Archive for the ‘money’ Tag

What good deed must I do to have eternal life?   Leave a comment

CamelThroughNeedlesEye

It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!” Mat 19:23

Context: Jesus was about to leave for Jerusalem and a man came running and knelt down at his feet to ask a important question (Mark 10:17-22)

Who was this man? The Gospel of Luke (18:18) tells us that he was a religious leader and Matthew precised that this man was young and rich(Mat. 19:22).

In our era we could say this was the perfect guy any woman would like to marry or the right businessman to make honest deals with.

We discover in these verses that the man was humble and was sincerely seeking for an answer to a question which was a matter of utmost importance to him. His question was simply: ‘How can I get into heaven?’

If he was sick and old we could understand that it was a legitimate question to ask before dying, but here it was a young man which still had vitality and time. Though he was a religious leader, he came with humility and considered Jesus as the teacher who could taught him what to do. The question that this young man had did not just pop up suddenly and caused him to run. I believe that for quite some time he tried to answer this question by himself but nothing worked.

Before getting to the the subject, we can see through this scene, the soul of  a man which says: ‘I am religious, know well God’s laws and obey them but still I feel unsatisfied and not at peace in my heart. I still do not have the peace and conviction that I will go to heaven. Why?

I call this situation the Desperate Soul’s syndrome. He was rich but his soul was still unhappy. His flesh was satisfied with the things of this world, his religious conscience tried but in vain to reassure his soul of salvation but that soul kept lamenting and be desperate. The flesh wanted to fool the soul by saying ‘My soul, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!‘ Luke 12:18

The soul no longer wanted to be fooled. The soul’s desire was not quenched with worldly things and kept tormenting the young man with this question: ‘Where will you make me spend eternity, heaven or hell?’ To this question, the young man had the answer but not the one his soul wanted to hear. This man probably heard Jesus’ teachings before and he knew that Jesus was kind of a doctor who could tell him what he could do to calm down his soul.

Jesus often liked to unroll little by little His plans when talking with people. For example he did not tell the Samaritan woman that she had 5 husbands at the beginning of the conversation, nor did he grant the request of the Canaanite woman at first request(Mat 15) . He wanted the woman who had a blood lesion to reveal herself instead of clearly stating that it was her. Even though he knew there were just a few bread and fish, He asked his disciples how all the thousands people will be fed.

Jesus knew why the rich man came but told him a first answer which He knew the man tried and did not work. Jesus told him: ‘Keep the commandments’.

So the man retorted, OK but which one? The commandments are divided in 2 parts, the first 4 related to God and the last 6 related to man. By mentioning the latter, Jesus again mentioned answers He already knew and practiced:

Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not testify falsely ,  Do not steal and Honor your parents.I obeyed these like many people. Well, even the respectable atheist has a code of conduct and honor his parents, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not testify falsely and do not murder.

Sigh, “I’ve obeyed all these commandments,” the young man replied. “What else must I do?”

Now comes the crux of the answer which I believe is related to the first 2 commandments – relationship with God. The rich young man was a religious leader and I believe he observed the Sabbath and probably did not misuse God’s name. However, he did not realize that he was violating the first 2 commandments which dealt with having no other gods. The rich man’s problem was that the god of money,Mammon, invaded his heart and kept him away from God. His possessions made him idolatrous. To deal with this gangrene in his heart, it had to be removed and this caused him a heartache.

When Jesus heard his answer, he said, There is still one thing you haven’t done. Sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” Luke 18:22

Adam Clarke said of this verse:

If thou wilt be perfect – Τελειος ειναι, To be complete, to have the business finished, and all hinderances to thy salvation removed, go and sell that thou hast – go and dispose of thy possessions, to which it is evident his heart was too much attached, and give to the poor – for thy goods will be a continual snare to thee if thou keep them; and thou shalt have treasure in heaven – the loss, if it can be called such, shall be made amply up to thee in that eternal life about which thou inquirest; and come and follow me – be my disciple, and I will appoint thee to preach the kingdom of God to others. This was the usual call which Christ gave to his disciples

What does cupidity means in biblical perspective?

