VIDEO Robbing God

Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me!  Malachi 3:8

 

In the final book of the Old Testament, the last of the Hebrew prophets urged the Israelites—those who had returned from Babylon to restore the nation of Judah—to make some improvements. The people were lapsing into complacency and apathy. One area that needed changing—their personal giving patterns. They failed to consistently give a tenth of their income to the Lord. Malachi put it as sharply as he knew how. They were robbing God!

“‘Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it’” (Malachi 3:10, NIV).

This is the only time in Scripture we’re invited to test or try God. When we give generously, systematically, and cheerfully to Him, He will open “the floodgates of heaven.” What a promise! What a challenge! Imagine the floodgates of heaven sliding open!

God loves a cheerful giver.

One of the reasons I tithe is because by doing it, every year and every month and every week, I am proving in my own heart that God’s truth is indeed trustworthy. He will take care of us. David Jeremiah


His Jewels, Malachi 3:6-17 – Pastor Chuck Smith – Topical Bible Study

Going, Going, Gone

Today's Devotional

Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone.  Proverbs 23:5

 

The mischievous artist Banksy pulled off another practical joke. His painting Girl with Balloon sold for one million pounds at Sotheby’s auction house in London. Moments after the auctioneer yelled “Sold,” an alarm sounded and the painting slipped halfway through a shredder mounted inside the bottom of the frame. Banksy tweeted a picture of bidders gasping at his ruined masterpiece, with the caption, “Going, going, gone.”

Banksy relished pulling one over on the wealthy, but he need not have bothered. Wealth itself has plenty of pranks up its sleeve. God says, “Do not wear yourself out to get rich . . . . Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle” (Proverbs 23:4–5).

Few things are less secure than money. We work hard to earn it, yet there are many ways to lose it. Investments go sour, inflation erodes, bills come, thieves steal, and fire and flood destroy. Even if we manage to keep our money, the time we have to spend it continually flies. Blink, and your life is going, going, gone.

What to do? God tells us a few verses later: “always be zealous for the fear of the Lord. There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off” (vv. 17–18). Invest your life in Jesus; He alone will keep you forever.

By: Mike Wittmer

Reflect & Pray

Where does your life feel insecure? How might that lead you to Jesus?

God, help me to give my insecurities to You and to trust in Your goodness and faithfulness.

The Hope for Peace

Romans 15:4-13

One day Christ will return and make everything right, and until that time believers are called to be His ambassadors of peace. But salvation doesn’t automatically change us into people of kindness and unity. At times we may be quick-tempered and impatient, struggling to live in harmony with others. What’s more, letting go of ingrained attitudes or habits can be difficult, even when clinging to such things causes hurt.

Thankfully, God knows this about us. That’s why He has sent His Holy Spirit to help us understand and apply Scripture, say no to temptation, and replace our priorities with Christ’s. Only He can produce spiritual fruit in us, which includes love, joy, and peace (Gal. 5:22-23). And with His help, we become peacemakers who work to bring about reconciliation between God and others (2 Corinthians 5:18-19). When our hearts are ruled by His peace, our relationships reflect His spirit of oneness (Col. 3:15).

The world may hope to find peace through man-made solutions, but you and I know the only source of lasting unity is Jesus Christ. Let’s pray that believers and nonbelievers alike witness the power of God that reconciles marriages, families, and churches.

They Are Written for Our Learning

“For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” (Romans 15:4)

Let no modern Christian ever think that he can ignore the Old Testament and base all his faith and practice on just the 27 books of the New Testament, as vital as they are. Even the apostle Paul, who wrote more of the New Testament than anyone else, depended heavily on the Old Testament Scriptures for his exposition of the New Testament doctrines he had received “by the revelation of Jesus Christ” (Galatians 1:12).

For example, in the longest and most doctrinal of all his epistles—that is, Romans—he actually quoted from the Old Testament no less than 60 times, even though the epistle had been specifically addressed to Gentiles (Romans 11:13).

In his letter to the Gentiles at Corinth, after an extensive discussion of the Old Testament account of the experience of the Israelites in the wilderness, he said: “Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come” (1 Corinthians 10:11).

