Month: July 2016

Tithing: Constructive Giving

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For many people, tithe is simply loose change in a straw basket passed passively from church member to church member, from pew to pew. Giving when faced with the presence of “The Basket,” often stems from guilt, habit or obligation. This type of tithing is not constructive and therefore not tithing at all.

Tithing must be targeted to a purpose, a need. Tithing revolves around God, is from God and thus should always be directed by God. Tithing is not simply something that God said to do, so we follow suit. We followers of  Christ are “called” to tithe. Thus, tithing should look different to different people.   For one person, perhaps tithing should be centered primarily on the financial needs of a church. For a different person, perhaps tithing should be focused primarily on the needs of orphans or poor children in less developed parts of the world. Tithing depends entirely on how God is calling you to reinvest what he has invested in you.

God wants everything we do to highlight what he has already done for us. He wants all of our activities to increase our faith in him so that we become more aware of his presence. Tithing is no different. It should start with searching out the heart. It should lead to prayer which should lead to more prayer and then on to what God has called you to do with your money. The final step in tithing is to invest his money with a full dedication and commitment to wait, trust and watch God heal others with what he first gave you. In Paul’s letter to the Galatians, Paul mentions that he was asked by James, Peter and John to continue to remember giving to the poor in Jerusalem.

Galatians 2:9-10

James, Cephas and John, those esteemed as pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to me. They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the circumcised. All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I had been eager to do all along.

The request is not as important as Paul’s response. He stated that this act of giving or tithing was something that he personally had already been moved to do. Paul had clearly sought God for guidance concerning his money and in turn was led to supply aid to the poor in Jerusalem. He then proceeded to organize an expansive relief effort in the Gentile churches, like the church in Corinth, to raise money and assist the church in Jerusalem during the severe famine they were experiencing. This call to tithe led to incredible testimonies Paul saw in the Gentile churches.

2 Corinthians:8-15 

And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people. And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us. So we urged Titus, just as he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you—see that you also excel in this grace of giving. I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.

And here is my judgment about what is best for you in this matter. Last year you were the first not only to give but also to have the desire to do so. Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means. For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have.

Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. The goal is equality, as it is written: “The one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little.”

Tithing is not and must not be reduced to simply an act of giving your money to something else. Tithing requires faith. It requires a dialogue with God and a commitment to follow his guidance on where to reinvest his resources.

 

Jeremiah Commentary

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We are currently holding Bible studies on skype and this commentary comes from such a Bible study.  This Bible study has members from South Korea, the Philippines and the USA and we are working our way through the book of Jeremiah.  The goal of the commentary post is to help the members understand what we are reading more fully and also to give all of you a glimpse inside the current and ongoing Bible study ministry at Mobile Word.  If you would like to schedule a skype Bible study please contact us at: mobilewordministry@gmail.com.  We’d love to walk through the word with you!

Jeremiah 2:26-35

v.26: When we are truthfully in the presence of God we cannot stand as innocent. We are guilty and caught in our sinfulness when we are in the presence of God’s holiness.

v.27: Many will ask, “How am I guilty?” God’s response is that we have looked at things in this world and made them God in our hearts. We value our money and possessions more than God. We value our jobs and careers more than God. We value our friends and family more than God. But these things cannot save us. Only God can.

v.28: The lie from Satan in the Garden of Eden was that we can be like God and that we don’t need to follow His rules.

Genesis 3:4-5

 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

When we choose things that are not God to be our true love and desire God simply let’s us have what we want. When we say, “God, I don’t need you. I only need my money and my job.” God says, “Ok.” However, when we choose to worship things that are not God we will always be disappointed and we will never feel safe.

v.29: It is easy to blame and accuse God for the bad times we encounter. We are very good at pointing the finger at other people and we are especially good at pointing the finger at God when things go wrong but then take the credit when things go well.

v.30: God allows challenges to happen to us so that we will turn back to Him and need Him only. However, even when bad things happen we fail to look to God for help or for guidance. We are obsessed with ourselves.

