Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The First 10th Belongs To The Lord

“I the Lord do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed. Ever since the time of your ancestors you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord Almighty. “But you ask, ‘How are we to return?’ “Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’ “In tithes and offerings." Malachi 3:6-9

When you were a child one of the first lessons your parents taught you was not to take things that do not belong to you. That is called stealing and it is wrong. No doubt they made their point by reminding you how you hate it when someone takes something that belongs to you. If you don't people taking your stuff then don't take theirs.

If you had brothers and sisters you were taught to respect them and their toys by not taking them without their permission. To do so is stealing and stealing is wrong. 

Perhaps, if you were brought up in a Christian home you were taught that stealing is not only wrong it is a sin because it violates one of God's commandments - "Thou shall not steal".

Later, when you started going to school your teacher forbade you from stealing from the other students in the class. If you stole lunch money or a candy bar or a pencil from another student and you got caught, you were sent immediately to the principal's office and that visit didn't end well. Or, shall I say it didn't end well on the end part of your body!

One way or another you learned that stealing is wrong and that you should not do it! That was an important lesson to learn!

While all responsible parents teach their children not to steal from others, how many parents teach their children not to steal from from God?

Were you taught not to steal from God?

Have you taught you children not to steal from God?

As indicated in these verses above it is possible to rob God and it is a very serious offense. Very serious!

That is why God is reminding His children and chastising them that failure to give their tithes is the same as robbing Him.

What is the tithe?

The tithe is the first tenth of the income you receive. That first tenth belongs to the Lord, so if you keep it and fail to offer it to Him you become a thief.

In these verses above, the Prophet Malachi writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit notes that robbing God of His tithe caused Him to turn away from them.

Did you know that God requires the tithe of you?

Do you know that tithing brings God's blessing on your life?

Have you taught that to your children?

Did you know that failure to bring the tithe to God is a sin?

Do you know sin separates you from God?

You'd better remember what your mom and dad told you about stealing!

January 24, 2017

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:19-21

It has been said, "You can't take it with you but you can send it ahead."

How does that happen? How do I turn temporary tangible objects into eternal treasures?

You do that by using them in support for the evangelistic work of the Gospel!

When you financially support your local church you are using something temporary (money) to support something eternal (The Kingdom). That then, becomes a heavenly treasure as hearts are transformed and lives are changed!

Your heart will follow your treasure! Jesus said so! 

If you want your heart to end up in Heaven then send your treasures there!

What are treasures?

People are treasures!

They are the only thing that Jesus died for and the only thing that can last forever.

What do you treasure more than your family?

Possessions are treasures!

Look for ways to use the material things God has blessed you with to reach people with the Gospel of Christ. 

Use your car to bring people to church or to run errands for a home bound person.

Open your house to welcome a hurting person or someone who is homeless.

Withdraw some savings to give to a person in need.

These are some ways to leverage material possessions to win eternal people into the Kingdom of Heaven.

Passions are treasures!

Everyone is passionate about something! 

What excites you?

What motivates you?

What brings you joy as you use it, do it or think about it?

What moves other people when you say it or do it?

What do you feel God wired you to do with your talents and gifts?

Whatever it is that makes you passionate use it to draw people closer to Jesus!

So, what on earth will you do today for Heaven's sake?