Archive | February 2016

Tithing

One of the key scriptures on tithing is Hebrews 7. Hebrews 7:1-2 KJV
“For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him;
[2] To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace;”

This whole chapter in Hebrews deals with tithing. And yes, my Bible says Hebrews is written to the Hebrews and it is written by Paul. Don’t forget, Paul was a Hebrew, a Jew who got saved. Paul reached out to his Jewish brethren but Paul’s main calling was to Gentiles.

Hebrews 7 is on tithing and Abraham is a main character. So if tithing is based on the Old Testament law, as some say, Abraham was before the law was ever given. Remember, you have Abraham,  Isaac and Jacob. Then you have the 12 sons of Jacob. Joseph is the first born son of Jacob and Rachel but Joseph is the 11th one born, see Genesis 30:22.

You have the sons and daughters listed in Genesis chapters 29 and 30. Then God changed Jacob’s name to Israel, see  Genesis 35:10 KJV “Genesis 35:10 KJV
And God said unto him, Thy name is Jacob: thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name: and he called his name Israel.”

Then we see Joseph is sold into slavery by his brothers when Joseph is 17 years old, see Genesis 37. Then from Genesis chapters 38-41 is the account of what happened to Joseph. How God used Joseph to save not only his family, but his people and Egypt and all in what we would call the middle east today.

Then in Exodus 1 we see as time went on, a king of Egypt came to power who did not know Joseph or what Joseph did. This new king of Egypt is jealous of what Israel has and decides to put Israel into bondage, slavery.

So God raises up Moses. God uses Moses to deliver Israel this time. God also establishes Passover and the calendar. The first month of the year is to be Nisan / April see Exodus 12. The Jews have two calendars, a sacred calendar based on God’s word and a civil calendar based on rabbis determinations.

God then leads Israel out of Egypt. They come to a wilderness between Elim and Sinai on the first day of the second month ( Iyar ), see Exodus 11:1. Israel comes to Mt. Sinai in the third month – June (Sivan – Esther 8:9) see Exodus 19. It is at this time God shows himself to Moses and gives Moses the law and the 10 Commandments.

Hebrews 7 explains Abraham giving tithes to the priest “of the Most High God”. Then Hebrews 7 and 8 explain Jesus Christ is our High Priest. Paul even tells the Corinthians God loves a cheerful giver. If you tithe because it is something you think is a requirement, a law, we are not under the law. But if you tithe because Jesus Christ is your High Priest and you love him, that is cheerful giving.

Until next time.

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Expected Results or Unexpected

Now that we know everyone does not go to heaven, what’s your motive? You and I were born sinners because of what  Adam and Eve did in the garden. All of us are born sinners, all of mankind. And on the timeline of time, we see we are here on this planet for a set time by God. Everyone lives at a different time on God’s timeline.  During our lifetime, we choose things pertaining to living in this world. We choose what to believe, where to live, what to do. So my question is, what is it?

What is it that caused you to believe God over everyone else? Was it his word? His character? Creation? And if you are really saved, why? Why did you choose to get saved? And if you are not saved, why, what is it that causes you to tell God NO?

Motives provide answers. When you look at crime, people have a motive, a reason they commit crimes. People have motives for getting married, for having children or not having children, for working for one company over another, for choosing schools and doctors and everything. All motives have one thing in common – an expected result.

All of us are born into the same world, so why do some choose to believe God and others choose to reject God? Why do some believe on and receive the Lord Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour and others reject Jesus? Did you ever ask yourself what is it that caused you to believe and get saved? What motivated you? What was your motive?

My regular readers know I was not raised in a Christian family. Oh yeah, we knew of God and heard about this guy Jesus, but that’s about it. I was in my mid 20s when I was trying to figure out the purpose for life. Why were people born for 1000s of years to populate a planet – for what? So I picked up a Bible and started reading the New Testament.

I did not skip over the genealogies in Matthew, I read them and studied them. Remember, I am a researcher. I realized this guy Jesus was a Jew, and not just any Jew, but an important Jew. Things were written about Jesus in the Old Testament before Jesus was ever born into this world. Just Isaiah 53 explains a lot. Even I could see that.

So after reading the New Testament and hearing Jesus talk about hell and the lake of fire, it scared me. There was no way I wanted to go to hell. A few days later God sent this Pastor into my store and about 2-3 months later, I got saved. Now, 33 years later it all makes sense. 33 years of digging, study, research I see God’s plan. And yes, when God saved me 33 years ago, I told everyone, still do. God is faithful. My whole family got saved.

My mom got saved 3 years after me. I did not have a father, he abandoned us. But I asked my mom about a year before she died why she got saved. She was 56 when she got saved and I wanted to know what was it that caused her, at 56, to get saved. Her answer shocked me. She told me she saw my life change. She saw the change in me and wanted what I had. I never knew she was watching me.

The cool thing? Once mom got saved, they started falling like flies. Just kidding but once mom got saved, the rest of my family realized something was going on and they did get saved.  God is faithful.

And here I thought everyone got saved because they did not want to go to hell. It was my mom’s motive that made me realize, motives matter. So why did you get saved? What motivated you to believe God? What motivated you to believe on and receive the Lord Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour?

