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Tithe - Still Required (Part II)?

Tithing is very much part of the Old Testament laws and regulations.  Perhaps the most famous passage is from Malachi 3:8-10: "Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In your tithes and contributions. You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you. Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need."

God accuses the Israelites of not tithing.  They are stingy and do not give the full tithe.

(to be continued)

Tithe - Still Required (Part I)?

  Is tithing - giving 10% of  your income to the church - still a requirement in the New Testament era?  If  you to to biblegateway.com, and type in the word "tithe," you will see that it in the NIV it is mentioned 29 times in the Old Testament and never in the New Testament.  In the English Standard Version, tithe is mentioned five times in the New Testament.  Four times it is mentioned in the book of Hebrews referring to the Old Testament.  The other time is is mentioned about the Pharisee who is boasting in comparison to the publican (tax collector).  No where in the New Testament does Jesus say we need to tithe.

(to be continued)

Speech that is Uplifting

For men's life we have been studying Jerry Bridge's Respectable Sins.  Ephesians 4:29 states "Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear."  Bridges challenges us "Will what I'm about to say tend to tear down or build up the person I'm about to talk about?"

Lord, may what we say build up people.

Missing Women

Where have all the women gone in China?  China instituted a one child policy in 1979 and since females were not valued as highly as males, many females were killed - most before birth, some after birth.  The result is that 20% of the Chinese males will not be able to find a wife.  There are now 30-40 million Chinese men without a chance for a wife.  The Chinese call these dead branches - as they will never produce fruit.

http://www.france24.com/en/20170609-video-reporters-china-millions-single-chinese-men-desperately-seeking-wife

Lord, help us to value all people, men and women, able and disabled.

Ignoring Dads

In the June 12-18 issue of Business Weekly, they had a section on Life's Lessons.  Some of the sub-titles were Building the business, Achieving work-life balance, Practicing good office politics, and Listening to mom.  I searched but could not find Listening to dad.  Dad's are important in the life of the family, and when they are no there, they hurt the family.  So dads, step up to the plate.  And readers, be wary of what you read.

Lord, help dads be dads.

Ignoring God

In the June 12-18 issue of Business Weekly, they had a section on Life's Lessons.  Some sections were Finding your moral compass, Being a decent human being, and Channeling your inner Zen.  In Finding your moral compass, all six responses were about integrity and not lying.  Not one response mentioned loving God and loving your neighbor as yourself.  In being a decent human, one suggested writing personal handwritten notes, not e-mailing or texting.  Very true, but being a decent human being is far more than handwriting a thank you note.  One wrote the priority should be faith {faith in what/whom?}, family, and work. 

Lord forgive our nation for not putting Christ first.  He is king, yet we act as if He is not the Lord of business.  Forgive us Lord.  And please send Your Holy Spirit to work our lives.

Truth Telling

In quite a few movies that we have been watching, the protagonists get into a heap of trouble because they are not truth tellers.  Many problems arise simply because people lie.  While it certainly happens in the movies, I would contend that it also happens in real life.  Call a spade a spade.  Tell the truth.

Jesus Christ said "I am the truth."  Note that it was not "I tell the truth" but "I am the truth" because Christ is and defines truth.

Weeds - Part III

    Another greenbrier plant I attacked had a root system that was six feet long for a stalk of three feet.  Once again, only be pulling the weeds up will my good plants grow.  How are you doing in your spiritual life?  A little tug won't solve the problem.  Sometimes it is going to take a long and tough fight to get rid of sin.

Lord, help us to root out sin.

Weeds - Part II

     While patrolling my yard, I found a greenbrier growing.  One stalk was bare and prickly so I took my trowel and tried to dig it up, but it would not come up.  Back with a shovel I attacked the plant and I dug up a root system, a rhizome, that was 6" long and 3-4" in diameter. 
     The Bible says to root out all evil.  Just snipping the plant at ground level would not have solved the issue.

Lord, help us to root out all evil.

Weeds

I went into my yard and looked at my azalea bush and found it was very green, but not with azalea leaves.  Honeysuckle had completely covered the bush.  I started pulling up the weeds and in the end, I had a very bedraggled bush with not so many leaves.  Jesus states in Matthew 13:22 "Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful." 

Lord, help us to get rid of the weeds of the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches.

Bigamy

We have been watching The Magnificent Century, a Turkish film about Suleyman the Magnificent.  In the film, two women vie for his attention:  Mahidevran, his first concubine who gave him his first son, and Hürrem who bore him (so far in the film) a son, Mehmed,  and a daughter, Mihrimah.  Watching the two concubines fight over Suleyman reminded us very much of the fighting between Leah and Rachel over Jacob.

When God created Adam, he created one wife for him, not two. 

Thank you Lord for my wife.

Benjamin Franklin the Diest

Benjamin Franklin said, "The longer I live, the more convincing Proofs I see of this Truth, That God governs in the affairs of men."

Even a deist, who did not believe that God was only a watchmaker, came around to believe that God really is in charge.

Benjamin Franklin the Diest and Prayer I

One of the most famous deists was Benjamin Franklin.  A deist believes that god (or God) is like a watchmaker.  He has wound up the clock and placed it on a shelf.  Thus, there is no reason to pray.  But in 1787 at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, Benjamin Franklin, the deist, proposed that the meetings be opened in prayer.  He wrote  "How has it happened that we have not, hitherto once thought of humbling applying to the Father of Lights to illuminate our Understandings?"  When his request for prayers was turned down he lamented "The Convention except for three or four Persons, thought Prayers unnecessary!"

Lord God Almighty, may we always open our meetings with prayers, seeking to do your will.

Ascension Day Part III

In Ephesians 1:20, 22 we read, that God the Father "raised him [Jesus Christ] from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms.  22 And God placed all things under His feet." 
In Joshua 10 we read the story of how Adoni-Zedek, king of Jerusalem, formed a coalition to fight against Joshua and the Israelites.  You know the story of how Joshua prayed that the sun would stand still so he could beat them.  After inflicting a terrific defeat on them and chasing them for miles, we pick up the story in verse 24:  When they had brought the kings to Joshua, he summoned all the men of Israel and said to the army commanders who had come with him, 'Come here and put your feet on the necks of these kings.'  So they came forward and placed their feet on their necks.  Joshua said to them, 'Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.  Be strong and courageous!  This is what the Lord will do to all the enemies you are goint to fight.' Then Joshua struck and killed the kings and hung them on five trees."
When Paul says that everything is put under the feet of Jesus, remember this story.  Notice the tense.  He placed (past tense) all things under His feet.  This is an accomplished action.

Thank You Father for making Jesus the king of kings.

Memorial Day

Today, Memorial Day, is a day we remember for those who have died.  We have freedom because of those who gave their all.  We think of those who were not selfish but thought that their cause was worth dying for.  Thanks to those who died.

Ascension Day Part II

In Ephesians 1:20 we read that God the Father "raised Him [Jesus Christ] from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms . . . and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the age to come." 
In the business world there are chief executive officers, (CEOs), who run the company.  In the political world in the United States we have a president, a supreme court of 9 justices, and a legislative branch with two houses, 100 senators in the senate and 535 representatives in the house.  Jesus is the CEO, and the president, and all 9 supreme court justices, and the entire legislative branch.  He is above all titles.  He is at the head of everything and everybody.

Jesus Christ, we bow our knees to You.

Ascension Day Part I

Ascension Day, when Christ returned to heaven, is a true Christian holy day, that has not been corrupted by the retail industry.  There are no Hallmark Ascension Day cards and there are no Jesus Christ action figures that when you press a button, a toy Jesus Christ is launched into the air.
We went to an Ascension Day Service, and Rev. Petr Kornilov had an excellent sermon based on Ephesians 1:20-21. God the Father "raised Him [God the Son/Jesus Christ] from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion." 
Simply put, Jesus is king now.  Not a future king.  But king now.  We often fret when we see the suicide bombings, the turmoil in the world, the rioting, the protests, the economic uncertainty, etc.  But we must remember that God the Father has placed Jesus on the throne "far above all rule and authority, power and dominion." 

Thank You Father, for putting Jesus on the throne. 

New Dinosaur

Up in the tar sands of Alberta, an equipment operator found the most complete skeleton of an armored dinosaur, a nodosaur, ever found.  "For paleontologists the dinosaur’s amazing level of fossilization—caused by its rapid undersea burial—is as rare as winning the lottery. . . One unlucky day this landlubbing animal ended up dead in a river, possibly swept in by a flood. . . microscopic remnants of its original coloration."
http://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2017/06/dinosaur-nodosaur-fossil-discovery/

Comments: 
1.  Once again we have an animal drowned.  Since the scientists say there can't be a flood, they come up with some alternate facts.
2.  How is it possible that there is still coloration after 110 million years?  Could it be that the fossil is not quite as old as 110 million years?

Lord, thank you for making so many different varieties of animals.

New Family Tree

    What is interesting is that the 15 skeletons of Homo naledi, were buried.  Wild animals don't bury their dead.  Humans do.  According to the evolutionists, the bone structures is something that one would expect for something/one living about 2,800,000 years ago, well before Homo sapiens appeared.  How is it possible that Homo naledi are burying their dead, a human action, when they should have died out over two million years before?
     Perhaps we are not millions of years old. 

Thank you Lord for creating us in Your own image.

Neanderthals - size of brain

    According to Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_evolution, one of the distinguishing characteristics of humans is their brain size.  It states "The human species eventually developed a much larger brain than that of other primates—typically 1,330  cm3 in modern humans, nearly three times the size of that of a chimpanzee or gorilla."  But then what do you do with Neanderthals which have "an average size of (1,200–1,900 cm3)"?   If we descended from the Neanderthals why did our brains shrink?

Thank you Lord for creating us with brains.