We are also obsessed with being independent and right. We hate when people tell us what to do and when someone tells us to turn back to God or to repent to God for our guilty behavior we often get upset and reject their advice. Even when God is the answer to our problems we often reject that answer because we don’t like to be told what to do.

v.31: God is asking, “What did I ever do to you? How did I mistreat you? How have I not helped or guided you? How have I not loved you? Why do you dislike me so much?” We often turn away from God but God asks, “Why?” He asks us, “What are you hoping to find with something or someone else that you cannot find with me?”

v.32: We remember the things we care the most about.

Matthew 6:21

21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Think about what you think about the most when you are alone. Not when you are in church, at a Bible study or with other people. When you are alone and without an audience, God will reveal your true God and the thing that you would never ever forget.

v.33: We were designed for love. We were designed to receive love and to give love. However, as a result of sin we are especially good at looking for love in everything except God.

v.34: We are selfish beings. Our instinct is always to look after ourselves and to protect ourselves. Because of this we have often taken advantage of other people and taken things that are not ours. We are sinners this has caused us to cheat, lie and steal. There is no person who comes to Jesus that is free from this charge.

Romans 3:10-12

 10 As it is written:

“There is no one righteous, not even one;
11     there is no one who understands;
there is no one who seeks God.
12 All have turned away,
they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.”

Romans 3:23

23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

v.35:

Even though we are guilty, our natural reaction is to deny our own guilt and to blame someone else. When sin entered into this world so did the instinct to blame others and deny our own guilt.

Genesis 3:11-12

11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”  12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”

Genesis 3:13

13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”  The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

Tuesday Devotional: Joel 1

bibleRead Joel 1

Philippians 3:8

What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ.

The Christian church has experienced a season of comfort.  The end of that season is drawing near.  The Church in the West is fading, being undone and overtaken.  The prosperity of the Church in the West has opened the door to idle hands, complacency, ignorance and corruption of the message of Jesus.  It is no longer commonplace to be a Christian in western society, let alone popular.  It is no longer an advantage to be a Christian in western society.

Seasons are changing.  Are you ready?  Have you sat down to imagine a life without your worldly comforts?  Have you envisioned a world where you are persecuted for your faith and are robbed of your rights?  If not, consider it.  Consider it thoughtfully.  In that scenario, how is your faith in Jesus?  How is your spirit of worship concerning our risen Lord?  Surrounded by suffering and pain, are you able to worship?

The Church in the West has become covetous in its relationship with Jesus Christ.  The message preached from many pulpits today use the name of Jesus as the gate keeper, but not “The Way.”  Many sermons today teach that you can have what you want, when you want, how you want it, as long as along the way you remember that you’re not perfect and do some bad things from time to time.

The message from the pulpit is no longer “a sword that came to bring division, not peace.”  The message today is a wagging finger of casual disapproval.  Judgment is too harsh.  Tithing too invasive.  Marriage too constrictive.  Bible study too intellectual.  But Jesus tells us to, “Come and see,” and “Follow me.”  The Church in the West these days says, “Thank you, friend Jesus, for understanding me and meeting me right where I’m comfortable.  You’re so nice.”  What if God told you to quit your high-paying job for one that gave you less pay and no benefits, for Christ’s sake?  What if God told you to fight for reconciliation in a marriage that is no longer fun, exciting, sexy or easy, for Christ’s sake?  What if God told you to decline remarriage and sexual intimacy in the future, for Christ’s sake?  What if God told you to share your faith in Jesus with your non-believing family or co-workers, for Christ’s sake?  What if God told you to wake up earlier or stay up later in order to read more of your Bible or join a Bible study, for Christ’s sake?

