Psalm 101:6-7 (NLT)
I will search for faithful people to be my companions. Only those who are above reproach will be allowed to serve me. I will not allow deceivers to serve in my house and liars will not stay in my presence.
To begin to tithe our life to God as a believer, we must know and understand what exactly it is that God expects from His People. Only faithful people will be companions of our Lord. Only those who live lives of integrity will be allowed to serve God as He intends and calls them to do. However, He will not allow deceivers to serve in God’s House or liars to remain in the Presence of God. Oh, come on everyone tells a little white lie every once in awhile. Is there such a thing as honest deception? There are many gray areas that the enemy invites God’s People to enter by taking the Word of God and twisting it to seem acceptable. The media has done a fine job with movies and television teaching people to embrace the enemy, fall in love with the villain and/or fascinate about demons and vampires. The line between good and evil is ever so slightly erased by complacency and comfort associated with sin, lies and deception. God is looking for faithful companions. My husband is my faithful companion. There will be no other woman filling the position of wife in his life as long as I am the one who bears his name. Jesus Christ is our Bridegroom. Have we cheated the lover of our soul? God will not tolerate cheaters, liars or deceivers in His House or Presence. You must choose who you will serve by the way that you live your life today.
Leviticus 19:11 (NLT) “Do not steal. Do not deceive or cheat one another.”
Most people might consider themselves to be honest for the most part. As Christians continue to dilute the Word of God with compromise, one might think I do not steal as in armed robbery or petty theft. I do not willingly deceive other people. I would never cheat another person. Ahem. Do you tithe? (I think that speaks for itself) One tenth of everything you have including time, talent and treasure belongs to God. Do you give the Lord at least two and one-half hours a day by studying His Word, communicating through prayer, and/or worshiping His Name? Do you use your natural abilities to make His Name Great? Do you give the House of God one tenth of ALL your income? Do you deceive others by professing to be a believer but living like every other nonbeliever? Do you cheat your employer by wasting time that they are paying for? Do you work as to the Lord in every endeavor surrounding your life even career in humility and love? There is no condemnation here, friend just stark revelation. As Children of God it is time to be honest with ourselves.
Deuteronomy 25:15-16 (NLT)
Yes, always use honest weights and measures, so that you may enjoy a long life in the land the LORD your God is giving you. All who cheat with dishonest weights and measures are detestable to the LORD your God.
God knows who is acting like a two-faced Christian and has warned that by living dishonestly and without integrity will limit our life. Cheaters are detestable to the Lord. What are you withholding from the Lord today? What part of your life as a believer is just too precious to let go? If salvation was instantaneous then why don’t we die at the altar? Why would we be told that we must work out our salvation? We must work hard to show the results of salvation. (Philippians 2:12) Over the years, we have battled head lice graciously shared in the public school system. Just the word “lice” makes my head itch. Probably does yours, too. Many years ago, on one such glorious occasion battling a very severe case, we began the process of delousing our kid, the house, and everything we could find that might be susceptible. After the initial critters are killed, there is the tedious process of nit removal. Microscopic eggs must be removed. These little things cling tightly to the hair shaft for survival. It is a painstaking process that takes hours to complete include many different processes. My point is not to completely gross you out and I apologize if I did, but sin gets embedded in our heart and life. It will take careful evaluation, thorough inspection and refining processes to remove it from our life completely. Repentance calls for a complete turning from all evil in pursuit of justice and righteousness which are the foundation of His Throne. His Unfailing Love, Mercy and Grace are the provisions that aid, support and strengthen us in this process. But to say that we love the Lord and continue living as we did the day before we met Jesus Christ is to cheat the Lord of the offering and sacrifice promised – our broken life for a brand new one!
Mark 10:17-22 (NLT)
As Jesus was starting out on his way to Jerusalem, a man came running up to him, knelt down, and asked, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “Why do you call me good?” Jesus asked. “Only God is truly good. But to answer your question, you know the commandments: ‘You must not murder. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. You must not cheat anyone. Honor your father and mother.’” Teacher,” the man replied, “I’ve obeyed all these commandments since I was young.” Looking at the man, Jesus felt genuine love for him. “There is still one thing you haven’t done,” he told him. “Go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” At this the man’s face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.
This is the sad account of one man who tried to serve Jesus Christ and failed. He could not leave the world behind to follow Jesus. I respect this man’s integrity although I pity Him as well. He could not see past his possessions and position in life to attain the High Calling of God found by following Jesus Christ. Are you that man? Do you go to church, serve as an usher, teach Sunday School, faithfully tithe your money, but just can’t bear to leave the world behind to seek the Kingdom of God? Too many times, believers put the cart before the horse. We want the things of this world now and will wait for the things of God. The Word of God tells us to seek first the Kingdom of God and rightstanding with Him then all these “things” will be added to your life. (Matthew 6:33) Could this explain the blessings of God that having no burden attached? (Matthew 11:30) Those struggling to follow Jesus must let go of the past and things of this life in order to claim an eternal inheritance and heavenly residency. If you must sell your soul to have things in this life, there is nothing to give Jesus Christ. To call on His Name but never intend to give your life away is a travesty of injustice to the Kingdom of God and proves you have no place there.
Psalm 55:10-11 (NLT)
Its walls are patrolled day and night against invaders, but the real danger is wickedness within the city. Everything is falling apart; threats and cheating are rampant in the streets.
