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Weekly Wisdoms for the week of October 8, 2018

The good news is God has all the money he needs to fund ministry through his church. The bad news is it's in your pocket!

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.

The type of seed you sow determines the type of harvest you'll reap.

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously (2 Corinthians 9:6). This verse clearly states that whatever seed you sow determines the harvest you'll reap. In other words, you can't expect to reap good rewards if you sow bad seeds.

Proverbs 11:18 says, The wicked man earns deceptive wages, but he who sows righteousness reaps a sure reward. Likewise, he who sows wickedness reaps trouble (Proverbs 22:8).

Even when things may appear to be going poorly and it doesn't look like you'll ever reap a good harvest, this principle of sowing and reaping remains true. If you Sow for yourselves righteousness, then you will reap the fruit of unfailing love (Hosea 10:12).

You may have to wait a bit to reap that harvest; in fact, you may even need to wait a long time -- maybe many, many years -- for a harvest. As Galatians 6:7-8 says, you will reap what you sow: Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.

This Biblical principle of sowing and reaping is nicely summarized by Obadiah 1:15: As you have done, it will be done to you; your deeds will return upon your own head.

Therefore, sow good seeds; then, after you wait upon the Lord, you will reap a far better harvest.

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