Do all of these propositions test the comforts of our flesh and our own comfort?  Yes.  Are all of these well within reason and under the jurisdiction of God as our Father and King to ask of us?  Absolutely.  Do all of these test our love of Jesus over anything else and our willingness to follow Him anywhere He commands us to?  Yes.  These are not extreme examples written for effect.  If we identify our lives with Jesus Christ, having only Jesus is not simply enough, it is our sole desire in this life.  He HAS to be enough.  Being a Christian is not Jesus and (….).  Being a Christian is Jesus.  Christ alone.  Is He enough for you? Or do you need something alongside Jesus in your life to have love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control?

 

Tithing: Just Giving

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The root of our discontentment toward tithing is our selfish obsession with money that we view as our own. If we view what we have as something that belongs to us, that we guard, tithing becomes increasingly difficult as a result of this possessiveness. However, according to God, the truth is that what we see as “ours” is not ours at all.

Uprooting this possessiveness and ownership is like a game of connect the dots. For example, if I view my car as mine, and thus for no one else to drive, I must ask myself “how I was able to purchase the car?” A job. How did I get the job? Hard work and studying. How did I obtain the skills to work for the job that ultimately paid for the car? And so on and so forth…

The fact is the money we hoard does not belong to us. It has been given to us by God, for us to use in this world for his glory. In the same way that we are suspicious about someone asking for our money unless they can prove to us that in some way our money will eventually return to us with investment capital, God has simply invested in us with the intention to provide us opportunities to reinvest what he has given, to produce capital for the Kingdom of God. As Jesus illustrated in Matthew 25, what we have in this world is given to us simply to reinvest for the corporate good of the Church, not for our own personal and private profit.

Matthew 25:14-30 

“Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

“After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

“The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

“Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’

“His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.

“‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

 Tithing is based on a foundation of love and trust and without love and trust we are left anxiously insecure. Our insecurity with tithing illuminates our insecurity with our relationship to God.

Tithing is established in Genesis 14, when Abram meets Melchizedek:

Genesis 14:17-24

After Abram returned from defeating Kedorlaomer and the kings allied with him, the king of Sodomcame out to meet him in the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley).

Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, and he blessed Abram, saying,

“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
   Creator of heaven and earth.
And praise be to God Most High,
   who delivered your enemies into your hand.”

Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything. The king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the people and keep the goods for yourself.”

But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “With raised hand I have sworn an oath to the LORD, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, that I will accept nothing belonging to you, not even a thread or the strap of a sandal, so that you will never be able to say, ‘I made Abram rich.’ I will accept nothing but what my men have eaten and the share that belongs to the men who went with me—to Aner, Eshkol and Mamre. Let them have their share.”

Aside from the mysterious nature of this King of Salem, the impulse for Abram to give the King a tenth of what he worked for in the previous battle is even more surprising. To the reader this is akin to working overtime, and then handing a tenth of the hefty paycheck to a random stranger on the street. It defies financial logic. Unless, that is, Abram viewed what he had as not his own. Abram knew that the victory on the battlefield was not his own but was God’s. Thus, everything that came as a result of that battle was God’s also. In the end, to Abram, keeping everything to himself would have been as shocking to him as it is for us to see him parting with the tenth to Melchizedek. To Abram, giving to the King-Priest was entirely justified, whereas to keep everything for himself would have been the definition of injustice.

 

Bible Study Commentary: Jeremiah

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The following is a short summary/commentary for a current skype Bible study with members from the Phillippines, South Korea and the USA.  Follow along in your Bible as we go through the book of Jeremiah together each week.  If you have any additional questions or comments please send us your thoughts to mobilewordministry@gmail.com

Also, if you would like to start your own Bible study on skype through Mobile Word, send us an email and we can start walking through the Bible with you too!

