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For The Week: Patient Perseverance

Don’t rush your decisions anytime, but especially this season. There are factors that have not yet come to the surface, so your conclusion that you have all the information you need may be premature. Ask the Lord if it’s time to make the decision, then ask Him for wisdom. Don’t “sign on the dotted line” until you’ve heard from Him, whether with a specific answer or the assurance that you are heading in the right direction. “Guessing” is NOT the same as “Deciding.” Every decision is an opportunity to gain confidence. Be Bold in pressing in for an answer.

Tithing, Giving and the Scriptures [Part 1]

INTRODUCTION

One of the most divisive issues in the church continues to be regarding tithing. Many mis-understand the term, its use in the scriptures and its meaning for the church today. We will be looking at the topic from as clear a perspective as possible, based on the scriptures. The act of tithing is clearly delineated in the scriptures, but a misunderstanding of the ways the term is used in scriptures and what happened at the Cross and Resurrection has caused many Christians to continue to be brought under the heavy weights of the Pharisees.

The scriptures can generally be broken down into the following time-frames: 1. Pre-Codification of The Law (before the law was written down); 2. The Codified Law (the written law); 3. Additions to the Law (included in post-Torah books of the Bible), 4. The Transition (when Jesus taught under the law), 5. The Fulness of Times: Grace! (from the Resurrection until whatever comes next).

For clarity sake, and to see the progression of God’s unfolding plan, we will review the scriptural usage and function of the tithe and tithing within each of these time frames. The scripture verses being discussed are included for clarity sake. References are in The New King James Version unless indicated; please feel free to refer to additional references and versions as desired.

Aide & Comfort

When tragedy strikes, most of us look for a way to help. If we live nearby, we may consider volunteering, especially if we have a skill or resource that would be particularly helpful. Or perhaps we look for a way to donate ‘in general’ ~ blood or financially, for example.

In some ways we’ve come to expect this response. Watching the news, we are given the ‘up close and personal’ accounts of missing loved ones, details of last conversations, contact information. Then come the concerned politicians and government officials and their promises of investigations. And the event memorials. Then the lawsuits.

Yet I wonder how much of this is done for the good of those actually involved in the crisis event? How much grieving do we do because we are stirred by human compassion? How much because it’s expected? How much for the cameras? To be a part of the bigger event?

Don’t get me wrong. In the condition we’re in now, living for ourselves as we so often do, we are doing good for others. The blood donations will be used by someone in need, the finances and memorials will fill needs as well.

But how much do we rely on feeling compassion to motivate us to reach out and give what is ours already ~ comfort, healing, hope, answers.

I’m confident that as we all continue to be joined to Father and His heart, we will more and more be equipped and ready to be sent where He sends us.

I guess that’s part of the lesson of what is often called “The Great Commission.” Are we ready to go when and where Jesus sends us? Or are we too busy fulfilling the given expectations.

I know we will be ready.

If we want to be.

Getting Healed ~ Where to Start

God has a three-fold purpose for each one of us here on this earth:

  1. He exposes our flesh, so He can consume it,
  2. He makes us able to receive His healing in all areas of our lives, and
  3. He makes us able to enjoy intimacy with Him on all levels.

These areas are intertwined, and as He heals us, it will also affect how He exposes our flesh and brings us into relationship with Him. One can’t be done without the others. So if you want to have an intimate relationship with God, you’re gonna have to let the Lord deal with your flesh, and you’re gonna have to let Him heal you. Likewise, if you want to be healed, you’re going to have to develop an intimate relationship with God and have your flesh exposed.

Finally, if you’re tired of walking after your flesh, you’re going to have to learn how to get healed, and how to walk and live and move in the spirit.

So part of God’s purpose for us is that we receive healing in all parts of our being. Remember, we are a three-parted being: “I am a spirit, I have a soul and I live in a body.” In our spirits we are already complete. Spiritually, we are whole, we are entire—we don’t need healing in our spirit. It is in our body and in our soul (our mind, will and emotions) that we are wounded, and, if not tended, where wounds can fester and need healing.