Tag Archives: Tithe

2 Kings 21; Hebrews 3; Hosea 14; Psalm 139

It finally happened – my daughter is getting married. Could not be more excited – today they are looking at wedding dresses and I get to stay home and hold the fort.  Not sure what the rest of the world’s dads go through in these moments but I am thrilled for one thing – they have both come together to declare their future home to be centred by their relationship with God.

 He built altars in the house of the Lord, of which the Lord had said, “In Jerusalem I will put my name.” – 2 Kings 21:4   NRSV

I remember how my wife and I, we started our journey at 21 and 22, could only survive our first five years because of the confidence and pride we had in Jesus.

 Christ, however, was faithful over God’s[f] house as a son, and we are his house if we hold firm[g] the confidence and the pride that belong to hope. – Hebrews 3:6   NRSV

We tithed when it seemed no one else was, we served and I think this was where we learned what boundaries looked like and we loved.  But all of that came from within, from the Holy Spirit.

O Ephraim, what have I[e] to do with idols?
    It is I who answer and look after you.[f]
I am like an evergreen cypress;
    your faithfulness[g] comes from me. – Hosea 14:8   NRSV

We found ourselves more willing to be vulnerable than most because we knew we were in the palm of God’s hand.  In that secure place, He made Himself known to us.

O Lord, you have searched me and known me. – Psalm 139:1   NRSV

Not sure if you are familiar with, My Heart, Christ’s Home The story impacted me as I took the Navigator 2:7 course.  I still have a few rooms left to give to Jesus and I am working on one right now.  It is my prayer for my daughter and her fiance and for you and I, that our home is Christ’s home first and then the rest will follow.

Lord, my heart is your home. Many times I forget, even during the day.  I know I remember each morning that I wake, but let me remember all day so that others looking and watching how I live can see that you are a member of my family and my home.  I love you so much for loving me.  May my gift of love back to you be the time we spend each day together.  Amen

evanlaar

 

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Filed under 2 Kings, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Hebrews, Hosea, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms, Uncategorized

Judges 4-6; Luke 21

While Jesus was in the Temple, he watched the rich people dropping their gifts in the collection box. Then a poor widow came by and dropped in two small coins.

“I tell you the truth,” Jesus said, “this poor widow has given more than all the rest of them. For they have given a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she has.” Luke 21:1-4

I once heard a story about a young boy who thought he had nothing to put in the offering at a crusade. Though I can’t remember all of the details as it’s been years since I heard it, the gist of it is that a young boy was watching the offering baskets weave back and forth through the crowd, he was seeing all of the money given by the others, and he was getting sadder and sadder as they came closer to him. His pockets were empty; he had no money to give. He bowed his head in shame until he remembered he did have something that he could offer; and when the basket was handed to him, he laid it on the ground and stepped into it…”I give all of myself, Lord.”

I’ve never had a lot of money, as a matter of fact for most of my adult life I have lived below poverty level. It can be scary, literally some days not knowing where my next meal would come from, but the Lord has ALWAYS met my needs in some way – whether through the anticipated or {most of the time} through the completely mind-boggling unexpected.

In the beginning of my journey in faith, I felt guilty and full of shame because the small amount of money that I could afford to give for offerings never felt like enough. It felt meager and pitiful. As I continued, the Lord taught me truth through the story of the ‘widow’s mite’.

Giving isn’t about the dollar amount that is contributed. Sure, there are people in the world who are able to give thousands of dollars in one fell swoop, and that is amazing for the ministries and people who receive it; I can speak from personal experience that it means a lot when you’ve been given support in an area of need. However, the offering that God is hoping to receive is that of the best of what can be given with a heart of love, generosity, and willingness.

I may not be able to write a check for thousands, but I can give what I have – I can give my Bible to someone who, unbeknownst to me, had been praying for one the night before we met. I can serve someone in an area of need – cooking a meal, offering a ride, volunteering through a local ministry… I can give a hug, hold the door, help someone cross the street, and offer an ear to listen or a hand to hold.

As I listen…not to the voice of guilt that tries to make me feel inadequate because I don’t always have cash to give, but to the voice of Holy Spirit who shows me the ways that I can give my all to God. As I obey the promptings, some very easy and some that stretch my faith, I place myself in the proverbial offering basket.

Yesappa, Thank You for accepting the only offering I can give 100% of the time…myself. I pray that I am an incense pleasing to You. Show me how to give so that I can be a pipeline for You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

Blessings – Julie, Sholavandan, India (written in the U.S.A.)