In my opinion, it is not limited to the amount of possession but also about storing up more what is needed for personal use. Storing up more what is needed is then cupidity or greediness. One can be a millionaire without being avaricious and one can possess little and be avaricious. To this Jesus said:

Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be. Mat. 6:19

To be rich, therefore, is in general a great misfortune: but what rich man can be convinced of being miserable?

The trade off for the rich man was: Should I get rid of the possession that gives my flesh comfort to possess the peace of soul possession cannot offer?

It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!

Posted May 13, 2017 by Cedric in My writings (English)

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Whatever you do, do it heartily, as working for the Lord [1]   Leave a comment

Do it Heartily

Do it Heartily

And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father…Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord” Col. 3:17,23

It took me some time to digest these words of wisdom from Paul. Experience taught me that following this advice is beneficial not only for others but also for self.

  • When Christians grumble

Sometimes as Christians we grumble, complain or argue when we feel that we’re treated unfairly. I have learned in these situations that retaliation is not the wise way to react as it indicates that we’re conforming to the pattern of this world (Rom. 12:12) and seeking the reward found in this world instead of the reward from above. Paul said:

Do everything without complaining and arguing,  so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.” Phil. 2:14

Yes the world is crooked and perverse and if you complain and grumble, you’ll not be beyond reproach as you’ll be criticized for doing so. If it is your pride which is causing you to complain then you’re reacting as the crooked and perverse people do. Instead, Paul said live innocent lives as children of God. Endure hardship, if someone slap you give him the other cheek Jesus taught (Mat. 5:29). Do not resist an evil person Jesus said. We often consider a child to be innocent as he is defenseless and this is how children of lights should be. Peter says, do not return evil for evil (1 Peter 3:9). It is in adversity that Christians make the difference. When everyone expects that you’ll fight for your rights, resist and retaliate and see no reaction, it is then that you’re making a difference. This attitude is not one of defeat but of strength because you’re giving loud answer through your action that your treasure is not in this world. If you’re fighting for glory and money, then the world will see that you’re seeking the things of this world like them. Paul again wisely wrote:

Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth.After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it. So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content. But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.” 1 Tim. 6:9

If you have food and clothing you must be grateful to God and be content. Do not fall in the same trap as those who have been entangled by the things of this world and have wandered from the faith. There’re much sorrows awaiting when your choose money and fame as the source of your happiness.

  • Whatever you do, do it heartily for the Lord

This is the cure to all the complaints, insatisfaction and grumblings. If you really do your job as if you were doing it for the Lord, you’ll stop grumbling and even seek to do more work. If the reason you’re working is to have more money and to reach a higher position, then you’ll reach a point where you’ll be discouraged or upset when you’re not promoted or there’s a lack of recognition from your boss. However, if your motive is to do your job heartily everyday as if you’re devoutly offering it to the Lord, then it will not matter if your boss sees your achievements. If you do not seek recognitions from the world then you’ll be spared the hurt of not being rewarded.  Paul said: “As for me, it matters very little how I might be evaluated by you or by any human authority…It is the Lord himself who will examine me and decide” 1 Cor. 4:3

Imagine how the world would be if a Christian cook prepared food for customers as if it was for the Lord or a Christian doctor treated his patient as if the Lord was before him? There will be no need to go on the roof top and shout that you’ve done your best. Excel in the job you do even if no one is watching you. Whatever you do, do it for the Lord and do not expect to receive this reward on earth. Christians should be reputed to be hard workers and not known as being lazy or idle. Paul said:

Even while we were with you, we gave you this command: “Those unwilling to work will not get to eat.”Yet we hear that some of you are living idle lives, refusing to work and meddling in other people’s business. We command such people and urge them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and work to earn their own living. As for the rest of you, dear brothers and sisters, never get tired of doing good.” 2 Thes. 3:10-13

It is a sad truth that some Christians have bad reputations in their jobs. The name of Christ is blasphemed because of the quality of work they deliver. Whatever we do or say, Christ should be the reason of  our actions. If we’re serving Christ, we cannot participate in illicit works.

