Week 18

Jesus cautioned us about the deceitfulness of riches. (Mt.13.22; Mk.4.19) The word deceitful in these verses translates to cheat or to trick. Both individuals and churches are vulnerable to deception. This week I'm sharing with you a couple of ways today's riches are deceitful. Much can be said on this topic, but two examples are enough for a blog.

    Wealth can be a trap and a snare. Individual wealth is a big invitation to self-righteousness. If God has made an individual or family or group wealthy, there can develop a great, narcissistic attitude to assume this is favor from God because of some personal, inner "specialness." Wealth can generate an aura of smugness. It's so easy to forget that God is our sovereign source. (Eze.28.4, 5) Christians who are wealthy have an enormous responsibility before God. For Christians, great wealth should result in awed obedience. God gives financial increase to be used for His kingdom purposes. To tithe from God's gifts of financial bounty expresses humility and gratitude before God, as tithing puts God first.

    For a church, the quest for worldly success at the corporate level can foster huge deceptions. Churches do use the world's systems to manage their business. But, for a church to measure its success by statistics, its attendance figures, or by how much money it generates, is using the wrong measure. The numbers' measure is worldly, materialistic and an almost resistance-proof temptation for self-promotion and misrepresentations. (Ps.127.1) The cheat or trick in this is that worldly success creates a false facade and generates a false sense of security. Increases or windfalls gained by a prideful, worldly church striving for success, fail to please God. (Rev.3.17)

    The Biblical measure of the successful church is the spiritual growth and Christ-likeness of those who are members of that Body. (Ep.4.11-16; Ph.2.12,13; Col.1.28, 29) Scriptural faithful obedience nets scriptural results. Each Christian's primary goal is to deepen our personal relationship with the Lord, as it is in Him we live. Holy Spirit develops all that in love. By the grace of God, Christians learn to put God first and to love one another. We give glory to God for what He has done. We honor and worship God with our tithes, offerings, gifts and acts of service.

Until next time.
Love in Christ.
Miss Dorothy 

Week 17

    Brethren, in all these blogs I've emphasized our relationship with God through Christ. Therefore, please consider this week's entry a spiritual reminder. Job loved God above all things and he proclaimed in Job 1.21, 22:

21 "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart.
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;
may the name of the Lord be praised."

22 In all this Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.

    To play the blame game and withold tithes and offerings doesn't hurt God. The person who withholds finances isn't demonstrating special financial
acumen or superior spirituality. All too often, witholding tithes or offerings reveals immaturity, self-righteousness and anger and does little for the cause of Christ. Sadly, too many of us have witnessed times when withholding tithes or offerings caused strife in the Body. Is this the holy message of the Gospel?

        Brethren, please remember. No matter what condition you find yourself in, always give thanks and praise the Lord. We come in prayer before God with our questions, complaints, problems and appeals. But in all our weaknesses and sufferings, God's grace is available for us. Seek the Lord, worship and praise Him for his help and solutions. Praise and thank God for His will to be done in your finances. Put God first and tithe. Bring your tithes, grace offerings and gifts to your local church.

Until next time.
Love in Christ.
Miss Dorothy

Week 16

This week, I'm listing some more objections and concerns people have expressed about tithing.

      My own church doesn't tithe, why should I?
      Most of the members of my congregation don't tithe. 
      I don't tithe because I don't like what they do with the money.

      The tithe is just a ploy to get money into the Church.         

    These types of questions and comments really expose one issue---trust. As a church family we are to trust one another. Too many Christians have difficulty trusting their leadership, their finance teams and even other church members. Finally, they have trouble trusting God. Ultimately, they end up trusting their wallets more than they trust God. (Mt.6.24)

    I have heard of only one person who ever live who was perfect. The rest of us are flawed human beings. Because we stumble and make mistakes, does not mean we are guilty of malfeasance. Do you really want to emulate those who complain, are lazy pray-ers, or indifferent or rebellious? It may be easy and comfortable joining these nay-sayers, but is that what our Lord wants? Only God knows the true nature of our hearts and your church and its finances. Pray earnestly for your church and its finances. If something has to be changed, trust Holy Spirit. Rely on Him. He will change every single thing that He wants changed.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight. (Pr.3.5)
        Let's get out of our own way, Church. Pray and seek the Lord. Give grace and ask Holy Spirit to help you renew your trust, change your heart and give you peace. He will always be there for you. Present your tithes to God and bring them to your local church.

Until next time.
Love in Christ.
Miss Dorothy

Week 15

When I pray about tithing and giving, one basis I use is Paul's teachings in Corinthians. The Books of Corinthians contain many scriptural examples of financial principles. Here are some for you to read and pray about on your own.

     Proportionate giving is tithe. Tithes and offerings are brought into the local church. (1Co.16.1,2.)

     Gifts and giving should come from the heart. (2Co.9.7, 8.)

     The financial size of the gift is not important. God gives the increase. (2Co.8.12.)

     Finances are to be handled with complete honesty. (2Co.8.20, 21.)

         Remember always that Christian services, tithes, offerings and gifts are not about money. It's all about Jesus, Brethren. Tithes put God first. Honor God with your tithes and grace offerings and bring them into your local church.

Until next time.
Love in Christ.
Miss Dorothy

Week 14

    Recently in the newspaper, there was an all too familiar article about a couple caught in the economic squeeze. Both had lost their jobs, were drowning in debt and were desperately trying to recover. My antenna went up when I read that part of the article which said that one of the economic steps they took was to stop tithing to their church. I immediately prayed for them, of course.

    God loves us so much He gives us the choice not to tithe. So, that's not my concern. My concern is that too many folks think they tithe to their church. We tithe to God, Brethren. The local church is the storehouse into which we bring those tithes. In Christ we are God's children. When we have messes we are to run to our Father, not away from Him. Our financial disasters are never too much for Him to handle. Tithing throug money difficulties is an act of faith. It is a visible, tangible demonstration of our faithfulness, deep love and total trust in God.

        Here's my bold, Biblical and faith-filled testimony for you. I know that God instituted the Tithe Covenant. So, even when I have rebelled and gotten myself jammed up financially, I have never stopped tithing. I realize that I am incapable of getting out of the financial bind myself. I don't have the smarts or $$$ to do it. Therefore, I pray and God shows me my real heart. It is my precious Lord who gives me His grace and courage to look at my dismal failure. Then, the Lord's love uplifts me and I am able to obey completely what He leads me to do. It's been humbling, sometimes painful and slow, and it's not magic. Yet, I have always been pulled out of every single fiscal pit. More than once God has freed and delivered me from fierce, financial horrors. Both the Lord and I know--and I now proclaim to the world--that He honored His sovereign Tithe Covenant. God's Tithe Covenant does not ever fail!

Until next time.
Love in Christ.
Miss Dorothy