John 4:23-24 (NLT)
But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”
True worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth. We all love the Holy Spirit deal provided by Grace as our guide in life, yet we fail to ever really consult God’s Spirit much less discover the truth because human beings love getting something for free. Even my children will boast among themselves, “You are not the boss of me” when their freedom is infringed upon. I believe the time is coming and yes, it is here now when believers must honestly evaluate their life and true intentions as a Christian believer entering the end times. No megaphone on a street corner or signs at a major sporting event…but a personal and intimate internal look at our heart and mind concerning one’s salvation. The Father (God) is looking for people like Noah and Abraham who will worship Him according to His Spirit (given to us by Jesus Christ) and the Truth (His Written and Spoken Word). God desires obedience in His People that sin would not allow so Jesus Christ came to bore the penalty of such a trespass and set us free from condemnation not as an excuse to live any way we please, but to live to please Him. We are failing miserably. Churches are closing their door due to a lack of participation in obedience. A bankrupt church is an unfaithful following who desired evil more than good and disobedience over faith. A church that must pay workers for key positions is lacking the service of a committed hearts and consecrated lives committed to serving God with the first fruits of our time, talent and treasure. Yes, I am referring to the dreaded word – tithing. I do not believe that anyone who claims to be a Christian cannot tithe and remain justified in His Mercy by faith. Fear has caused a mindset of lack among believers today. We do not have time to serve the Lord. We do not have the energy to give Him more than our jobs and families. We do not have any money as we cannot even pay our bills in the midst of a crumbling economy. As Jesus invited the woman at the well that day, He is inviting you now to step out of the confines of this world and into the supernatural economy of God as we begin to tithe our life. In the words of some dear friends, we are going to give our way into the Promises of God!
Matthew 23:23-24 (NLT)
“What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore the more important aspects of the law—justice, mercy, and faith. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things. Blind guides! You strain your water so you won’t accidentally swallow a gnat, but you swallow a camel!”
Tithing is a principle introduced in the Old Testament of giving one-tenth of our time, talent and resources to God as an act of worship. It is not a religious decree any longer. Before Jesus Christ died for our sin, it was a mandate or command of God. Now since the penalty of sin has been paid in full, God’s Spirit enables us to produce His Fruits in our life and continually give an offering to the Lord as worship. We are free to serve God now and no longer obligated by the Law. There are many Christians who habitually tithe a portion of their income yet never move any farther by tithing their life to the Lord. Salvation is not an exemption. My children know the rules of our household. They also know how very much that I love them. When they choose to ignore or violate the house rules, they know that I will not harm them in any way. However, they try to follow the rules as a form of respect and love as they honor us with obedience. When they do transgress for example leaving dirty clothes strewn across their room which suddenly appear when the last load of laundry is started, they feel bad because I am disappointed. So they work harder next time to make sure everything is in their hamper. There are times when my girls will protest cleaning their room or making their bed, but in the end will obey to remain in good fellowship with us. It is our house. It is our rules. We are their provider. God is our Father. He has listed His Expectations. Grace is an extension of His Great Unconditional Love for disobedient and rebellious children. Under the provisions of Grace, it is our profound privilege to move our life from darkness into His Light. Religion tells us to tithe money to support the local congregation. Our relationship with God allows us the privilege of worshipping God with portions of our life. In exchange, He will open the Windows of Heaven over each part of our life surrendered to Him in worship!
Malachi 3:7-9 (NLT)
Ever since the days of your ancestors, you have scorned my decrees and failed to obey them. Now return to me, and I will return to you,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. “But you ask, ‘How can we return when we have never gone away?’ “Should people cheat God? Yet you have cheated me! “But you ask, ‘What do you mean? When did we ever cheat you?’ “You have cheated me of the tithes and offerings due to me. You are under a curse, for your whole nation has been cheating me.
There is no doubt that America is entering the curse of a nation cheating God. We have moved God out of school, government offices and accepted any form of lifestyle as acceptable. To decide not to tithe or make offerings to God is to rebel against His Kingdom just as to break the Law in our land is criminal. However, in the Name of Grace people do it all the time. Calling on God to forgive hidden sins and worse than that intentional sin. People actually sin willfully with the intention to ask for God’s Grace when finished. How can this ever be acceptable? We give God all of our leftovers – leftover love, leftover time, leftover talent, leftover treasure if there is any and when we are dissatisfied cry out to God regarding His Unfaithfulness and Inattentiveness. What are you doing that has placed a curse on your life? If you choose not to worship God with your life, you will live under the curse? But for those who choose to give their life to God and test His Goodness, Mercy and Love, they will experience the Windows of Heaven opening over their life and His Blessings far too great to contain. Like the woman told to gather as many vessels as she could find, when she began filling it with what she thought would be the provision of her last meal she found she was mistaken. God exponentially and supernaturally expanded what she had to more than meet her need but also prosper her life. What do you have today that can be an offering to the Lord? Whatever your need is will be met when God’s Kingdom begins to flow in your life. “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test! Your crops will be abundant, for I will guard them from insects and disease. Your grapes will not fall from the vine before they are ripe,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies.” (Malachi 3:10-11)
Psalm 37:27-29 (NLT)
Turn from evil and do good and you will live in the land forever. For the LORD loves justice,
and he will never abandon the godly. He will keep them safe forever, but the children of the wicked will die. The godly will possess the land and will live there forever.
