Most of the time that makes up our lives is spent proving us…how do we react in a situation, how closely do we follow the scriptures, how consistent are we…and many other tests along these lines.
There is only one place in the Bible where God says, “Prove me”. That scripture is in Malachi.
I would be so bold as to say that anyone who has consistently, without fail, without doubting, consistently tithed day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, however their income comes in, will not stop tithing because they are aware of the benefits.
When it comes to money people say about churches, “all they want is your money.” A church or minister would be negligent not to tell you to give to the Lord, just as it can be negligent for a health care professional not to tell you about lifestyle and how it affects your health.
A work-out center offers you weights and equipment to improve your health, but realistically, they are going to talk about your diet as well.
No matter what realm you work in, whatever topic you are talking about, ongoing lifestyle and prevention are important parts of the discussion.
You could buy a $100,000 dollar car, but if you don’t keep the oil changed and the maintenance up, you can trash it just as easily as a car that costs less. The same goes for a house, or motor home, or boat or anything.
There is a tendency to think that because the things of God are more invisble, that they don’t operate by some of the same common sense principles as the things we see. We know it costs money to keep a house repaired, to fix the plumbing, to lay down new tile, to paint with a fresh coat of paint, and to repair the roof. Somehow, when a church asks for money to do the same, it is called “money-grubbing” or “all they want is your money”.
Just as a side note, you have to realize that Amazon and Wal-Mart and all those retailers are after your money as well, but the message is packaged differently. A church is trying to pay for expenses so it can keep bringing you the Word of God week after week. A retailer is after your money for other purposes.
This problem is not new. Here is an example of the same problem discussed in the book of Haggai. Notice that after the people worked on the house of God, then the Word of the Lord came…I am with you. This was an if…then proposition.
Haggai 1:1 In the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month, in the first day of the month, Yahweh’s word came by Haggai, the prophet, to Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua, the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, saying, 2 “This is what Yahweh of Armies says: These people say, ‘The time hasn’t yet come, the time for Yahweh’s house to be built.’”
3 Then Yahweh’s word came by Haggai, the prophet, saying, 4 “Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, while this house lies waste? 5 Now therefore this is what Yahweh of Armies says: Consider your ways. 6 You have sown much, and bring in little. You eat, but you don’t have enough. You drink, but you aren’t filled with drink. You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm, and he who earns wages earns wages to put them into a bag with holes in it.”
7 This is what Yahweh of Armies says: “Consider your ways. 8 Go up to the mountain, bring wood, and build the house. I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified,” says Yahweh. 9 “You looked for much, and, behold, it came to little; and when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why?” says Yahweh of Armies, “Because of my house that lies waste, while each of you is busy with his own house. 10 Therefore for your sake the heavens withhold the dew, and the earth withholds its fruit. 11 I called for a drought on the land, on the mountains, on the grain, on the new wine, on the oil, on that which the ground produces, on men, on livestock, and on all the labor of the hands.”
12 Then Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua, the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, obeyed Yahweh, their God’s voice, and the words of Haggai, the prophet, as Yahweh, their God, had sent him; and the people feared Yahweh.
13 Then Haggai, Yahweh’s messenger, spoke Yahweh’s message to the people, saying, “I am with you,” says Yahweh.
14 Yahweh stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua, the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and worked on the house of Yahweh of Armies, their God, 15 in the twenty-fourth day of the month, in the sixth month, in the second year of Darius the king.
In today’s world, it is easy to go to Facebook, YouTube, and other online places to hear sermons or listen to audio broadcasts of the messages of God.
I would suggest to you that in the midst of all that, don’t forget to tithe. Tithe to to those places that you listen to, even if you are not local. They still have expenses to bring the message to you electronically.
