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    • By 1Timothy115 in Devotionals
         11
      Psalms 119:1-8                                         Sep. 5 - Oct. 2, 2019
      1 ALEPH. Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.
      2 Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.
      3 They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways.
      4 Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently.
      5 O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!
      6 Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments.
      7 I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments.
      8 I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly.
      The following verse stood out to me...
      5 O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!
      At first glance it seemed to me this person’s soul is poured out with intense desire to have God’s direction in keeping His Word.
      I made a small wood fire in our backyard for my granddaughter, Julia, since she would be staying overnight with us. My wife and Julia stayed outside at the fire for about half an hour. Then, I found myself alone to watch the fire die out on a particularly lovely evening. So I took my verse from above and began to repeat it for memorization. As I repeated the verse, I tried to contemplate the words and apply them to what I was seeing around me. 
      The moon and stars were out now peering through the scattered clouds above.
      [Genesis 1:16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. Genesis 1:17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, Genesis 1:18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.]
      Thought 1         
      The moon has stayed his course since the day God created him, also the stars, obeying the statutes directed by God from the first day they were created. Can you imagine God’s direction to the Moon and stars, “moon you will have a path through the sky above the earth, stars you will occupy the firmament above the moon and be clearly visible in the cloudless night sky.”
      Then, the trees, grass, even the air we breathe obey the statues God gave them from the beginning. None of these creations have souls, none have hearts, none have intelligence, but they all observe God’s statutes, His instructions for their limited time on earth.
      Thought 2
      What if we were like the moon, stars, trees, grass, or the other creations which have no soul? We would be directed to keep God’s statutes without choosing to keep them. This is not the image of God, there would be no dominion over other creatures, or over the earth. We would not be capable of experiencing the joy and peace of learning the love of God
      Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
      Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
      Thought 3 (October 2, 2019)
      Is the psalmist pleading God to force God’s statutes to become the man’s ways? No, he is speaking of his own failure in keeping God’s statutes and his desire to keep them, very much like Paul in Romans 7:14-25.
      God doesn’t work through force to turn men from their ways that they would desire His statutes or desire God Himself. Men must reject (repent) put aside his own ways and voluntarily seek God and His statutes.

Is Tithing Scriptural? Do You Tithe?

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Many preachers these days won't preach on tithing. For many of them it is a "touchy subject" as it's been put to me. Do you believe that the Bible teaches that Christians should tithe? If so, why? If NOT, why? 

Just a word on the experiences that my wife and I have had with tithing, and the many blessings we've received by doing so. When we were younger we didn't tithe, and our paychecks never seemed to cover all of our needs. We always seemed to have too much month at the end of the money! My wife and I started talking about tithing one Sunday afternoon, and we agreed that we would follow the preachers advice from that Sunday. He made a very good case for tithing from the Scriptures. We've been tithing for many years now, and even when things seem like they're going to be touch, and that we might not have enough money coming in, the Lord always provides. God has kept us and supplied for all of our needs..and without a paycheck for four weeks, and with the company holding up my wifes short-term disability payments while she had Covid, we thought we were going to have to dip into savings or take out an emergency withdrawal from her 401K. That didn't happen, and we're pretty much back on track without the STD check. God has been faithful to His word! 

 

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I believe tithing is applicable to believers today.

One of the big arguments against tithing is that it is part of the Law - however, Genesis 14 predates the Law by over 430 years.

I have personally claimed all the tithing promises and have seen God do His part by fulfilling the tithing promises. Would He do that if it was not for us today? We don't see Him consuming our sacrifices with fire from Heaven every time we lay them on the altar (hypothetical - I have not actually sacrificed any sheep in my backyard lately).

Malachi 3:8-11 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts.

Notice it says "bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse" (not just some or part of the tithes). Also:

1 Corinthians 16:1-2 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.

Seems to be applying the OT storehouse to the NT church. Paul also refers to eating from the altar, using OT laws and principles to support taking care of the NT leaders of the church.

1 Corinthians 9:13-14 Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar? Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.

Proverbs 3:9-10 Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.

Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

I have always applied this to seeking God on the FIRST day of the week, FIRST part of the day, giving Him my FIRSTFRUITS, as well as of course giving Him FIRST priority (not always successful, but that is what I believe I should be doing).

Yes, there were both freewill offerings and tithing under the Law, and we can see both referred to in the NT for the NT believer. For example, 2 Corinthians 8-9; Philippians 4.

One other thing worth considering for those who are not sure if the tithing applies today:

Here is a challenge for you. Read all the way through the book of Proverbs, and make a list of things that don't apply to you today (ie. don't apply to the NT believer). There is nothing that does not directly apply to us. Yes, there are references to sacrifices - but it is in reference to the sacrifices of the wicked, nothing about the righteous needing to offer animal sacrifices, nothing else ceremonial in that book - and nothing else that has been done away with or fulfilled in Christ - except for tithing (for the sake of this argument). However, if every other Proverb in the whole book applies to every believer today, perhaps tithing does too!

Edited by Jerry
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1 hour ago, Jerry said:

I believe tithing is applicable to believers today.

One of the big arguments against tithing is that it is part of the Law - however, Genesis 14 predates the Law by over 430 years.

I have personally claimed all the tithing promises and have seen God do His part by fulfilling the tithing promises. Would He do that if it was not for us today? We don't see Him consuming our sacrifices with fire from Heaven every time we lay them on the altar (hypothetical - I have not actually sacrificed any sheep in my backyard lately).

Malachi 3:8-11 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts.

Notice it says "bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse" (not just some or part of the tithes). Also:

1 Corinthians 16:1-2 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.

Seems to be applying the OT storehouse to the NT church. Paul also refers to eating from the altar, using OT laws and principles to support taking care of the NT leaders of the church.

1 Corinthians 9:13-14 Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar? Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.

Proverbs 3:9-10 Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.

Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

I have always applied this to seeking God on the FIRST day of the week, FIRST part of the day, giving Him my FIRSTFRUITS, as well as of course giving Him FIRST priority (not always successful, but that is what I believe I should be doing).

Yes, there were both freewill offerings and tithing under the Law, and we can see both referred to in the NT for the NT believer. For example, 2 Corinthians 8-9; Philippians 4.

One other thing worth considering for those who are not sure if the tithing applies today:

Here is a challenge for you. Read all the way through the book of Proverbs, and make a list of things that don't apply to you today (ie. don't apply to the NT believer). There is nothing that does not directly apply to us. Yes, there are references to sacrifices - but it is in reference to the sacrifices of the wicked, nothing about the righteous needing to offer animal sacrifices, nothing else ceremonial in that book - and nothing else that has been done away with or fulfilled in Christ - except for tithing (for the sake of this argument). However, if every other Proverb in the whole book applies to every believer today, perhaps tithing does too!

Excllent insight! I'm thankful that I had some great examples when it came to tithing. My fathers business tithed on ALL gross income, and then my father tithed on what he took home. The Lord always provided for our needs, and we never had to worry about him keeping is promises. We also gave offerings to help missionaries, Christian schools, etc. God always keeps his promises, and I believe that the tithe is applicable to us today. 

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