Last but not the least, God forges your character by what you do to make you what He wants you to be.

“It is not what a man does that is of final importance, but what he is in what he does. The atmosphere produced by a man, much more than his activities, has the lasting influence” Oswald Chambers

Posted December 3, 2016 by Cedric in My writings (English)

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To gain the whole world and lose your soul[2]   1 comment

Matthew:16-26

Matthew:16-26

Fire is useful and not a threat as long as we can control it. The closer we get to it and the more it grows, the more precautions should be taken. So is it with possessions.

For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.” 1 Tim. 6:10

It is not money in itself which is evil but the “love of money”. It’s all about the person’s attitude towards money. How far can someone be rich and not be greedy and stingy? It is difficult to be rich and not set our heart on it.

If you lose your spouse and child whom you love dearly, your heart will ache.

So how can you know if you’re entangled by the “things of this world”?

Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be” Mat. 6:21

If you lose all your possessions, will your heart ache? Our heart aches on things that we value.

I know deep down my heart what are the things in this world that will make my heart ache if I lose them and I prayed the Lord to make me what He wants me to be.

There is no greater comfort to know that you are living your life as God wants it to be. Have you ever struggled with this question “What do I want? What should I do?”

When such questions rise up, it is time to let God answer these questions. When we try to take in our hands our own destiny and push God away, we are putting at stake the destiny of our soul. Most of our world leaders are not followers of Jesus and have been very successful. Do they have the peace, love and joy that only Jesus can give to the soul?

If you reached a crossroads and are wondering about your marriage, home or career path, it’s worth to be still and seek God’s counsels. Even if golden opportunities are at your doorstep do not jump to the conclusion that God brought them to you. The heart is deceitful, no one can trust it. So do not follow your heart or instinct as world leaders or friends tell you to do.

If you’re at a crossroads, be still. If you are bored of hearing the words “Pray and have faith” at this instant, examine if your heart is already set out for something.

If you were at a crossroads and not sure if you took the right decision, it might be worth returning on your steps and let God guide you.

Posted March 17, 2016 by Cedric in My writings (English)

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To gain the whole world and lose your soul[1]   Leave a comment

Matthew:16-26

Matthew 16:24-26

If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?[Is anything worth more than your soul?” Mat. 16:24-26

When I was a high school student, I was anxious about my future. My future career and studies were at the center of my attention. The verse in Mat. 16:24 struck me and led me to question “Am I focused on the right thing?”

When I completed my tertiary studies, I succeeded to get the job I hoped for. I eventually got married to a faithful woman and became the father of a wonderful girl. By God’s grace, we succeeded to build a house as we wanted it to be. I was promoted and the next thing that came to my mind was “When will be the next promotion?”. I then knocked with another question “So here we are, what next?” Does that sound familiar?