 

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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Filed under 66 Books, Judges, Luke, New Testament, Old Testament

2 Kings 25, Hebrews 7, Amos 1, Psalm 144

The LORD roars from Zion, … I will not turn away its punishment, …  Because they… Amos 1

but the word of the oath, which came after the law, appoints the Son Who has been perfected forever. Hebrews 7:28

            Blessed be the LORD my Rock, …  the One in whom I take refuge, Psalm 144

www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2Kings%2025;%20Heb.%207;%20Amos%201;%20Ps144&version=NKJV 

2 Kings 25    “Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and all his army came against Jerusalem and encamped against it; … men of war fled at night …  they killed the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, put out the eyes of Zedekiah, … and took him to Babylon …. burned the house of the LORD … Judah was carried away captive from its own land.”  

                 Judah would not repent (2 Kings 23:26-27, 32, 37 ; 2 Kings 24:1-4, 8-9, 17-20). The Wrath of the Lord is horrific! The king who “did evil in the sight of the LORD” saw evil in his own sight as his last view! What an emblazoned vision! What do my thoughts and actions bring before God’s eyes? May they not be evil rebellion against a Holy and humble God Who loves, cares and protects me tenaciously!! 

             Lord Jesus Christ, may I not trust men, governments or officials with my well being. May I not depend upon temporary people who rule as a replacement for Your Ultimate, Powerful and Trustworthy and Stable Dependability!! 

               Lord Jesus Christ please have our nation repent of its sins against You Who have so graciously and patiently blessed us!! I suspect the stench in Your nostrils may cause You to sneeze judgement upon us citizens because we ignore Your Word, Sacrifice, Will and Love. Lord Jesus Christ, cause us to repent to You so we will live! Awaken us to not grieve Your Holy Spirit! (Ephesians 4:25-32

Hebrews 7                For Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God,… the patriarch Abraham gave a tenth of the spoils. … there arises another priest who has come …  according to the power of an endless life… You are a priest forever… Jesus has become a surety of a better covenant …For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens; who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. 

            Lord Jesus Christ, You are far more worthy than Melchizedek for my tithe. You paid the infinite price of my sin. I desire for Your gifts to me to produce the fruit of salvation within me and in multitudes of people. Please humble me to know You are God and I am not. You don’t need my talents, time, money or resources, but You command me to submit to You benefitting the Kingdom of God for a multitude of reasons! John 15, John 17:11, 15-18, 20-26 Thank You!! You honor me Lord God Almighty by Your desires!! 

Amos 1          The LORD roars from Zion, … I will not turn away its punishment,…I will send a fire, shall devour, will also break, cut off, go captive, I will not turn away its punishment,…  To deliver, send a fire, shall devour, cut off, turn My hand against, shall perish … I will not turn away its punishment .. I will send a fire, shall devour, I will not turn away its punishment …will send a fire, shall devour, I will not turn away its punishment … I will kindle a fire, devour, go into captivity…. 

WHY??           Because they have threshed Gilead with implements of iron. Because they took captive the whole captivity To deliver them up … Because they delivered up the whole captivity … And did not remember the covenant of brotherhood. … Because he pursued his brother with the sword, And cast off all pity; His anger tore perpetually, And he kept his wrath forever. … Because they ripped open the women with child in Gilead, That they might enlarge their territory. Amos 1 

               Ruthless people are in treated ruthlessly by the Lord God Almighty UNLESS they repent to the One that can save them from God’s Wrath. May I not be wicked our even mildly thoughtless Lord God! Keep my mind, heart, words, attitudes and actions steady on You! Psalm 119:11

 Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, And you perish in the way, When His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him. Psalm 2:12

He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”  John 3:36

Jesus answered, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:16-17 

Psalm 144            Blessed be the LORD my Rock, My lovingkindness and my fortress, My high tower and my deliverer, My shield and the One in whom I take refuge 

            Where or to whom do I run when I fear? To the phone or to the Throne? To a substance or some other pleasure? How do I bury my feelings instead of bringing my innermost self to the Holy One Who can do something within and outside of me to handle “it”. (Psalm 51:6)  Do I run from God when I know I am bringing down His Wrath upon myself? Is that what I fear? Do I run from the Judge or surrender to the Atonement Who is the Lord Jesus Christ?  

