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|Articles - Finances|
|Written by James Dumont|
I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations (Jesus) shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the LORD of hosts.In verse 9 of this passage, God goes on to say,
The glory of this latter house shall be greater than the former, says the Lord of hosts; and in this place will I give peace…After the life of a precious soul, the church is most dear to Jesus' heart. Jesus has committed himself to building his church (Matt 16:18) and nothing –not even hell – is going to stop the work of building a great church!
Now, sandwiched right between Haggai 2:7 and 2:9 is verse number 8:
The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the LORD of hosts.God is reminding His people that in order to remain stable and unshaken in "shaking times," we must remember that God alone owns all the silver and gold.
The first thing many people want to do when facing financial instability is to pull back from honoring God with the tithe. The tithe is the first 10% of our financial increase. The scriptures clearly teach that the tithe belongs to the Lord. Tithing is more than an Old Testament command. It is an unchanging principal with broad spiritual ramifications too numerous for me to enumerate in this newsletter.
Satan whispers to our minds that it is safer to withhold from God than to sow into the thing most precious to Jesus' heart – his church. Satan is a liar, deceiver and a thief, so it is no wonder that he would perpetrate his own twisted agenda through fear.
At times such as these, we must "shake off" Lucifer's lies and be constantly reminded of God's promises.
I encourage you to read Hebrews 12:25-29 in totality. In this passage, God again speaks of shakeup and then reminds us…
Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:Jesus purchased for us with his blood an unshakeable kingdom. That means stability and confidence is our inheritance!
The scripture then goes on to remind us that our response to God is to graciously serve Him in an acceptable and reverent manner. Remember, God said, "The silver is mine and the gold is mine".
Tithing is one acceptable way that we show honor, reverence and respect to Jesus. Jesus once told Saul who was out to destroy the church, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?" Acts 9:4. That's how closely Jesus aligns with his body, the church! When we tithe to our local church, we are actually taking care of Jesus' body of which we are a part!
When we tithe, we align ourselves with God's cause and kingdom. His promise is that in the midst of world shakings, our feet will stand secure!
Like Peter who walked on water, we too can experience the outward wind and waves all around us while we continue to walk supernaturally sustained by God's favor and power.
Now, the question arises, "Where do I sow my tithe?"
I have heard people say, "I tithe to various ministries" or "I give my tithe to people as I feel led of the Lord."
Friend, that may sound very gracious and warm hearted, but it is wrong!
Scripture is always the final authority so it is there that we look for answers. If the scripture tells us there is an "acceptable" way to serve God, then there must be an "unacceptable" way too.
God received and blessed Able because he brought an acceptable offering to God while He rejected Cain because Cain refused to humbly submit to God's acceptable way.
Malachi 3:10 tells us where the tithe belongs.
Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house.... (Mal. 3:10)Friend, your tithe belongs in the storehouse. In the Hebrew, "storehouse" literally means "armory, cellar, depository or magazine of weapons".
In other words, the storehouse is where God grows and equips you to win life's battles. The storehouse is the church you faithfully attend and call home. It is not a Para-church ministry or a friend you are supporting who may be doing a good work elsewhere.
That is where offerings come in. And, if a missionary is in proper alignment with God's order, then they should be connected with a local church that is committed to supporting them.
When there is no "meat" or provision in God's storehouse, the work of God is hindered. Commitments the local church has made to valid and proven ministries cannot be fulfilled and the church is severely limited in fulfilling it's God ordained calling.
During the Iraq war, Americans were incensed to hear that we had military personnel on the ground lacking body armor and proper equipment. Yet, when we withhold our tithe from the storehouse, we are directly involved in perpetuating an even greater act of omission.
When the local church struggles to pay the basic operational costs because people do not tithe in their local church, everyone loses out on God's best.
God blesses what has been properly placed into His hands. When the armory is empty, God's work is hindered and His people struggle spiritually. And all of this happens because we allow fear and ignorance to prevail!
In this day I challenge you to allow God's Word to have preeminence over every fear and human emotion!
When Jesus came to the earth, he stood before John the Baptist to submit to water baptism. When John balked at the idea of baptizing Jesus, Jesus replied…
Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.In other words, Jesus said, "John, it's the right thing to do!"
It must have been very humbling for Jesus to submit to water baptism but immediately after doing "the right thing", the scripture says...
Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."Friend, tithing is the right thing to do! Tithing is the way that God promises to "open the windows of heaven and pour out tangible blessings into our lives."
God loves the world. God redeems those who place faith in Jesus. But God promises to supernaturally sustain in the midst of "shaking times" those who obey Him and align themselves with His great cause – His church.
To everyone who has been faithfully laboring and sowing, I say a BIG, "Thank you!"
I lovingly challenge everyone else during this season of shaking: Do the right thing!
Erie Christian Fellowship Church
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