Genesis 14:20 New Living Translation (NLT)
20 And blessed be God Most High,
who has defeated your enemies for you.”
Then Abram gave Melchizedek a TENTH of all the goods he had recovered
I think in today's culture, we have kinda sorta lost the true meaning of TITHING. I realize that the majority know that that means to give 10% to God but do we REALLY do that??? Every Sunday my preacher says "Now we will take up God's tithe and our offering"; do you DOUBLE PUT in your offering plate??? Hummmmmm
We are COMMANDED to give God the FIRST 10% because of all He has done for us and then to throw in our couple dollars. The Bible tells us to give GENEROUSLY. Now... What about when we don't have ENOUGH money to pay God first and then have enough to pay our bills??? What then??? This is where our FAITH comes in!!! God say IF you will... Then I WILL!!! Look at this example which just happened to me YESTERDAY:
I made $250 so my tithe was $25... Now out of the $250, I owed a $210 bill so my net was $15. It would have been SOOOOOO easy for me to have said "Lord, I really NEED this money to be able to eat this week!!!" And I believe everyone of you out there would have felt that was ok. BUT I gave it to The Lord because I KNOW He provides for me and so I gave it CHEERFULLY.
GUESS WHAT HAPPENED NEXT??? Someone walked up and gave me my tithe BACK with an ADDITIONAL $5. See how God works guys!!! When we love and trust Him and follow His commandments then He BLESSES us. TRY this concept in your own lives and watch God SHOW OFF!
"GOD'S tithe and our OFFERING"... Even when there is "PAIN in the OFFERING"!!!
I don't know about you... But I was raised in CHURCH!!! We went wether we wanted to or not. Once I even had to ride a TAXI cause the car wouldn't start... Needless to say I was NOT a happy Camper. (Most of you can imagine and those from BAYLESS can probably remember. LOL)
Ask someone in today's society, where they go to church and the MAJORITY will say... "I DON'T go to church!!! Too many HYPOCRITES there so I just watch TV Preachers. I have my own church service with just me and God."
So I ask you... Is there anything WRONG with that??? Let's see what God's Word says about that...
Hebrews 10:25 New Living Translation (NLT)
25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.
Psalm 22:22 New Living Translation (NLT)
22 I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters.
I will praise you among your assembled people.
Psalm 22:25 New Living Translation (NLT)
25 I will praise you in the great assembly.
I will fulfill my vows in the presence of those who worship you.
These are only THREE verses that draw our attention to coming TOGETHER as an assembly to worship The Lord.
And let me tell you one more thing: We go to church for GOD not for ourselves!!! Don't ever come out of a worship service and say I didn't get anything out of church today... It is what GOD got out of it. So... How is your Foundation???
Remember back before you accepted Jesus as your Savior and you just felt like you were CHAINED UP?!? Or maybe... Right now you can identify with the old hymn that says "Shackled by a heavy Burden".
The good news is that Jesus' BLOOD can unlock those chains and set you FREE!!! Because of His GRACE or His FREE GIFT to us... We are FREE!!! Claim it and watch those chains fall away leaving you free to Dance and Praise God.
What does that mean??? I'm gonna be like a TREE!!!
Well what is the MOST important thing about trees... Is it how tall they are?; or what kind of fruit it produces?; is it what style of leaf they have? NO... It is all about their ROOTS!!! The condition of the roots determine the health of the tree. And the deeper they grow the better!
Psalm 1:1-3New Living Translation (NLT)
Oh, the joys of those who do not
follow the advice of the wicked,
or stand around with sinners,
or join in with mockers.
2 But they delight in the law of the Lord,
meditating on it day and night.
3 They are like TREES planted along the riverbank,
bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither,
and they prosper in all they do.
Do you see it? God compares the goodly or faithful Christians to trees. Look at these verses from Proverb 12:
3 Wickedness never brings stability,
but the godly have deep roots.
12 Thieves are jealous of each other’s loot,
but the godly are well rooted and bear their own fruit.
When we are well ROOTED in God's Word, we will be able to STAND FIRM in the midst of whatever is going on around us. Standing Firm is a command from God.. So maybe we should become more CHILDLIKE and pray for God to make us a TREE!!!
