Does our Heavenly Father punish us if we misbehave? Threatening children with painful punishment is one way some parents seek to induce good behavior. And the fear of punishment is sometimes enough to cause conformity to parental authority. Not always, but often. Is this God’s way? Let’s see.
“And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says, “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”” (Hebrews 12:5-6 NIV)
So, we know for certain God disciplines His children. And we also know the only reason He disciplines us is because Read More
In Psalms 92:7, David says, “the wicked spring up like grass,” which is here today and gone tomorrow. Then, in verse 12, he says, “the righteous shall flourish like a palm tree.” He is making a contrast between the two.
Grasses grow quickly, and die quickly. Expose grasses to extreme heat, and their leaves dry up, wither, and die. That’s the way the Read More
How can you be sure God will favor you and bless you today? I’ve got news for you. It’s not because you will earn it, work for it or deserve it. No, God will favor you, increase you and do only good to you because of His covenant with Abraham!
Listen to what God said to Isaac. Read More
Do I have to tithe in the New Covenant? When it comes to tithing, there are two extremes. One extreme is the legalistic view that makes tithing a law which you must obey, or else! The other extreme is that of some grace preachers that say tithing is irrelevant since we are not under the law anymore. Both groups are wrong.
No New Covenant believer should tithe out of fear that if he does not, God will be angry with him and pronounce a curse upon him. God does not curse His children. Furthermore, God loves a cheerful giver and would not be glorified by forced giving.
But neither should any New Covenant believer think that tithing has no place under grace. That cannot be true because the first time tithing is specifically mentioned, it is in Genesis 14, when Abraham tithed to Melchizedek. Abraham is the father of all who are justified by faith and not by works. He related to God on the basis of a covenant of grace, not law.
So the first time the subject of tithing is brought up, it is within the context of a covenant of grace, being practiced by the man God lifts up as an example of justification apart from law. This is significant because in interpreting Scripture, one important principle is the law of first mention. Simply put, this principle teaches that the first time an important subject is mentioned in the Bible, the truths revealed there about that subject are guiding truths that should inform your understanding of this subject subsequently.
Tithing, therefore, should first and foremost be associated with the covenant of grace, and not with law. It should not be regarded as a tax being levied by God, with penalties associated for not paying up. Instead, tithing should be to us what it was to Abraham–an act of worship, an expression of faith and gratitude, in response to God’s grace.
Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. And he blessed him and said: “Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.” And he gave him a tithe of all. (Genesis 14:18-20 NKJV)
For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all, first being translated “king of righteousness,” and thenalso king of Salem, meaning “king of peace,” without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, remains a priest continually. Now consider how great this man was, to whom even the patriarch Abraham gave a tenth of the spoils. (Hebrews 7:1-4 NKJV)
Notice, Melchizedek, a type of Jesus, “king of peace” and “king of righteousness” offered Abraham bread and wine, the symbols of the New Covenant. And then he blessed Abraham, apart from any works Abraham had done.
There are no tablets of stone here. Is this not a picture of grace? Surely, this is unmerited favor being bestowed upon Abraham.
And it is to this undeserved favor being lavished upon him that God’s man of grace and faith responds by offering a tenth of all his increase. He was not commanded to do so. He did not have to do so by law. It was not forced upon him, but he did so freely, willingly, joyfully. He did so because it was the only appropriate way to honor so great a person as Melchizedek; the only appropriate way to express faith, love and gratitude to One so great and so kind!
Child of God, you don’t have to tithe to be righteous. You are righteous by grace through faith. But if you, who are righteous by faith, ever truly understand the greatness of God and the magnitude of the undeserved blessing He has bestowed upon you in Christ, like Abraham, you will want to worship Him. And worshipping Him with at least a tenth of your income will seem to you the only appropriate way to respond.
So, do you have to tithe? No, you can go to heaven, even if you are not a tither. Grace takes care of that! You will just miss out on a lot of experiences you could have had with God along the way, if your failure to tithe is the result of your unwillingness to trust God with your finances.
But the good news is, you get to tithe! And when you do, don’t be surprised if God decides to bless you again and again. For the truth is, every time you choose to trust and honor God, He will honor you in fact. Try as you may, you can never out give God!
Tithing is not a burden. It’s a blessing.
God gave us His best. Seems to me the least we should worship Him with is the tithe! What do you think?
Signs are helpful because of what they lead to, or reveal. For example, the sign of human life is breath. If you want to know if a human body is living, you look for signs of breathing. If you detect breath, you know immediately life is present.
What do you look for to Read More
The most powerful member of your body is your tongue. Don’t believe me? Then take a quick look at what the Bible has to say on this subject.
“A man’s stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth; From the produce of his lips he shall be filled. Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.” (Proverbs 18:20-21 NKJV)
“Whoever guards his mouth and Read More
Undoubtedly, stress is one of the greatest contributors to many of society’s problems and the root cause of much physical and emotional pain and suffering. It can also be one of the greatest hindrances to your spiritual growth and well-being, too. Stress is simply no good–it’s toxic!
That’s why the Bible tells us in numerous places to trust God with our lives and rest in His love for us. Here are a just a few examples: Read More
Do you remember when Jesus said to His disciples, “At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you: For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God.”? (John 16:26-27 KJV). Wow, that is an amazing promise straight from the lips of Jesus Himself!
This is what this means. You don’t need anybody to Read More
“Go tell my disciples, and Peter, I am risen.” He singles Peter out; makes special mention of him; calls him by name. Why? Peter had just denied Him three times, was feeling utterly worthless, completely rejected, a total failure. Peter had given up on himself. Jesus would never give up on him.
Do you sometimes feel like a failure, that God must be angry with you and probably wants to Read More
Every year Americans celebrate Thanksgiving Day. It’s a great tradition–setting aside time to say thanks to God first, and then to family and friends for the things they have said and done over the years that have enriched our lives. In fact, giving thanks is such a powerful thing that Read More