Tag Archives: tithe

An Attitude of Gratitude

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!

For His mercy endures forever.

1 Chron 16:8 NKJV

 

Saying Thanks on Thanksgiving

It’s a national holiday that calls us to express our gratitude. Gratitude. An emotion born from contentment and satisfaction. Or is it?

  The Apostle Paul tells us the he learned to be content in any circumstance (Phil 4:10-13)

  So, it’s not the circumstances in life that should influence our contentment but rather our attitude in the face of our circumstances. But how can this be possible in the face of want and need? How can an attitude affect change in physical circumstances?
  The quick answer is Faith! The long answer is a bit more complex but the answer is still faith. I’ll elaborate……
  As believers we believe in God.  God tells us that He is our provider. One of His names is Jehovah Jireh (God will provide – Gen. 22:7KJV). If we have lack or want we are saying that God is a liar and that he doesn’t provide for our needs. Yes I know that sounds harsh but why waste time here sugar-coating things?
  If we experience lack or want in the face of God’s provisions we aren’t likely to consider how we make use of what we do have/receive. Denial and pride can keep us from blaming ourselves for squandering the grace of God.

If, for instance, a man is living on a fixed income which allows for him to have shelter, food and some basic luxuries like tv, telephone and internet. But he lets food go to waste in his frig (because he doesn’t feel like cooking), while he spends money on fast food that was supposed to be for bills, can he say that God doesn’t provide? Or, a woman that spends large amounts of money on scratch off games in hope of winning big but only winds up wasting money that was supposed to be for food and bills. Can she truly say that God is a liar and doesn’t provide?

I heard a great sermon that talked about this very thing years ago. The Pastor was teaching about stewardship and tithing. He asked that we (the body of Christ in general) should examine our checkbooks/bank statements to see where our dedications are. Certainly we should see finances spent on food, housing, transportation, tuition even and as well as other true necessities. But, if we see spending on things such as entertainment, alcohol, luxury items that place us in bondage to credit card debt but we don’t see regular contributions to the church we have no right to speak badly about God’s ability to provide for us.

 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts. And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of hosts.                                                                                                                      Malichi 3:10-12 KJV

……and I will rebuke the devourer for your sake!!! This is a shocking revelation!!! Taken at face value The Lord is telling us that there is a devourer out there and that He will protect us from him as a result of our faithfulness in giving to Him. So, perhaps the reason we are experiencing lack or want in our lives even if we try to make the best use of the resources received is because the devourer is attacking our finances.

The answer is easy. Have faith in God and tithe. Be responsible for your own finances by giving thanks to God for what you have and giving back a small portion (10%) regularly.

As the song says….

Give thanks with a grateful heart. Give thanks because He has given Jesus Christ to us.

Take a look around at what you have and be grateful for what you have rather than being ungrateful for what you do not have.

An attitude of gratitude is really the very least that we as believers can do in light of all that God has done for us. Perhaps that will only be completely appreciated when we are in His presences in Glory.

Betty and I hope that this past Thanksgiving has been a blessed time filled with family, friends and food. May this coming Christmas Season be blessed also.

Thanks, A&B

Money Money Money $$$

Now that I have your attention!

       I read something today on a blog that got me thinking. It was a post, or rather an ad on a post, for a “Biblical system” to amass wealth and retire early. Hmmm…sounds interesting.

Money and religion have always made a controversial combination. Some equate poverty with Godliness referring to the humble birth and life of Jesus. Others use the commonly misquoted verse that money is the root of all evil as a way of accepting their lot in life while judging those more fortunate. In actuality the quote is found in 1Tim 6:10 – For the love of money is the root of all evil; and while some have coveted after it, they have erred from the faith. Yet it is true that Jesus overturned the table on the money changers in the temple it wasn’t just because of the money. But that’s a discussion for another time. Still others have taken the approach that wealth is our right as Children of the King and that God is just waiting to shower money down on us if we just exercise our faith and claim it. The pendulum swings too far both ways unfortunately and the truth is often found after it comes to rest.

Funny Money

There are many things said about money in both the old and the new testaments. Time does not allow me to list them all but I would like to share enough on the subject to kindle a fire in you to search the Word and find the truth for yourselves. God has no problem with a person being wealthy. From the beginning He gave great wealth graciously. To  Adam and Eve he gave dominion over the Garden and everything in it. To Noah He gave salvation from His judgement and the new world after the flood. To Abraham He gave the new land and the promise of children innumerable.

Moses records in Deuteronomy 8:18  “And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.” Wait! What? Did I read that right? Yes, you did. God gives us the power to get wealth and He does to confirm that we are His!
To Solomon, God gave treasures untold ( the Bible records that Solomon was and is and always will be the richest man in the world – move over Bill Gates!) 2 Chron 1:11-12 Then God said to Solomon: “Because this was in your heart, and you have not asked riches or wealth or honor or the life of your enemies, nor have you asked long life—but have asked wisdom and knowledge for yourself, that you may judge My people over whom I have made you king wisdom and knowledge are granted to you; and I will give you riches and wealth and honor, such as none of the kings have had who were before you, nor shall any after you have the like.” But, did you see the reason why? yes, Solomon was given all that wealth because he didn’t ask for it. God saw that his heart was more concerned with the responsibility of governing Gads people rather then personal gain. So, clearly God has no problem with a person being wealthy. It the why and what of it that concerns Him. Why do you want wealth? What will you do with it when you get it. For that matter what do you do with the money you have now?

The Word of God expresses God’s hatred of unequal scales (unfair trading), excessive usury (excessive interest rates on loans), and the covetousness of being dissatisfied with what you have now while wanting more money, cars, and stuff like that guy over there! I could go on and on but will bring this to a close by reminding us of the woman with two mites. She gave to God all that she had and she drew Jesus’ attention more then those who gave a small portion of their great wealth. So, it’s not the MONEY that concerns God, after all, its all His anyway its just passing threw our hands today. More importantly it’s how we feel about it (Jesus said you can not serve two masters [both God and money] because you will love one and hate the other). It’s what we do to gain the wealth – lie, cheat, steal, rob God and our families of our time with them, etc. It’s what we do with it once we have it. Do we give back to the church so that the ministry can continue and expand? Do we give to the poor and widows? Do we save for our children? If we do not consider the thoughts and intent of our hearts concerning money we will only deceive ourselves into thinking that we are in control of our finances.

Did you know that the only time God actually tells us to test Him is in the area of Money and giving? Read it for yourself – Malachi 3:10  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.

Looks like a challenge to me. What’s the matter – you chicken?!?!?