Your mindset toward obedience is directly connected to the intentions of your heart. Salvation is to be a change of heart that will in turn change the way that you live. To call on the Name of Jesus Christ with no intention of turning from evil to do good will not save you from hell. The Lord loves justice so we must seek to obey from a heart surrendered to God in love. We do not have to obey the law to be saved but through His Grace, Mercy and Love should desire to do what the Lord has instructed as an act of love. God does not desire a sacrificial offering but He does desire a sacrificed heart that is repentant and responsive to His Love. (Psalm 51:16-17) Tithing is a commandment of God to be observed by His People as an act of worship. (Deuteronomy 14:22-23) You must tithe because tithing equates to worship. I break spiritual bondage known as “fear of lack” over your life today in the Name of Jesus Christ and ask the Holy Spirit to guide you in giving your life away! How do you respond when you hear the requirements of God? Like the Pharisee, do you work to fulfill the Law or do you seek to expand your heart and mind by faith to give all of your life to Jesus Christ? When the People of Judah (Praise) heard the requirement, they gave their all! (2 Chronicles 31:5-6) Will you give all your life to Jesus Christ today? Will you choose to tithe your life?
Isaiah 54:9-10 (NLT)
“Just as I swore in the time of Noah that I would never again let a flood cover the earth, so now I swear that I will never again be angry and punish you. For the mountains may move
and the hills disappear, but even then my faithful love for you will remain. My covenant of blessing will never be broken,” says the LORD, who has mercy on you.”
God’s Covenant of Blessing will never be broken. If you are not experiencing such benefits, it is time to evaluate your level of giving. No, not just your money as I believe it is often easier to pay off God then getting our hands dirty and hearts broken serving Him. We must begin to carve pieces of our life as offerings to God. Rather than uncovering the moldy leftovers of our heart and life carefully and intentionally giving the very best that we have to offer. Jesus Christ brought Justice and Mercy to all mankind. God has made His Strength and Power available to His People once more. (Isaiah 51:5) What are we going to do with it? The human heart defines the intentions of our giving and offerings to the Lord. An intentional Christian inspects their life as a whole no longer planning for seventy or so years of life but rather looking beyond the limited life they are born with to the live that has become an eternal commodity through Jesus Christ. Your life is limitless, but cannot be expanded if you remain tied to your old existence and days of darkness before receiving the gift of salvation. God has clearly obedience for His People as instructions to prosperity and blessing. No longer is it a requirement but a privilege offered so we can prosper in our potential and purpose with God’s Power. (Deuteronomy 11:8-9) God’s Blessing will overtake the obedient. (Deuteronomy 28:1-8) If you are not living in the Blessings of God today, there is probably a good chance that you have not accessed His Kingdom. Obedience born of love and adoration results in praise and worship that includes tithing your entire life to God. Giving God one-tenth of it all refusing to give anything less while striving to give Him our all results in open windows of blessing overflowing in our life.
Romans 4:13-16 (NLT)
Clearly, God’s promise to give the whole earth to Abraham and his descendants was based not on his obedience to God’s law, but on a right relationship with God that comes by faith. If God’s promise is only for those who obey the law, then faith is not necessary and the promise is pointless. For the law always brings punishment on those who try to obey it. (The only way to avoid breaking the law is to have no law to break!) So the promise is received by faith. It is given as a free gift. And we are all certain to receive it, whether or not we live according to the law of Moses, if we have faith like Abraham’s. For Abraham is the father of all who believe.
God’s Promises are available by faith. But obedience expands potential receivership as we open our life to God’s Fulfillment. Obedience is an act of worship. Obedience is a demonstration of praise. It has very little to do with your finances and everything to do with your life. God desires the first fruits of your life and promises His Blessing in return. The fruit of His Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-25) It is time to bear fruit to offer the Lord by cultivating a life of faith that is demonstrated in our ability to give our life away! Intentional Christians have decided to follow Jesus so stop turning back. This world has nothing for you. The secrets of the dark have no merit. Walk in the Light of His Love and decide to tithe your life today!
Galatians 2:19-21 (NLT)
For when I tried to keep the law, it condemned me. So I died to the law—I stopped trying to meet all its requirements—so that I might live for God. My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die.