Jeremiah 2:15-25

v.15: The “he” pronoun is talking about Israel. God is saying that Israel is being oppressed during this time in their history. The lions represent other nations or kingdoms that are attempting to take over the nation of Israel. This is a figurative verse meaning that there are not actual lions invading Israel. However, the situation was real. Many other nations were planning and attempting to overtake Israel and literally destroying their land.

v.16: Memphis and Tahpanhes refer to powerful cities in Egypt along the Nile River. The threat against Israel was coming from all sides and even the area in Egypt was a threat too.

v.17: God is saying that this current dangerous and terrible situation is not happening because God is treating Israel unfairly. God is reminding Israel that they created this situation by not following God’s will and plan. In English some parents tell their children, “YOU made the mess, now YOU clean it up!” Also, this verse is one of many pointers to Christ in the Old Testament.  The words,“The Way,” would appear during Jesus’ ministry:

John 14:6

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

v.18: God is asking the people of Israel why they pursue water in other places and not in Israel. This is also figurative and literal. God is asking the people, “Why do you not like what I give you? Why do I not satisfy you? Why do you go to find happiness in other things and not me?”

v.19: God is telling the people of Israel that there are consequences for their actions. When they don’t follow God or when they don’t have “awe” for Him, there are consequences and typically they are not good. When we follow God life is more clear, more satisfying, more peaceful. When we don’t follow God our lives are full of stress, anxiety, fear, sadness and loneliness. However, we have the choice to follow God and experience a life joy or to not follow him and experience a life of strife

v.20: God is saying that Israel has always had a problem with God being the King and God being in control. In English we say that we are “control-freaks.” Or, we are “back-seat drivers.” This is when you are driving and someone sitting in the backseat keeps telling you how you should drive even though they aren’t the person driving.

A “yoke” is a tool used typically by farmers that goes over the animals neck so it can pull another vehicle or heavy farming equipment. This is another pointer to Jesus.

Matthew 11:28-30

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Jesus is saying that when we let him have control, we don’t feel the heavy weight of a yoke.  In fact, following God’s rules sounds stressful but when we follow his rules our life becomes much lighter, much more enjoyable and much more peaceful.

The reference to a prostitute is a very graphic and very convicting metaphor that God chooses to depict the Israelites. God is saying that we devote our entire heart and life to other things as if we were giving the most precious thing we have, our bodies, to other things that are unworthy and not God. God is always depicted in the Bible as our husband and when we put more of our love and attention on our jobs, our families, our money, etc. it is as if we are cheating on our husband who loves us more than any other thing in the world.

v.21: The reference to a vine is another reference to Jesus.

John 15:5-8

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

God is depicted as a husband and also a farmer. This verse is saying that God chose us like a seed and planted us but then when we grew into a real plant we forgot the farmer and acted like we planted ourselves. Sin is forgetting God.

v.22: Even though we try and act like we are good and we have no problems, God is saying that no matter how much we try, we are still guilty in our hearts. Jesus talks about this:

Matthew 23:25-6

You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.

v.23: This is very similar to verse 20.  As it discusses our lack of devotion to God and our desire to find pleasure elsewhere.

v.24: This is also very similar to verse 20.  As it discusses our lack of devotion to God and our desire to find pleasure elsewhere.

v.25: God is saying that we are addicted to following other Gods, or other idols and not God himself. He is saying that we often get bored of Him, tired of Him, frustrated with Him and then we look to find happiness in other things. Jesus talks about this too:

John 4:14

but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

 

Let’s study the Bible!

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Mobile Word was created out of a passion we have for studying the Bible with people from all backgrounds and from all countries.  Most, if not all, of the resources we create and add to Mobile Word Ministry are aimed at equipping people with the tools and skills to study the Bible with people in their particular area today!  Alongside creating reflections, devotionals, and recording podcast episodes, we continue to study the Bible with people from all around the world.

We are adding a new feature to Mobile Word Ministry and it is designed to give you a glimpse into the world of doing a Bible study with us.  Currently we are engaged in a Bible study with people from the USA, the Philippines and South Korea.  We meet once a week on skype and we are going through the book of Jeremiah.  Before each meeting the members read the selected passage and identify difficult concepts, messages or vocabulary and then we use their interaction with the text to guide our Bible study meeting.  Allowing the members to address their needs enables the meeting time to be relevant to the needs of the members attending and it reminds us of our need for the Holy Spirit to guide the meeting in that the particular focus or topic of the meeting is not known prior to our skype appointment by the leader or the members.

