Weekly Wisdoms for the week of June 5, 2023
All of your money is God's. Everything you have is his. The earth is the LORD's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it (Psalm 24:1).
In the Old Testament, God commanded that the Israelites give back to him ten percent of what He gave them. (Leviticus 27:30-32, Genesis 14:20).
Hundreds of years after that instruction, the prophet Malachi records these words from the Lord: "Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. But you ask, 'How do we rob you?' In tithes and offerings. ... Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house" (Malachi 3:8,10).
How were the Israelites robbing God? They weren't bringing the whole tithe—the whole ten percent—to God. They were bringing less than what God commanded.
Several centuries after Malachi lived, Jesus raised the bar even further by pointing to a woman who gave everything she had as worship to God (Mark 12:41-44).
During the years of the early church, many believers sold their property and possessions so that they could pour money into the ministry of the church (Acts 4:32-37). Clearly, in the New Testament, followers of Christ went far above the ten percent rule.
Regardless of whether or not you believe tithing is part of the new covenant in Christ, the fact remains that everything you own is God's, and if you really love God, you're going to want to use His money (that He has entrusted to you) in the way that will most glorify Him.
If believers today would follow Jesus' teaching about money—e.g., don't store up treasures (money) on Earth; instead use your treasures to further the kingdom—and if believers today would follow the example of first-century Christians, then the church would have countless more money to spread the Good News throughout the earth.
Colossians 3:12-14 says, Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Also, in John 13:34-35, Jesus said, "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
Loving others isn't an option; it's a requirement -- a command. As a follower of Christ, there are no excuses for not loving someone.
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