I think that is fair to assume that all of us have heard the old saying that " An apple a day keeps the Dr. Away". So... how has that worked for you??? Yeah the same here.
Let us start this NEW Year with another daily DOSE... I recommend that we all read a PROVERB (from the Holy Bible) daily... Believing that "a Proverb a day keeps the Devil away"!!!
Want 2014 to be Successful? Want Wisdom and Understanding? How about Discernment or Insight? I know... Joy and Peace, right? Well all of these things are the very PURPOSES of the Proverbs!!! And God put exactly 31 of them in our Bibles so we will have one for every day of the month. So who will join me in "EXPLORING" one of theses proverbs and parables every day in 2014???
Proverbs 1:5-6New Living Translation (NLT)
5 Let the wise listen to these proverbs and become even wiser.
Let those with understanding receive guidance
6 by exploring the meaning in these proverbs and parables,
the words of the wise and their riddles.
Last night I went to sleep listening to Handel's Messiah... many of the songs in it comes from the prophet Isaiah. He foretold the BIRTH of Jesus Christ but today I realized that he also prophecied about the 1,000 year REIGN of Jesus Christ here on earth.
If you are a student of PROPHECY or study ESCHATOLOGY... then you realize that we are in the CHURCH AGE or the "Time of the Gentiles" in history. Next will be the seven year TRIBULATION time followed by the SECOND COMING of Christ followed by His 1,000 year Millennium REIGN here on earth from JERUSALEM.
In my reading from Isaiah chapter 2, it gave this prophecy about this...
Isaiah 2:2-4 New Living Translation (NLT)
2 In the last days, the mountain of the Lord’s house will be the highest of all—the most important place on earth. It will be raised above the other hills, and people from all over the world will stream there to worship.
3 People from many nations will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of Jacob’s God. There he will teach us his ways, and we will walk in his paths.” For the Lord’s teaching will go out from Zion; his word will go out from Jerusalem.
4 The Lord will mediate between nations and will settle international disputes. They will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will no longer fight against nation, nor train for war anymore.
Now that CHRISTmas is over, we need to shift our attention from Jesus' FIRST coming and prepare for His SECOND coming!!! It could very well be within the next 8-10 years... P L E A S E don't miss it!!!
Do you remember how SCARED we all were of the Wizard of Oz until this scene??? We thought that he was some really big and powerful being and all he had to do was say "I have spoken" and we would do whatever he told us. Well I realized today that that phrase is Biblical. I started studying the book of Isaiah, seemed appropriate since it is Christmas and there it was right in the first chapter.
This time of year and Easter get me tickled because it brings out what I call the "TWICE A YEAR CHRISTIANS". They go to church to celebrate The birth and death of Jesus Christ but never darken the door the rest of the year. Does anyone else find that odd? God is no more there on those two days than any of the other Sundays during the year. Infact He is at my church every single Sunday and shows OFF!!!!
But anyway... Isaiah tells us to NOT EVEN BOTHER!!! Look here...
Isaiah 1:13-14 New Living Translation (NLT)
13 Stop bringing me your meaningless gifts; the incense of your offerings disgusts me! As for your
celebrations of the new moon and the Sabbath and your special days for fasting— they are all sinful and false.
I want no more of your pious meetings. 14 I hate your new moon celebrations and your annual festivals.
They are a burden to me. I cannot stand them!
So you are off the hook...no more need to go to church twice a year. If you are just going to go then you might as well stay home!!! In this chapter God tells the people through the prophet Isaiah exactly what God wants from us and it does not include annual worship services:
16 Wash yourselves and be clean! Get your sins out of my sight. Give up your evil ways. 17 Learn to do good.
Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.
No need to WAIT...
18 “Come now, let’s settle this,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.
20 "I, the Lord, have spoken!”
Do you guys ever wonder where things get their origins or is it just me??? Kaye would always say that I was just NOSY!!! No seriously... have your ever wondered about the BLESSING? I bet everyone has said it whither they went to church or not. Where did it come from???
May I suggest that it came from David in Psalm 145.....
3 Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise!
