Sheep, Wolf, Serpent, or Dove? (Mt 10:11-15)

March 17, 2009

Whoever does not receive you, nor heed your words, as you go out of that house or that city, shake the dust off your feet.  15″Truly I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of
Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city
.” (Matthew 10:11-15)

Innocent as a dove

Innocent as a dove

God’s sending of His Messiah was the greatest blessing that God had given the world since it turned against Him. Through Jesus we can have Life! He offers us true peace as we discussed yesterday. But this comes with a catch. God is restoring the world back to Him through us as His servants and as much is given to us, much is expected. Read the rest of this entry »


Peace that goes beyond understanding (Mt 10:11-13)

March 16, 2009

And whatever city or village you enter, inquire who is worthy in it, and stay at his house until you leave that city.  12As you enter the house, give it your greeting.  13If the house is worthy, give it your blessing of peace. But if it is not worthy, take back your blessing of peace.” (Matthew 10:11-13)

Spiritual peace transcends our circumstances

Spiritual peace transcends our circumstances

We spoke Friday about the big picture guidelines that Jesus sent the disciples on their mission with. This mission had two purposes. To educate the disciples on how to minister the gospel, and to actually bring the light of that gospel to those they encountered. We’ll spend the next couple days going through the more specific instructions that Jesus gave them.

What is the peace that Jesus is speaking about?

I’m going to get a little more personal here than normal. I think Jesus is speaking of something here that I have yet to grow into being able to do. Yet, as I type that I realize that He did this through me one time very clearly. Read the rest of this entry »

The Chinese House Churches seem “Radical”

March 14, 2009

Last Saturday, I posted a blog based on a song I had heard and this week, I received a really powerful email about an interview with believers in China. I thought it would be fun from time to time to share some outside-the-box posts on Saturdays. So I’ll only give a personal comment and then let you read the post that I found so powerful.

Will the American church go into deeper realms of faith as the Chinese church has?

Will the American church go into deeper realms of faith as the Chinese church has?

It really hit me as I read just how surface level my faith and walk are. How much deeper a life in Christ can and should be. Part of me wanted to make it about the number of hours I pray each day or the number of days I fast, but although both of those things are important, I find that I’m trying to devise a formula to grow closer to God and that is not the answer. However, more hunger, devotion, and expectation of and for God in every area of our lives is important. Seeking God for where He’s leading instead of asking Him to come along with us is key.

I hope this will be a blessing to you as it has been for me. I believe that God is opening up the opportunity for a greater closeness to Him in these days and this conversation will surely whet your appetite… Read the rest of this entry »

Tithing, Leverage & Velocity

March 13, 2009

The tithe can also help us understand a couple of financial principles. We’ll cover these in more concrete ways later, but tithing utilizes both leverage and velocity.

When we tithe, the velocity of our money creates an impact greater than we can imagine

When we tithe, the velocity of our money creates an impact greater than we can imagine

We’ve already spoken about the fact that when we tithe, we are giving something that is not ours to help someone else and in return receiving future benefit. This is the concept of leverage.

Velocity involves the movement of money through a system that actually increases the amount and affect of money simply through the movement. This is measured in national economies and corporations, but too often ignored in personal finance – as we’ll see later. Read the rest of this entry »

The 3 Levels of Tithing: Level 3

March 12, 2009

Finally (See Level 1 & Level 2), after giving out of duty, and then seeing the blessings of God that flow, you enter the final stage – which is the “Loving to Give” stage. You’re better for it, and you get to be a part of blessing others. Why wouldn’t you want to do more of this?

Tithing is a matter of the heart

Tithing is a matter of the heart

You must be careful to make sure – as Jesus said, “But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” (Mt 6:3-4)

Pride will try to creep in and you will want to tell everyone what a good person you are. Always keep in mind that God is the one who blesses and without Him you would have nothing to give. Give quietly and with a humble heart.

Tithing is a matter of the heart. We discussed the fact that tithing works as a method to bring you financial blessing even if your heart is hard. But this is not what God envisions for you. He wants you to grow to truly understand that He is using you to bless others in this world. And that as you do this, He will give you more so that you can bless even more people. As you understand this, your heart will be filled with joy to give. Here’s what Paul had to say about it… Read the rest of this entry »

The 3 Levels of Tithing: Level 2

March 11, 2009

Many people outside the Church practice tithing (continued from yesterday).

Do you trust God to be faithful as you tithe?

Do you trust God to be faithful as you tithe?

People of other religions do it. I’ve seen modern financial books that I would consider “new age” that promote tithing in some form. They all receive a blessing for doing this. And yet too many of us in the Church look suspiciously at a pastor or don’t trust God enough to give the tithe and receive this blessing. Jesus is telling you here not to make that mistake. The principle works and that is one reason why He commands it. He does not command things of you to punish you. He knows how you will be blessed and He has provided a guidebook to help you be blessed. Use it! But when you do give faithfully out of duty, something interesting happens.

We realize that God really does bless us as we are faithful in giving Him the tithe He commands. Sometimes it’s amazing. We spoke earlier of stories where a person gets a check in the mail or an extra paycheck they weren’t expecting which helps them get by after dutifully tithing when it seemed impossible. Read the rest of this entry »

The 3 Levels of Tithing: Level 1

March 10, 2009

Everyone who is in Christ has been bought by the blood of Christ. You are His. Everything you own has become His. You are only a steward over your money and possessions. Without this, eternity is a curse, and with it, a blessing. He grants you ever increasing love, joy, peace & blessing (this does not mean life is always easy as noted before when discussing testing).

Tithing opens our eyes to God as the One who blesses

Tithing opens our eyes to God as the One who blesses

Even though everything you own is His, He only gives strict commands on the first ten percent. As you follow Him, He will lead you to give more and more free-will offerings above this. When and how will be readily apparent at that time.

There is a progression that one goes through as a tither. At first we tithe out of duty because it is commanded of us. Next, we live it and begin to realize the supernatural blessing that God gives us as we are faithful. Finally, we love to tithe, and become more attuned to His heart as the One who blesses. We begin to live life step-by-step with God and an eye towards where we can next bless someone over and above our tithe with the surplus He has blessed us with. Let’s look at these. Read the rest of this entry »