If only everything we blamed the enemy for was really of his doing? The truth is we try to fortify our life with walls of faith against evil, when the evil is within the walls of the human heart. We want what God has but are not willing to give the Lord anything in return. We want a covenant but do not what to participate in the union. Frustrated and defeated Christians should begin to evaluate the motives and intentions of their own heart. Without a truly repentant heart broken for Jesus Christ, you will never allow His Spirit to assist you in rebuilding your life on the firm foundation of faith provided by Jesus Christ. Your life will remain in constant danger of returning to darkness and allowing evil to prevail. By using salvation to merely cheat death at the end of our life and never make an effort to become an intentional Christian and dedicated lover of Jesus Christ, you fool yourself but you have not deceived God. He knows your heart and motivations. If you are after His Hand but not His Heart, the Lord is not dumb. Jesus Christ came to be a “measuring line of justice” and “plumb line of righteousness” to carefully align our heart and life with. (Isaiah 28:15-17) We are to follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ without wavering in order to receive the prize of salvation. To be saved is not an investment for the future but a brand new lease on life for those willing to give their heart, mind, body and soul to the Lord faithfully trusting in the confident hope that the best is yet to come.
Malachi 1:12-14 (NLT)
“But you dishonor my name with your actions. By bringing contemptible food, you are saying it’s all right to defile the Lord’s table. You say, ‘It’s too hard to serve the LORD,’ and you turn up your noses at my commands,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. “Think of it! Animals that are stolen and crippled and sick are being presented as offerings! Should I accept from you such offerings as these?” asks the LORD. “Cursed is the cheat who promises to give a fine ram from his flock but then sacrifices a defective one to the Lord. For I am a great king,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, “and my name is feared among the nations!”
Do you dishonor the Lord’s Name with your actions? My heart sinks at the thought of all the times that I have compromised and rebelled against the Lord’s Love and Intervention in my life. Giving God the moldy leftovers of my time, talent and treasure hoping He won’t notice and will justify me by grace. All the times I chose the acceptance, affirmation and approval of people rather than really caring what God thought about my actions in life. I promised to give my heart, mind, body and soul to the Lord as a bride to her groom. What a miserable companion I have been? Thank you Jesus for repentance and the Resurrection Power of God through Jesus Christ that allows me to turn from evil and do good! He knows the intention of my heart and when I purpose to be true to the Lord – He will bless me in my promise! Have you broken your promise to the Lord? Is the offering of your life “contemptible”? Is your sacrifice “stolen, crippled or sick”? God is giving you a second chance today to be redeemed. He has not left His Covenant with you no matter how far away you strayed. Jesus is right where you left off. We must evaluate the condition of our heart and mind. We must balance the scales of wisdom with His Righteousness and Truth. It is time to come back to God! Act with love and justice. He is inviting us to fully depend on Him. (Hosea 12:6-7) The Lord promises to meet our every need! (Philippians 4:19)
Hebrews 3:12-14 (NLT)
Be careful then, dear brothers and sisters. Make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God. You must warn each other every day, while it is still “today,” so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God. For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ.
To share all that belongs to Jesus Christ we must trust God with our entire life. Expectation based on faith in the confident hope of what is to come releases our need for satisfaction according to this world. The world is not fair. It is unjust so we must stop seeking justice and restitution in this life in exchange for the Kingdom of God. To live for this world and its reward will lead to death one day. You will find it easier to accept the insults of injustice and let yourself be cheated by the world when you begin to put all of your faith, love and trust in Jesus Christ. (I Corinthians 6:7-11) To tithe our life requires seeking our reward and prize in the Kingdom of Heaven. Knowing that this world is filled with injustice, we release it from fulfilling our expectation and satisfaction allowing Jesus to fill our life with His Goodness, Grace and Mercy that makes way for His Provision, Promises, Blessing and Favor in our life.
2 Corinthians 11:2-4 (NLT)
For I am jealous for you with the jealousy of God himself. I promised you as a pure bride[a] to one husband—Christ. But I fear that somehow your pure and undivided devotion to Christ will be corrupted, just as Eve was deceived by the cunning ways of the serpent. You happily put up with whatever anyone tells you, even if they preach a different Jesus than the one we preach, or a different kind of Spirit than the one you received, or a different kind of gospel than the one you believed.
Do not allow the enemy to goad you into disobedience against God with lies taunts such as “are you going take that” or “that is so unfair”? He deceived mankind once but don’t have to allow it to happen again. Be careful who you listen to choosing God’s Word, His Spirit and those who seek the truth, too. (Psalm 26:3-4) There are many liars and hypocrites strategically placed by the enemy to deceive you. The truth will set you free. You will always be able to find another “Christian” to support your rebellion so seek advice from the Holy Spirit that lives inside of you! Jesus Christ knows it all and is willing to share it with those who come to Him with honest integrity and good intentions reinforced by faith in action and hope producing love and devotion. Is that you? Tired of living among the cheaters, liars and deceivers? His Arms are still outstretched to you? The Lord will be your shelter. He will be your refuge from the lies, taunts and deceptions the enemy has placed throughout your life. His Word is the truth that leads you to life. Knit together strong ties of love with Jesus and the Body of Christ! (Colossians 2:2-4)
I John 3:7-10 (NLT)
Dear children, don’t let anyone deceive you about this: When people do what is right, it shows that they are righteous, even as Christ is righteous. But when people keep on sinning, it shows that they belong to the devil, who has been sinning since the beginning. But the Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil . Those who have been born into God’s family do not make a practice of sinning, because God’s life is in them. So they can’t keep on sinning, because they are children of God. So now we can tell who are children of God and who are children of the devil. Anyone who does not live righteously and does not love other believers does not belong to God.