9 The Lord is good to everyone.
10 All of your works will thank you, Lord,
16 When you open your hand,
you satisfy the hunger and thirst of every living thing.
21 I will praise the Lord,
and may everyone on earth bless his holy name
forever and ever.
Cool, isn't it???
Now... I saw much MORE in this Psalm... in my last post I suggested that David prophesied about the RAPTURE of the Church. Today it hit me that he was prophesying about the FIRST & SECOND COMING and Eternal REIGN of Christ. Look...
1 I will exalt you, my God and King, and praise your name forever and ever.
Jesus came the FIRST time as EMMANUEL- "GOD with us" and He will come the SECOND time as "KING of kings and LORD of lords".
7 Everyone will share the story of your wonderful goodness; they will sing with joy about your righteousness.
Jesus came to die for our sins and give us Eternal life. That is why we share the GOSPEL- "The GOOD NEWS about Jesus Christ and what He has done for us"
12 They will tell about your mighty deeds and about the majesty and glory of your reign.
13 For your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom. You rule throughout all generations.
If that isn't enough in itself for us to Bless God, David gives us 20 TRUTHS about God:
1) He is MERCIFUL
2) He is COMPASSIONATE
3) He is slow to ANGER
4) He is filled with UNFAILING LOVE
5) He is GOOD to everyone
6) Showers COMPASSION on ALL His creation
7) He ALWAYS keeps His PROMISES
8) He is GRACIOUS in ALL He does
9) He HELPS the fallen
10) He LIFTS those with heavy burdens
11) He GIVES FOOD as needed
12) He SATISFIES the HUNGER and THIRST of EVERY living thing
13) He is RIGHTEOUS in EVERYTHING He does
14) He is filled with KINDNESS
15) He is CLOSE to those who CALL on Him
16) He GRANTS the desires of those who FEAR Him
17) He HEARS our cries for HELP
18) He RESCUES us
19) He PROTECTS all who LOVE Him
20) He DESTROYS the wicked
TODAY let us all BLESS the LORD and His Son JESUS CHRIST for all they have done and will continue to do for us!!!! Indeed... "God is Great and God is Good. Let us THANK Him!!!"
This week and last week in Bible Study, we have been talking about the "RAPTURE" of the Church of Christ. I personally believe that it can happen at ANY SECOND!!! All Biblical Prophecies referring to this event have already been fulfilled... you do the math!
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 New Living Translation (NLT)
16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the Christians who have died will rise from their graves. 17 Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever.
I never realized until today that King David prophesied about this event himself. Check this out...
Psalm 144:5-7 New Living Translation (NLT)
5 Open the heavens, Lord, and come down.
Touch the mountains so they billow smoke.
6 Hurl your lightning bolts and scatter your enemies!
Shoot your arrows and confuse them!
7 Reach down from heaven and rescue me;
rescue me from deep waters,
from the power of my enemies.
I myself and looking forward to this glorious event because I am ready and I know that my life is pleasing to Him so I have nothing to be ashamed of.
Have you ever been disappointed by a good friend or someone really close to you has not met up to your expectations??? More times than you can count I bet.
Joyce Meyer once said, "Take it to the THRONE and not to the PHONE!!!" We live in such a fast paced society that we want INSTANT confirmation or gratification. We go to the Social Media first and when all that fails... we turn to God as a last result. That is just so wrong!!! Wonder when we will ever get it straight and put God FIRST???
It appears that King David had the same problem...
Psalm 142:4 New Living Translation (NLT)
4 I look for someone to come and help me,
but no one gives me a passing thought!
No one will help me;
no one cares a bit what happens to me.
Waaa... waaa.. waaa. Whoa is me!!! When will we ever learn that friends, family, children and parents can not be counted on. EVERYONE will end up disappointing us sooner or later!!!! BUT
3 When I am overwhelmed, You(God) alone know the way I should turn.
5 Then... I pray to you, O Lord. I say, “You are my place of refuge. You are all I really want in life.
WHEN we learn to depend on God, who will never leave us or forsake us... we will never be disappointed again. Not only will He meet our expectations but He will go beyond what we could ever think or even imagine.