In this passage, the word translated “examples” is the Greek tupos, from which we derive our word “types.” Thus, the experiences of the Israelites were actually revealed by God to be “types” of Christ and our relation to Him. Therefore, in addition to the many explicit prophecies about Christ in the Old Testament, many other Scriptures can be profitably expounded as “types” of Christ. Indeed, in all the Old Testament Scriptures, as Christ Himself taught, are “things concerning himself” (Luke 24:27). HMM

Maintain Personal Holiness

But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

—1 Peter 1:15-16

 

You cannot study the Bible diligently and earnestly without being struck by an obvious fact—the whole matter of personal holiness is highly important to God!

Neither do you have to give long study to the attitudes of modern Christian believers to discern that by and large we consider the expression of true Christian holiness to be just a matter of personal option: “I have looked it over and considered it, but I don’t buy it!”…

Personally, I am of the opinion that we who claim to be apostolic Christians do not have the privilege of ignoring such apostolic injunctions. I do not mean that a pastor can forbid or that a church can compel. I only mean that morally we dare not ignore this commandment, “Be holy.”…

But, brethren, we are still under the holy authority of the apostolic command. Men of God have reminded us in the Word that God does ask us and expect us to be holy men and women of God, because we are the children of God, who is holy. The doctrine of holiness may have been badly and often wounded—but the provision of God by His pure and gentle and loving Spirit is still the positive answer for those who hunger and thirst for a life and spirit well-pleasing to God.   ICH061-062, 068

Oh, Lord, strengthen me today, walk with me, keep me cognizant of Your presence, guard me from any thought or action that would be displeasing to You. Amen.

 

God—THE Fixed Point

And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

—Exodus 3:14

 

A satisfactory spiritual life will begin with a complete change in relation between God and the sinner; not a judicial change merely, but a conscious and experienced change affecting the sinner’s whole nature.

The atonement in Jesus blood makes such a change judicially possible and the working of the Holy Spirit makes it emotionally satisfying….

In determining relationships we must begin somewhere. There must be somewhere a fixed center against which everything else is measured, where the law of relativity does not enter and we can say “IS” and make no allowances. Such a center is God.

When God would make His name known to mankind He could find no better word than “I AM.” When He speaks in the first person He says, “I AM”; when we speak of Him we say, “He is”; when we speak to Him we say, “Thou art.” Everyone and everything else measures from that fixed point. “I am that I am,” says God, “I change not.” POG092

Our greatest need is to make room for God, [the I AM]. HS167

 

First Steps into Freedom

Deuteronomy 31:8

This was no dream. No, the beauty of this morning all around me was real, and the songs of birds and fragrance of flowers were real. How pleasant to be in this quiet and beautiful spot under the bushes where I spent my first night of freedom. How wonderful to know that I would never more be in a dark, narrow cell. No more starving, no more pain of separation from my beloved ones, no more heartbreaking loneliness.

I realized that it was time for me to get up, leave my hiding place and face my new life. I stood up straight, and took a deep breath of the fresh, fragrant air. My thoughts turned to my family. “O Lord, soon, very soon I shall press them all to my heart, my beloved Erna and the children.”

For 10 long years like a robot I had been taught to obey without question the orders of my oppressors. I was afraid of people, of life and the future. But is it not 360 times written in the Word of God, “Fear not”? I would trust Him. My fear disappeared and in my heart rang the words:

 

I will not care how dark the night,

I will not care how wild the storm.

Thy love will fill my heart with light,

And shield me close and keep me warm.

 

With this determination I faced a new free life with a fervent prayer on my lips and in my heart to the Lord, that He would hold my hand and lead me as He did in the past. I felt the presence of the Savior gloriously, and overflowing joy came into my soul. Through fields and meadows I walked for many miles to the nearest railway station. From there I sent a telegram to my wife, asking her to meet me at the train, and with only our children. Now I wondered, how would they look, and how would they accept me? Ten years is a long time during which many things change, especially in the life of a child. It was hard for me to accept that the sweet years of their childhood were irrevocably lost for me.

“Prague!” The voice of the train conductor awoke me. I got up. My feet and legs were trembling. Pushing my way through the crowd I at last saw her—my beloved wife. In her simple dress she stood there quietly. She looked different from the flourishing young woman I was forced to leave ten years before. Her dark golden hair had turned grey. The fresh roses on her cheeks had been erased by pain and sorrow. Struggles and persecutions had left their mark on her sweet features. But in spite of all, out of her whole being another beauty radiated—the beauty of a soul purified by fire.

Josef Korbel, When the Gates Were Opened