All these things I have been able to achieve either no longer satisfy me or I am tempted to think how I can reach the next level. However, I know deep down in my heart that even if I get the next promotion, get a new car, embellish my house or get the whole world, it will never be enough. We often try to persuade ourselves if we had a little more money we will be happier.  The truth is that even if this “little more money” is granted to us, one day we will seek for “a little more money”. Possession can never satisfy the soul of man and its an endless road to reach happiness.  The leadership of big companies have been trained to retain their employees. The strategy is simple: Build their ego. When a high performing employee gives sign of leaving, immediate actions are taken to promise that the next promotion is his or new opportunities lie ahead. The leadership knows that employees dislike the idea that they can be bought with money so they find ways to delegate authority and build their pride. With a higher position achieved, the employee indirectly benefit with an increase in salary and becomes more entangled to “the things of this world”. The mentality of the employee changes, he becomes less focused on people and more on business. The first to suffer of this shift is his soul, his family, friends and colleagues. The soul of this person no longer finds time to rest in God’s presence. When that person becomes too absorbed in his work, joy and love diminish within the couple. There is less communication, more conflicts and solitude. The soul starts to get desperate, depressed and anguished. When loving relationship with God and people have been exchanged for the things of this world, it is hard to recondition oneself to focus on relationships. I know such a man who sacrificed what was more valuable to him – His soul, wife and children for his career. He ended up in a divorce, retired prematurely because of depression and sold all his belongings worth millions to live far away from his previous life. I never met such a businessmen who visited so many countries on duty. He is such a rich but miserable man. I do not want this to happen to me.

Jesus asked the question:

Is anything worth more than your soul?

The sad truth is that many believe that possession is worth more than the well being of their soul. Jesus addressed this belief and considered it foolish to have such an attitude. He said:

A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops. He said to himself, ‘What should I do? I don’t have room for all my crops.’ Then he said, ‘I know! I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll have room enough to store all my wheat and other goods. And I’ll sit back and say to myself, “My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!”’“But God said to him, ‘You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for?’“Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.” Luke 12:16-21

Wisdom says:

Those who love money will never have enough. How meaningless to think that wealth brings true happiness!The more you have, the more people come to help you spend it. So what good is wealth—except perhaps to watch it slip through your fingers!” Ecc. 5:10

The soul is in essence the life, existence, emotion, vitality of a person. In other words if we want to know how healthy our soul is, let us ask ourselves these questions: What am I doing with my life and existence? Am I spending my life and existence to build lifeless things that will cease to exist? What am I doing with my emotions and vitality? Am I suppressing them for the things of this world?

We will remain insatiable with what the world can offer us. Only Jesus can satisfy our soul. Jesus knew our inclination to the things of this world and this is why He taught about the danger of loving worldly things. Jesus’ cure was simple : “Turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me“. Jesus wanted to spare man this trouble of being anxious but many refuse to come to Him. Only Him can provide rest for man’s soul.

Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Mat. 12:28

Posted February 19, 2016 by Cedric in My writings (English)

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The Christian and Money [Part 3]   Leave a comment

Christian's Money

Christian’s Money

Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons. For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink.I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me. “Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’“And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’ Mat. 25:34-45

The story of the rich man and Lazarus illustrate to us that the rich man did not care for Lazarus. Lazarus was satisfied with scraps he could get from the rich man’s table.

As Lazarus lay there longing for scraps from the rich man’s table, the dogs would come and lick his open sores. ” Luke 16:21

Being inconsiderate or uncharitable is observed by the One in heaven. It is a serious offense unto our Lord when we withhold acts of charity to our brothers or sisters in need. One thing common in the story of the The Final Judgment(Mat. 25) and the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16), was the consequence of  neglecting God’s command. Whoever we are, we have always learned that it is right to help the needy. But the sin of selfishness is what retain us from giving. The rich man knew it but did not care.

Abraham told the rich man “Moses and the prophets have warned them. Your brothers can read what they wrote…If they won’t listen to Moses and the prophets, they won’t be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead” Luke 16:29,31

Another warning here, is the sufficiency of the scripture to warn. People know what is right to do, but prefer to remain selfish.

Whoever gives to the poor will lack nothing, but those who close their eyes to poverty will be cursed.”Prov. 28:27

Those who did not host strangers, did not feed the hungry or did not visit the sick were not ignorant, they just did not care.

