March 16, 2009
One final word: you should pray diligently to God for where your tithe should go.
Give back to those who've helped you grow spiritually
I personally believe that for most everyone it should go to those who are responsible for your growth in the Kingdom. Those pouring into your life spiritually must be supported financially. For most people, that is your local church. They are also the best at distributing your gift to the community. You should give additional offerings directly to areas of need that you see fit.
Not only does your local church know the local needs (or should), but by giving this to someone else to distribute, you are truly giving it to God. If your entire tithe goes to a pet project that you are fanatical about, then I think the line begins to blur between tithing and discretionary spending. This is not a biblical mandate. Feel free to disagree. If you have been scarred by the idea of giving to a church for some reason, then I would say give it somewhere else rather then not giving at all. There are many ministries desperate for this help. Read the rest of this entry »
February 20, 2009
We’ve been looking into the Sermon on the Mount which started with Matthew 5 to 7 and we’re continuing from Matthew 6:11-15 where Jesus taught us how to pray. As we take on this prayerful lifestyle, we begin to enter new Heavenly realities and Jesus explains here what Life is like in the Kingdom of Heaven. He shows us the values we will possess living in the Kingdom of Heaven while still confined to this world. As we grow, our values will change. He starts with a couple aspects of our physical needs and then addresses our relationships with others.
Jesus calls us to live a life in the Kingdom of Heaven while here on earth, as we’ve been discussing. In doing so, our purposes for living change. All around us people are consumed with accumulating the stuff of this world. These might be material possessions. It might be adrenaline highs. Perhaps it’s television shows? Jesus specifically mentions material wealth. We’ll be speaking a lot about biblical wisdom on this subject in this blog, but here we’ll stick to Matthew. Read the rest of this entry »
February 18, 2009
The Lord’s Prayer: Matthew 6:10
Yesterday we started studying the Lord’s Prayer. While instructing us how to pray, Jesus teaches that we need to be in awe of our Holy God the Father. This is important when we go into an extended period of prayer, but the key to living the Kingdom life is that we live out life in this way. Jesus instructs us to live like little children (Matt. 11:25-26). By constantly being in wonder of who He is, we become open to knowing Him more deeply and seeing how He is moving in certain situations. If we want to truly enter the Kingdom life that Jesus calls us to, this is the key. Only after this is established does the rest of what Jesus is teaching matter.
“Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven“
Jesus is teaching us to pray for our Father’s heavenly Kingdom reality, which is perfect, to come in and take over the earthly situation that we find ourselves in. That His perfect will be done in our present situation in this lost world as it would be done in Heaven above. Read the rest of this entry »
February 16, 2009
On Friday, Jesus was teaching us how we will interact in the world when we have been transformed by the Holy Spirit. Today, we’ll begin to discuss how He tells us to accomplish this with an overview of the religious life of His day (which is not so different from what is common today). If you have not, please read the first post in this discussion of the Sermon on the Mount here, before continuing.
The Jews felt that there were three areas of religious duties prescribed within the Law. These were:
- Giving to the poor
- Fasting Read the rest of this entry »
January 26, 2009
(June 27th 2006 – Reynosa, Mexico)
Monday( even later that day)
When we debriefed after dinner back in the chapel where we were staying, we listened patiently as all the other teams described their experiences. We could hardly sit in our chairs. Everything they described about their day was exactly as we had prayed for them. With unbelievable accuracy, Holy Spirit had shared with us what each and every one of them was going through in whatever part of the city they were in. When they were finished, we shared the things we had been praying for them and many were touched to see that God had given us the gift and direction to pray for them specifically. Afterward, Rabbi David asked us to pray for the group. So we huddled up and did so. There was power in these prayers beyond anything we, by ourselves, were capable of. I have tried duplicating this type of prayer of my own power and I am not capable. But He was with us. Read the rest of this entry »