                 Bow down Your heavens, O LORD, and come down; Rescue me and deliver me from the hand of foreigners, Whose mouth speaks lying words,  And whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood— Happy are the people whose God is the LORD! Psalm 144   

            Lord Jesus Christ, I wish my nation would pray this, but also within us are many liars. Make us a clean people of Your Own so we can rightfully be rescued! 2 Chronicles 7:14 and 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; 1 Corinthians 15:33-34; James 1:22

I will sing a new song to You, O God; The One who gives salvation to kings,… Psalm 144 

               I will sing a new song because I am a new creation! I have a new Daddy, Papa, Father, Abba! It is You, my Lord God, Who rescued me from sin and death! You adopted me permanently!! Praise be to the Lord Jesus Christ!! 2 Corinthians 5:17, Romans 8:1-17, Galatians 4:6, John 1:1-3,12-14, Ephesians 1:3-12, Galatians 4:1-7, 1 John 3:1-2,10, 1 John 5:2, Mark 10:15, Luke 18:16, John 3:5-8, 16-21, Romans 8:2, Romans 6, Romans 5:6-21 

 Humble is Knowing your Postion before the Lord God Almighty. =  LORD, what is man, that You take knowledge of him? Or the son of man, that You are mindful of him Man is like a breath; His days are like a passing shadow. Psalm 144:3-4  

 Crystal (PsalmThirty4)

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Filed under 2 Kings, 66 Books, Amos, Hebrews, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms, Uncategorized

Genesis 28, Matthew 27, Esther 4, Acts 27

 Faith-Fullness

          And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, He gave up His Spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. Matthew 27:50-51 ~ Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me …then the LORD will be my God… and of all that You give me I will give You a tenth.”  Gen 28:20-22 ~   ” And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14

Found at Bible Gateway –  http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Gen.%2028;%20Matt.%2027;%20Esther%204;%20Acts%2027&version=NIV1984

      Genesis 28 – Jacob heard his father’s command and blessing, and obeyed. Enduring great inconvenience, he married within his faith. Esau ran in the opposite direction. (“See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau” Hebrews 12:16)   Jacob’s faithfulness brought God near (James 4:7-8). Hearing the Lord’s promised blessings caused Jacob to react. A verbal contract backed up by tangible actions: Jacob vowed that “the LORD will be my God” and “of all that You give me I will give You a tenth.”   

Matthew 27 – Jesus’ friend betrayed him. The religious leaders chose to kill the “good teacher”. The soldiers mocked the Son of God. The official ruler declared Jesus innocent. Yet All the people answered, “Let His blood be on us and on our children!” v.25. God’s actions said, Let it be so.

            The Son of God chose to die for each of them, and me. He carried out His mission to the point of being forsaken by His God and Father. (v.46, Psalm 22) Jesus gave up His Spirit. No one took it from Him. His Father proved that the Sacrifice was acceptable by tearing the curtain of the temple in two from top to bottom. (v. 50-51) A witness stated, “Surely he was the Son of God!”

            Jesus took the wrath of God upon Himself so that I can be acceptable to His Father and am enabled to live for God on His terms.  

Esther 4 – I have been born into my family and circumstances. God knows what He is doing. The Holy One never makes mistakes. Every moment I have a choice. I can stand up for what God says and does, or I can back down and perish. God Word tells me how I can live the life God desires for me, pointing others to Christ Jesus. I can help save eternal souls along the way. Or I can wimp out and be ashamed of my Awesome Magnificent Good God. I can fear man and try to control my temporal life, valuing anything more than my relationship with Jesus Christ. Yet I must account to God for my ignoring His commands, for causing pain and eternal suffering of other people, and all to my deep personal detriment. Esther chose the right thing. Fast, pray, seek God’s power and strength, and then go and do as God commands with boldness for the love of God and people.  162  

Acts 27 – In my life I have all sorts of trouble. I can’t even predict them in order to prepare for them. So I must cling to my relationship with Jesus and His Word. I must live by God’s Holy Spirit. Only then can I ride out the storm with His Peace, wisdom and protection, for His good purposes and glory.   

         Lord God, Creator of my soul, I do not want to be like Judas or Esau. I do not want to turn my head, heart or will against You, the Son of God. But when I do, by my thoughts, attitudes, words and actions, Lord, remind me “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” 2 Corinthians 7:10  You are eager to forgive me. All I have to do is repent, hate my sin by seeing it as You see it, and then live with You and not against You. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

            Father God, I want to be like Jesus, Jacob, Esther and Paul, doing Your will. Lord, I surrender my thoughts and patterns to Yours. Build within me a breach of loyalty to the ideologies of those who do not take Your Word to heart and action. Reveal to me where I am yoked with “disbelief” in my marriage, parenting, in business attitudes and practices, and in cultural (im)morals. You sealed me with Your Holy Spirit to be your forever-child. May I live conscious of Your Goodness and fully tithe before taxes cheerfully out of gratitude for Your Son taking Your wrath for me!! Thank You! – What a small price to pay (out of Your gifting to begin with!) for eternal salvation!! Use Your money Your way to increase Your Kingdom my Lord! I delight in Your Presence. It is more joyous to me than anyone or anything else! Thank you that Your Word is true! If I live Your way You will have Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven! I look forward to it!! Amen        

Crystal (PsalmThirty4)

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Filed under Acts, Esther, Genesis, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Matthew, New Testament, Old Testament

Genesis 14, Matthew 13, Nehemiah 3, Acts 13

 No compromises! No excuses! Live deliberately for the LORD, God Most High, and for Him Alone!