After each meeting I create a very simple commentary to ensure that the major themes and concepts are made known to each member as they proceed to the next passage of study.  Too often Bible studies discuss a lot but don’t ensure understanding at all.  Our goal at Mobile Word Ministry is not only to show the information but to help people understand the information.

Enjoy walking through the book of Jeremiah with us and if you would like to schedule a Bible study with me on skype, send me a message at mobilewordministry@gmail.com.

Enjoy the word and God bless.

Sincerely,

Nathan

 

Tuesday Devotional: Hosea 4

Read Hosea 4bible

James 3:1

Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.

Matthew 18:6

“If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.

Woe to you, teachers of the law, pastors, ministers, priests, elders, deacons, Bible study leaders, missionaries, Christians.  We are given such a gift of God’s grace in Jesus Christ and His Gospel.  However, this gift brings with it tremendous responsibility and obligation to truth and to the well-being of those we interact with and, in many cases, lead.  God pronounces a judgment through Hosea that rings true today.  The leaders and ambassadors of Jesus Christ have in many ways failed.  Many churches have lost the message of Jesus and in some cases have totally traded the presence of Jesus as King of Kings and Lord of Lords for an image of a co-worker, friend, buddy, neat-guy, Jesus.

Where is obedience to His Gospel?  Where is obedience to God’s Word?  Where are self-sacrifice and humility?  Where are perseverance and the pursuit of righteousness and the active fight against the prince of this world, Satan?  Where is equality?  Where is the hunger and prayer for reconciliation as opposed to division for the sake of comfort?  Where is the unbreakable bond of marriage?  Where purity?  Where is prayer?  Where is faith?  Where is Jesus?  The message of Jesus is not easy or convenient but it is simple and true.  Why are so many people unsure about what is required of them as Christians?  Is it because they are not themselves pursuing truth in the scriptures?  Is it because they are being misled by leaders who have abandoned truth?  Is it because they are not being led at all?

It is a privilege and an honor to be called to lead someone to Christ, but have we not forgotten that there are consequences for leading them away from Him?  Repent, Teachers!  Repent, Pastors!  Repent, Priests!  Repent, Christians!  It is a gift to work alongside the Father in His work of redemption in this world but that work has clear directives that must be followed, or else.  Or else.  That sounds scary, and it should.  We are given a responsibility to shepherd, protect and care for those God has given us to disciple.  God is sovereign and this does not mean that we have to be perfect.  Far from it.  We will never be perfect. On the contrary, we will continue with our fight against sin as we disciple.  However, we are called to teach and obey a perfect covenant.  This is non-negotiable.  If we do and we make mistakes, there is grace.  If we don’t and we lead people away from Christ, there is without a doubt judgment.  Count the cost, leaders!  Are you called to lead?  Never neglect to pray for our Heavenly Father’s grace upon your endeavors.

Reflection Series: Tithing

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The Church is often associated with certain duties or responsibilities to be carried out by its members. Apart from evangelizing, tithing is one of the most notable examples, recognized by Christians and non-Christians alike. However, as is the case with many issues concerning the Church, over time this holy responsibility has been misrepresented, misconstrued and misunderstood.

Why is tithing so recognizable to non-Christians? One possible explanation is that tithing concerns money: “our” money. And since Churches often are in need of assistance to operate, the plea for financial assistance is one often made from the pulpit. The key in this is the word “our.” To sinful man there is nothing more powerful than the allure of money. Money promises to fix problems. Money promises to cure diseases. Money promises to supply happiness and security. Many people have a stronger faith in money than in God Himself. And since we have to work for our money, the request to give away some of that hard-earned money is oppressive. We are willing to part with our money, as long as there is an element of investment involved that could benefit us. We feel justified in parting with our money if there is a possibility that the parting will result in our gain.

