Week 22

    This week's blog is about a different kind of grace-giving. It's not for everyone, but, I want you to be exposed to what the Bible says about it. It is another form of grace-giving and scripturally encouraged. It's called sacrificial giving. It is a level of giving that reaches sacrificial proportions--beyond personal budget and apparent means. The clearest example of this in scripture is the incident of the "Widow's Mite." (Mt.12.42; Lu.21.2,3) The widow was commended and memorialized by Jesus for her sacrificial gift.

    Sacrificial giving has several characteristics. It is always secret (private), voluntary and charitable. It is usually unexpected and above all, it expresses God's love. The Book of Acts does record where Christians had all things in common. (Ac.4.32-37) But, sacrificial giving as a life style needs a special act of grace. Use Holy Spirit wisdom before choosing sacrificial giving as your life style.

        There are many 'out there' who claim there are huge numbers of Christians who give away more than they live on. I have not been able to find any confirmation of that among contemporary Christians. The so-called "Vow of Poverty" is religion. Of course, since sacrificial giving is secret the chances are that it would not be real common knowledge. Yes, biblically Christians will sacrifice beyond their own means to help others. I have seen Christians pray and give to their own hurt. That is commendable and scriptural, but as a life-style, be sure it's God. Godl's Word emphasizes consistent obedience, not sacrifice. (1Sa.15.22; Mk.12.32-34) Keep tithing.

Until next time.
Love in Christ.
Miss Dorothy

Week 21

    There are many examples of grace-giving in the New Testament. But there are a couple of ways to give which don't exactly fit under the grace-giving umbrella. For this week and next I'll blog about them.

    Since it's near Thanksgiving I'll start with righteous acts. Righteous acts have two distinctive qualities. Righteous acts are always done or given in secret. Also, they are totally, completely and absolutely voluntary. The phrase 'righteous acts' is found in Mt.6.1, NIV. The KJV translates the word as alms. The reward Jesus speaks about may be spiritual or not, as God is sovereign.

Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.  (Mt.6.1)

     The key is, as always, heart attitude. If anyone gives to another Christian, it is best to be private, with a prayer-filled heart to God. These acts are Christian living at its best.

Until next time.
Love in Christ.
Miss Dorothy

Week 20

 What does it mean to honor God? In both Testaments, using religion to gain personal honor is denounced. (Mt.6.1-8) Jesus gave up honor and took the form of a servant and died a shameful death. God revealed Jesus' Divinity and gave Him the Name above all names. As we are in Christ, for Believers honor is defined by God alone, never by mankind.

    God taught the Israelites methods of sacrifice which would impress them to honor Him. In the Book of Malachi there are examples of sacrifices which displeased God and did not honor Him. The Israelites of Malachi's day were apathetic. God called upon them to change their wrong attitudes through prayer and right sacrifice. They were called to renew their obedience to God. God reminded them of their need for reverence and faith. Jesus honored His father perfectly and His righteousness is eternally sufficient for us. Praise God!

    Jesus will return during a time of spiritual decline and great persecution. He asks if He will find faith on earth when He returns. (Lu.18.8) Prayer expresses our faith. Faith puts God first with tithes. Faith honors God with tithes, offerings, gifts and acts of service.

Until next time.
Love in Christ.
Miss Dorothy

Week 19

  There are about a dozen questions I have left to address in these blogs. To make it easier for myself, I'm writing them out in question and answer format. I'll begin them here and finish the rest of them next month. I pray they help you and give you understanding. God alone gives the increase.

      Q. I go to two churches. Where do I bring my tithes?
      A.  Bring your tithe to each church as you go to it.
            One church is not the "real" church and the other a facsimile.

      Q.What happens if I can't tithe consistently?
      A. Nothing "happens." Inconsistent tithes are offerings. 
           Pray and obey God.

       Q.Why is there so much focus on money when Christianity is about 
            love and faith?
       A.Giving tithes, offerings and gifts to God are forms of worship. 
           They express love and faith.

       Q. The Lord told me not to tithe and to take care of my own family.
       A. Our Lord would never interfere with your free will.
            To pray for grace to tithe is scriptural. Give offerings.

       Q. I've been tithing for a long time and I don't have any results.
            Why should I continue to tithe?
       A. It's not about money. What results do you think you should get?

       Q. I pay huge taxes that help people. Isn't that enough?
       A. No, not for Christians. (Mk. 12.17)

Until next time.
Love in Christ.
Miss Dorothy