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Weekly Wisdoms for the week of September 23, 2019

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.

Life is short... and it's not about us. Eternity is long... and it's all about God.

When God made the universe, he intended that everything in it would point praise back at Him. Every glittering star, every speck of sand, every ocean wave, every strand of DNA—everything was designed to declare how great God is. Even in making humanity, God really wasn't too concerned about us; he was thinking mostly about Himself. God was focused on how we would magnify and glorify Him (see Isaiah 43:7).

God is most concerned about Himself. In essence, God approaches every decision with this question: "What would bring me the most glory and honor and what would make me look the best in this situation?" Then he acts accordingly.

God declares, "I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols" (Isaiah 42:8). God made everything, and He made all of it to give glory to Himself.

We far too easily forget the truth that this entire universe is about God, and instead we try to hijack the spotlight to focus on us. We spend our short, little 60, 70, or 80 years here on Earth trying to make much of us, forgetting that all of creation is designed to make much of God.

God made you for a purpose, and He sent Jesus Christ into this world to invite you to join His purpose for your life, which is to magnify His name. So, don't waste your life magnifying something that is like a wisp of vapor or a puff of smoke, which is visible for a little while and then disappears into thin air. Instead, leverage your life as part of the eternal story of God—a story in which every second lifts up and magnifies God.

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