accept His invitation to minister to us:

 

Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to youHe will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when He hears it, He will answer you.” (Isaiah 30:18, 19).

 

God knows and loves you, warts and all. By judging or condemning yourself, you denigrate the great grace of God. So relax in Him and drink in His unfathomable love.

 

 

%d bloggers like this: