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Tithe - Still Required (Part IV)?

The first mention of tithing in the Bible is when Abraham gave King Melchizedek "a tenth of everything."  (Genesis 14:21)  The second mention is when Jacob, in fleeing from his brother's hatred, promises to God that if God blesses him, he will give God a tenth.(Genesis 28:22)
    Both of these happened hundreds of a year before Moses established tithing.  Are these two examples descriptive (describing what they did) or prescriptive (describing what is the norm)?
   Malachi 3:8-9 states
"Will a man rob God?  Yet you rob me.
"But you ask, 'How do we rob you?'
"In tithes and offerings.  You are under a curse-the whole nation of you-because you are robbing me.  Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house."
  God clearly is battling with the Israelites who held back in giving to the Lord.
Are we mandated to give 10% or has this been abrogated by the New Testament?

Tithe - Still Required (Part III)?

Some say that tithing is still required as it is not been cancelled in the New Testament.  Certain Old Testament laws are clearly cancelled.  Thus, the sacrifices are no longer required because Christ died once for all.  This is clearly stated in the book of Hebrews chapter 4 vs. 12:  "But when this Priest [Jesus Christ] had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins. .  .]
But other laws should be continued.  Thus, in the Old Testament it says "You shall not murder."  This law continues in the New Testament.  Is the same true for tithing?

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.