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 »

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Are you willing to give your life to Jesus? Part II (Mt 7:21-23)

March 5, 2009

Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.  22“Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’  23“And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.‘” (Matthew 7:21-23-continued)

The Freedom of Giving It All to Him

The Freedom of Giving It All to Him

Please read Part I from yesterday where this scripture was introduced. Jesus is saying that we might do many good deeds, but that is NOT what gets us into His Kingdom. His example is difficult for most of us in the US because most of us have never uttered a prophetic word, cast out a demon, laid hands on others and seen God heal, or do some creative miracle. Even if you’re in a good “charismatic” church where these things happen, you might not be doing these things in your life. (For the record, I don’t attend a church that would be considered “charismatic” but I do know very well that these things of the Bible are true and real. I’ve seen these things many times.)

Jesus’ point in saying this is that if you were going around practicing these supernatural gifts, you might feel very confident that you are a very godly person, but that in fact, you might have taken His gift and moved off in your own direction with them, serving your own desires and interests and not submitting your life to Him. There is a greater spiritual reality than simply practicing gifts. Knowing God and living in constant communion with and obedience to Him is the greatest calling, the life He calls us to, and something easy to get away from.

I think an example that might be a lot more common today would be if you are off doing good deeds. Good service projects. Doing exactly what we are called to do…helping the poor, widows, and orphans, but making this your idol. If you are doing these things and He is not calling you to them, then you might be in direct opposition to God’s will for your life. You might not. If you decide to go help the needy on a Friday night instead of going to a movie, I can’t see how that would offend God. In this case, you’re not doing the service when He is instead calling you somewhere else.

However, it is becoming more and more popular today to make the Gospel all about serving others. This is not the Gospel! The Gospel is about the life, death, and new life available in Jesus the Messiah. Yes, when you have this new life, you will be called to help others, but the Kingdom is in knowing and following Him! Read the rest of this entry »


Are you willing to give your life to Jesus? Part I (Mt 7:21-23)

March 4, 2009

Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.  22“Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’  23“And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.‘” (Matthew 7:21-23)

Giving back to Him

Giving back to Him

I write these in advance so that I’m not under the gun in the morning. I sat down to finish out the Sermon on the Mount, which we left off yesterday, last week and after writing a couple, I looked at these 3 verses and felt my head would explode. I had no idea what to do with it, but after several days I feel I have a little better insight. Actually, I’ve written too much for one blog post and will break this into an overview today with specific applications tomorrow. I’d love your feedback on what I’ve written here.

The problem with going straight through the Bible in a public forum is that you have to talk about things that you would rather not. I’d prefer not to ruffle feathers, but I have to get through the scriptures, so let’s see how this goes…

Life in the Kingdom of Heaven is attained by submitting to the will of God for our lives. Jesus introduced it and He submitted to betrayal, torture, and the most humiliating and painful death. Would you submit to this if God called you to do it? Could you? The beauty of it is that although it is often difficult to submit to a will other than our own, once we do, we find a life more rewarding and joyful than what we had before…oh and He doesn’t typically ask us to do the torture and physical death thing! Read the rest of this entry »


Does God Want Us to Be Rich?

February 17, 2009

Monetary wealth is an enormously popular topic in the Church. It has very real power to change this world and affect people and wealth is one of the most popular topics in the Bible.

There are two very prevalent extreme views on whether or not God desires for His children to be wealthy. I think it’s a good idea to spend a few days, and a few posts on just this subject.

Let’s examine both of them and look closely at the scriptures that lead to these philosophies. Read the rest of this entry »