Tithing is different. Tithing involves faith. It aids things that will go unseen by our own eyes and will almost certainly benefit someone else and not us. With this in mind, most people when asked to tithe at Church feel comfortable tossing spare change into the basket, but feel unmoved to reach for a bill or a check. We view our money as “ours.” Thus, we often find ourselves responding to the request of the church to tithe unmoved, unimpressed and unwilling to give anything at all.

Tithing is an established command of God to His people in the Bible, and as is the case with God’s commands, it is not easy or possible through man’s power or effort. A true act of tithing is only possible with God’s hand firmly behind the believer. Otherwise, tithing will eventually result in resentment, frustration, bitterness and anger on the part of the giver. Therefore, a true act of tithing should be giving with four distinct characteristics. Tithing should be:

1) Giving that is Just

2) Giving that is Constructive

3) Giving that is Painful

4) Giving that is Joyful

Join us for the next four weeks as we explore this issue of tithing and what God’s Word says about its role in Christian life.

Tuesday Devotional: Daniel 10

bibleRead Daniel 10

Set your mind to gain understanding.

Humble yourself.

Be weak.

What God requires from us and what we are supposed to do as Christians is relatively simple.  We often complicate our orders or commands because to take them at face value would simply hurt, demand and cost too much.  But we MUST take them at face value if our faith is to have any value whatsoever.

Set your mind to gain understanding.

You do not understand the mysteries of the world that you live in.  Most times you do not understand the mystery that is you.  We learn, we grow and we understand more, but we are always creatures of inquiry with much to ask.  The world suggests and in some ways demands that we obtain knowledge by a certain age.  The world promotes learning in childhood and becomes less and less patient with the learning process as we grow older.  If we follow the forceful encouragement of the world to profess knowledge in the things that are impossible to know confidently we find ourselves the most foolish of all.  To know God is to know that we are limited beings created by an infinite God.  Therefore, admitting that we don’t know is actually the beginning of knowing.  To admit our ignorance is the first step in gaining the wisdom of God.  It is impossible to know God if we profess knowledge that exists apart from Him.  To know that you do not need God is to openly admit that there is much you do not know.

Humble yourself.

Admitting that God exists or that there is need of God in your life is one thing.  Humbling yourself to obey what He says is totally different.  Many profess faith in God but then do what He clearly says not to do.  To follow someone requires that we trust them as the authority and we acknowledge our need to be led.  To follow someone also requires us to submit our plan for the sake of a better plan made by a more proficient planner.  Humbling ourselves is not easy, often aggressively resisted by our sin.  For some, to be humble is to be wrong or weak.  However, by humbling ourselves to God we find that while we were wrong on our own, we are now eternally right, following the commands of a perfect God.   While we were weak before God we are now eternally strong in the hands of the creator God that holds life itself in His hands.  To be humble is to admit reverence to someone, something greater than us.  To know that you do not need to submit to anyone or anything prevents God from being God and therefore makes it impossible for you to know the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ.

Be weak.

Many people come to know God at a low point in life.  They find themselves at the bottom, all alone, completely without. They feel that while everything else has failed, perhaps God will lift them up, comfort them and provide what they truly need.  Many people who profess faith in Christ have never seen this place of weakness.  While this is an entirely different problem, there are also many who have seen this place but then have ventured far from it, never to return.  The common mistake people make is to believe that this place of weakness is to be grown out of and moved on from.  The truth is that to grow out or move on from this place of salvation is to grow out or move on from the very thing that saved them, Jesus Christ.  A Christian is eternally raised up by Jesus in the resurrection, eternally comforted by Emmanuel, God with us, and eternally fed by the Bread of Life.  Weakness is daily present in the life of a Christian, not to exhibit weakness for weakness’ sake, but to reveal and testify to the presence of the living God for Christ’s sake.

 

New Podcast Episodes!

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After two weeks of scheduling conflicts and technical difficulties we are excited to have the Mobile Word Podcast back and running.  To make up for lost time we are planning to upload 1 or 2 episodes per day over the next week and the 7th and 8th episodes are now available on itunes and on this site.  Thank you for your patience and enjoy the online Bible study!