These were their arguments.:”We did not see you, if we knew it was you we would have helped you“. James warned us of prejudice:

My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people over others?For example, suppose someone comes into your meeting dressed in fancy clothes and expensive jewelry, and another comes in who is poor and dressed in dirty clothes. If you give special attention and a good seat to the rich person, but you say to the poor one, “You can stand over there, or else sit on the floor”—well, doesn’t this discrimination show that your judgments are guided by evil motives?Listen to me, dear brothers and sisters. Hasn’t God chosen the poor in this world to be rich in faith? Aren’t they the ones who will inherit the Kingdom he promised to those who love him? But you dishonor the poor! Isn’t it the rich who oppress you and drag you into court? Aren’t they the ones who slander Jesus Christ, whose noble name you bear?” James 2

That moment we say in our heart that “It’s none of my business“, “Other people will take care of the poor“, “It’s not my ministry” or other legitimate replies, we label ourselves as goats. Both the sheep and goat have the knowledge of what is right. What differentiate them is action.

James said: “ What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.” James 2:14:17

 

Posted May 14, 2015 by Cedric in My writings (English)

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The Christian and Money [Part 2]   Leave a comment

Christian's Money

Christian’s Money

But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.” Mat. 6:3

But when you give to someone in need

It is taken for granted that Christians should give, no matter how much. Caring for the poor, the widows, the orphans and the weak are debts Christians have. Christians have been commissioned to take care of such people.

The Jews called the poor’s box the box of righteousness. That which is given to the poor is said to be their due” – Matthew Henry

Money and gold belong to God (Haggai 2:8). Part of the money God blessed us with is reserved to care for needy people. God has granted poor people some ownership on our earnings. It is their due and it is our duty to give. Are we good stewards of that money God entrusted us to care for the needy? When God calls us to give shall we refuse, give grudgingly or cheerfully as we deem right?

The neighbor of my wife’s uncle is someone who gives grudgingly. One day he came to offer some fruits to my wife’s uncle with this motive “I know you use to eat rubbish, I brought these fruits for you”. It is better not to give if this is the attitude of giving.

There is no specific amount to give as it was under the old covenant. If we have decided in our heart to give cheerfully an amount of money, this is the amount that should be given. Not less, not more.

Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.”And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. As the Scriptures say, They share freely and give generously to the poor.Their good deeds will be remembered forever.” 1 Cor. 9:6-9

James described pure religion as the: “Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you” James 1:27

Ministers like Muller, Whitefield, Moody or Spurgeon believed firmly that it was God’s will for them to build orphanages. Their lives were a living testimony of their convictions. Only God knows where all these money came from to feed all these children!

Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others. By doing this they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they may experience true life.” 1 Tim. 6:17-19

Storing up treasures on this earth is temporary. It will not endure forever. Storing up treasures in heaven is eternal. How then can we have such eternal rewards? By doing good deeds and helping the needy. These good deeds in themselves do not save our soul but render us rich. Good deeds do not bring salvation but they are evidence and fruits of salvation.

The riches you impart form the only wealth you will always retain” – Martial.

Wealthiness is not necessarily a sign of God’s favor. When we think about the story of the rich man and Lazarus, we can deduce that we’ll be judged on the way we manage our wealth. It is not mentioned that the rich man went to hell because he was selfish. However, he did not care for a man who stood at his door. However, he did not care for a man who stood at his door. If God ruled his life, he would have surrendered His wealth to God and help poor Lazarus.

The bible has a lot to say on money and  love. When these 2 words are mentioned together, there’s an evil behind.

At his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus who was covered with sores. As Lazarus lay there longing for scraps from the rich man’s table, the dogs would come and lick his open sores.” Luke 16:20

Jesus made no mention that the rich man lived in debauchery, was a transgressor, adulterous or criminal. What then was this crime that dragged him to hell? The rich man did not suspect nor did family know that this man was heading to hell. His sins were selfishness and unrighteousness.

You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred.” 2 Tim. 3:2

When God’s people wonder why there’s a hole in their pocket ,it’s most probably because God is not the center of their life. They are selfish and worldly things have priority over God’s kingdom.