With all the fuss about the separation of church and state, which actually has been misinterpreted in modern times…the state was supposed to stay out of the church’s business, and not the other way around, but in any case, with all of the fuss about the separation of church and state do you think that the church is somehow a welfare arm of the state and that it is funded by them? No. Those soup kitchens and clothing shops and various things churches offer are there because of donations of church individuals, and those individuals have to deal with the same higher gas and food prices th at you do. So don’t think that churches somehow have some “magical” donation button they push with the government to fill their coffers. They don’t.
They are upheld by the tithes and offerings of those who attend them. In turn, God blesses those who give tithes and offerings.
If you say, I have seen people blessed that don’t give tithes and offerings, consider that “the wheels of God grind slowly, but grind exceedingly fine.” There was a time during the Great Depression when all those who had money and perhaps no faith in God lost quite a bit. Some committed suicide. The time comes when what used to work, like Sampson’s strength, no longer works any more.
Proverbs 10:22 Yahweh’s blessing brings wealth,
and he adds no trouble to it.
Why do I think there is such economic trouble in this land?
I believe it is because the majority of people in this nation, including Christians, did not tithe. (tithing statitics here) So, the devourer was not rebuked. Over and over you will see a theme on this site that if there is a problem, rather than blaming God, look to see where there have been sins of omission, sins of commission, or a combination thereof to bring about a problem.
Proverbs 26:2 Like a fluttering sparrow,
like a darting swallow,
so the undeserved curse doesn’t come to rest.
There are varying translations of this verse, and some use the word “him”, others the word “me”. I prefer the “me” translations as I think they express the problem more clearly.
Job 19:28 If you say, ‘How we will persecute him!’ because the root of the matter is found in me,
For you say: ‘why do we persecute him?’ For The Good Word has found occasion against me (Aramaic Bible in Plain English)
But ye say, ‘Why do we pursue after him?’ And the root of the matter hath been found in me. (Young’s Literal Translation)
Remember, as the popular saying goes, “I don’t have a dog in this fight”. I’m not a church. I’m just trying to help some of you out who wonder why your prayers for financial help are not answered or slow to be answered. Consider these things and consider giving to the church(es) where you get your spiritual food. Tithe to one and give offerings to others. Just make sure those churches preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and lead people to salvation.
I was going to end it there, but here’s another scripture, at least part of one; the chapter is longer. This goes back to the question of why are the economic conditions the way they are? There was a time when the economic outlook of the country was bright. The good times were “rolling” so to speak. But during that time, were tithes given? Were offerings given? Did people remember the Lord, enough people, that is, not just some, but enough. Like the history in the book of Jonah, which is a small four-chapter book found towards the end of the Old Testament, it took national repentance for the direction of the nation to change. And, in the book of Jonah, there was a bright outcome. They did repent and change.
Deuteronomy 28:47 Because you didn’t serve Yahweh your God with joyfulness and with gladness of heart, by reason of the abundance of all things; 48 therefore you will serve your enemies whom Yahweh sends against you, in hunger, in thirst, in nakedness, and in lack of all things. He will put an iron yoke on your neck until he has destroyed you.
Natural events are precipitated by spiritual causes.
And I will add this too. In translation, the Bible is translated often in terms of implying God is going to do some kind of judgement. And while in some cases that may be correct, there is a certain amount of translation that is more like, you enter into a law (by obedience or disobedience), and the law brings the consequences.
In other words, if someone jumps off of a high cliff (don’t do it), the law of gravity goes into action. God does not sit in heaven deciding to judge the person for jumping and personally bring a judgement of that person getting squished on the bottom of the valley. No. The person entered into the law by disobedience, and reaps the consequences of the same.
The reason I mention that is because the Old Testament God sounds very different from Jesus due to translation issues. There is a certain amount of translation going on that should be more like “God lets it happen”. That would change how God is viewed if the translations were consistently like that.
In other words, if you move out of an umbrella of protection by disobeying God, God “lets it happen” that you get wet. It’s not God doing it. This is why I continually repeat, “Don’t blame God.”
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