 “Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High,… Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything. … But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have raised my hand to the LORD, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, and have taken an oath that I will accept nothing belonging to you,” Genesis 14:18-23

Found at Bible Gateway –  http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Gen.%2014;%20Matt.%2013;%20Neh.%203;%20Acts%2013&version=NIV1984

             Seeing this pattern repeated in each of these chapters, You move me to prayer and action. I see –

In Genesis 14, Abram rescues his nephew from the enemy’s territory to the glory of God.         

In Matthew 13, Jesus emphasizes the extreme value and importance of the Word of God (v.1-23). It sets people free from the lies of their enemy the devil in order to enable them to live an eternally fruitful life with and for God. Jesus states that there is a war for souls between the evil one and God (v.19, 37-43, 47-50) with the ultimate destinations being hell or heaven. Jesus reinforces the worth of God’s Kingdom as likening it to the most valuable treasure (v.44-46, 52)! Jesus ends by exemplifying how I should be living – For God, Jesus’ Father, despite any family or community’s “lack of faith”. Jesus lived to please His Witness of One, His Father, God.

In Nehemiah 3, Jerusalem’s Gates of protection are rebuilt or repaired by specific people known by God, God’s people.

In Acts 13, people “were worshiping the Lord and fasting,” and upon hearing the Holy Spirit, they obeyed Him for proclaiming the gospel, the Word of God.

             As a mom and citizen, how am I protecting my family and friends from the lies and deceptions the enemy spews constantly through the TV, magazines, culture, and fleshly indulgences? Am I listening to their pain, confusion and frustration without giving them the eternal tools to win the spiritual war for their souls? Am I standing up for Truth by speaking God’s Word in love, encouraging and exhorting them to be accountable to the One Who died, taking their punishment for their personal sins? Or am I being complacent, rationalizing and making excuses that it’s someone else’s job, I’m not qualified, I’m too busy or that I don’t want to deal with it? Am I not being like God’s people in Nehemiah 3? Am I being like a weed or tare? (Please God, make it not so!)  

             Do I take God’s Word seriously for myself? Do I really treasure and believe it enough to do it, to turn aside from all the other influences and watch God accomplish the results for His glory alone? Do I give God all of myself and my resources without looking for “payback”? Do give my full ten percent to God off the top, Joyously and Eagerly as Abram did, and as God commands me? Do I worship God with my life? Do I seek His Face in His Word and listen and heed the Holy Spirit to watch God display His Glory despite my humanness? I so want to!!

             The door slammed shut, figuratively. Once again the temptation of submitting to Christ was abated. “No”, she said. “When?” I asked. “After I … I don’t know.”  How long must I wait? For how long must I watch the pain of God’s chastening on a “deaf” and deceived person who I know so well? How long must I suffer in empathy for this person who I love and cherish? How much more than I is the Lord Jesus Christ suffering for her soul. I am keeper of the Gate, keeping the standards, planting the Word of God, loving deeply and without condition, treasuring God’s promises in my heart, living for Him alone, and being empowered by His Holy Spirit to endure her lack of faith.

             Lord Jesus Christ, thank you for the opportunity to love You and all those You put in my path. I praise You, living God, for changing some of my family members into Your image, making them new Creatures in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:17). I rejoice in Your Handiwork in their lives! I dedicate to You, again, my entire family to live for Your glory alone. Please do just what it takes to make them all totally Yours. Please give me discernment of the lies and deception around me. Please open my heart and mind to Your Word to set myself and others free from all that ensnares us away from You. I seek to bear much eternal fruit. Please enable and empower me so You can do this through me. Please let me know by Your Holy Spirit what I should and should not express, and how, for specific situations. I rest and trust in You, for You are God Most High and I am not. I am grateful and rejoice that I am just your child, covered by Your Blood, and never an adult in You. Thank You. Amen.

 Crystal (PsalmThirty4)

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Filed under Acts, Genesis, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Matthew, Nehemiah, New Testament, Old Testament