You looked for much, and behold, it came to little. And when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why? declares the Lord of hosts. Because of my house that lies in ruins, while each of you busies himself with his own house.” Hag 1:9

Posted May 7, 2015 by Cedric in My writings (English)

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The Christian and Money [Part 1]   Leave a comment

Christian's Money

Christian’s Money

But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.” Mat. 6:3

Tithing

Through these words, our Lord hereby assumed that it was a normal duty for His disciples to give. In Matthew 6, it was not referring to tithing but about giving to those in need.

There’s a school of thought who believes that Christians should tithe and another who do not believe in tithing. I believe that tithing is an old testament concept given by God to provide for those ministering as priests.

In the New Testament, we are taught that voluntary offering was the way of giving:

Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” 2 Cor 9:6

The key is here: Decide in your own heart how much to give. It is a personal decision and not an act of response to the pressure of a law. Jesus did not teach about tithing nor did His disciples. We are called to give out of love, with joy and without pressure.

Giving one tenth is an old testament instruction where the people gave one tenth of what they had. It could be grains, fruits, herd or flocks (Leviticus 27:30) to God. To be more precise, it was not given to God for Him to eat(as if He needed something) but given to feed the dedicated people of the tribe of Levi who ministered for the nation.

God does need our money, He wants our heart.

Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” Mat. 6:21

The Levites did not have any inheritance. God was their inheritance.

Remember that the Levitical priests—that is, the whole of the tribe of Levi—will receive no allotment of land among the other tribes in Israel. Instead, the priests and Levites will eat from the special gifts given to the Lord, for that is their share. They will have no land of their own among the Israelites. The Lord himself is their special possession, just as he promised them.” Deuteronomy 18

The Levites were therefore dependent on the offerings the people brought to survive. If they had to work the lands to produce their own crops, how could they be entirely consecrated to the Lord? Since the Levites did not have any possession, God gave a law to protect the Levites. The Levites’ family shall have no inheritance, and yet they shall live very comfortably and plentifully. Birds don’t sow but are fed by the Master, so it is with those in the Ministry. God will make provision. The law of tithing is about giving a tenth of one’s production. It was not necessarily about money.

The church of Philippi gave a lot of offerings which even exceeded what tithing required to support Paul in his ministry(Philippians 4:10-19). In the book of Acts, some even sold their lands.

There was also another tithe given by the Levites. It was called the tithe of the tithe.

Give these instructions to the Levites: When you receive from the people of Israel the tithes I have assigned as your allotment, give a tenth of the tithes you receive—a tithe of the tithe—to the Lord as a sacred offering. The Lord will consider this offering to be your harvest offering, as though it were the first grain from your own threshing floor or wine from your own winepress.” Numbers 18:26

The people of Israel gave one tenth of the best they had to the Levites. The Levites should also have something personal to offer to God. They were not exempted and these ministers also had to support others. So they now gave the best of the tithe they received to Aaron the high priest and his descendants. Aaron (and his descendants) therefore received the best of the best production of Israel. He was the high priest after all and the best given by the consecrated Levites was given to him. Freely they received from the labours of others, freely they gave. But should not the one higher in the hierarchy, Aaron, also have something to present? But how could he if there were no minister above him to do the offerings? The well respected father of the nation, Abraham, paid it in advance. Aaron like his brother Moses were of the tribe of Levi and therefore descendants of Abraham. Abraham gave a tithe of the best he had after his victory to someone greater than him, Melchizedek.

In addition, we might even say that these Levites—the ones who collect the tithe—paid a tithe to Melchizedek when their ancestor Abraham paid a tithe to him. For although Levi wasn’t born yet, the seed from which he came was in Abraham’s body when Melchizedek collected the tithe from him.” Hebrews 7:9

Despite the debate, those who believe in tithing and those who don’t both believe in tithing both agree that Christians should give.

Posted May 7, 2015 by Cedric in My writings (English)

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