And if you are not saved? What is it that causes you to reject God’s word? Are you afraid you will loose your family? Your friends? Didn’t Abraham? Didn’t Joseph?  Even though they lost their family for a while, God brought them back, like Joseph and God gives a new family like Abraham having Isaac.

Remember, whatever motivates you to believe God and receive Jesus Christ or to reject him, motives have expected results. There are unexpected results too. I pray you will believe God, Repent and receive the Lord Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. Until next time.

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His Soul An Offering

Isaiah 53:1-12 KJV
“Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?
[2] For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
[3] He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
[4] Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
[5] But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
[6] All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
[7] He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
[8] He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
[9] And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
[10] Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
[11] He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
[12] Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

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God Is In Control

Today, just a reminder –

Psalm 117:1-2 KJV
O praise the Lord , all ye nations: praise him, all ye people.
[2] For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the Lord endureth for ever. Praise ye the Lord .

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Finding Purpose

Before I was saved – like a lot of people –  I believed in God and I believed the Bible is the word of God. But when asked what happens after we die – I had no clue. One thing I knew was I was a pretty decent person, didn’t kill anyone, didn’t take things, worked hard – was what I thought was an OK person, so why wouldn’t I go to heaven when I die?

As a Type “A”  personality and as I always said that I am an eternal optimist – I had my successes. But inside, deep in my heart and soul that something was missing. I didn’t know what it was then and I could not explain it – something was missing.

As many of you know, I was not raised in a  “Christian”  family. Oh, our family believes in God, that’s all. No church, no Bible, no prayer. And my father left my mother for another woman leaving my mom to raise all of us with no father. My father never provided for us. But God did.

So when God got a hold of me at 27 and I realized I was not going to heaven unless I did things God’s Way – I believed and got saved. ( Granted, I did test God for 30 days first. He passed the test.)  I would come to learn that God is a father to the fatherless and all my life growing up – God was always there helping my mother – opening doors – putting people in her path that would help. This one guy was a farmer. We called him Uncle Gus. He was old enough to be my mother’s father – but God put him in our life. He would bring vegetables and day old bread to us and in return we would work on his farm all afternoon. I remember one of my brothers getting into poison ivy or sumac trying to go to the bathroom in the field because he couldn’t hold it any longer.

One time after stringing an electric fence one summer, we were maybe 7, 8, 9 and 15 years old, Uncle Gus turned the fence on (low-voltage farm fence) and wanted to know if the fence worked. He looked at us – gullible we were – Uncle Gus told us if we would touch the fence to see if it was on, he would give us a Coca Cola. Well if we had a soda pop once a year that was a lot – so my younger brother and I touched the fence. It felt like getting a tingle from an electrical outlet. My younger brother and I yelled, It’ s On – It’s On – and we got our soda pop.

Like most families, we had our ups and downs but I do not remember any anger, bitterness, and unhappiness as a family growing up. We didn’t have a lot, but we had a roof over our head, clean clothes on your back, food in our stomach and we had love. So when someone told me I needed God – I didn’t  “Get It”.   I didn’t know I needed God – but I was interested to hear more.

Now I can see how God played a very important role in my childhood. How God  helped  my mom and all of us. How God put Uncle Gus in the picture. Uncle Gus wasn’t even our uncle we called him uncle only to show respect. How many aunts, uncles and grandmas we had that were not even related to us, just to show respect.

And when God got my attention – again – at 27,  I was looking for meaning and purpose. I wanted to know why God made us, why people struggle, why fathers walk out and abandon their children and wife, why people make promises just to break them weeks later. What was the meaning of all this? What was the purpose?

Even after I was saved, I studied and studied looking for answers to how do we live as a Christian, what about when bad things happen to people? How can a tornado take out a family of six just to leave the house next door untouched? And it was about 30 years later, after study, talking to God all the time, prayer that God gave me my answers. And friends – that IS the reason for this blog.
To share first and foremost, you need to get saved, really saved, and to share the answers  God gave me. I am not trying to beat people over the head to get them to believe my doctrine and theology. My goal is to help people really get saved and then share what God has done for me and share what God teaches me.

We have an Almighty Sovereign God who loves each and every one of us. He loves us all so much that he sent his Son, God in the flesh, to us, the Lord Jesus Christ. And after the resurrection of Jesus Christ to as many as believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation of their soul, God gives those believers God the Holy Spirit to come live in their heart. But friend, we also have an enemy – Satan. And there is a realm we can not see right now – but one day we will see that realm. The secret is to live in the realm we do not see while physically in this body we walk in the earthly realm.

Until next time.

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O or P

What is an optimist? What is a pessimist?  Which are you?  By definition an optimist is someone who looks at things positively.  Everything turns out for the best. In Bible terms, they believe Romans 8:28 KJV “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

So what is a pessimist?  By definition,  a pessimist stresses the negative or unfavorable view. By definition, a pessimist is one who believes all things ultimately tend toward evil. They believe evil out weighs good.

If you know the person you are talking to and ask them, are you an optimist or a pessimist?  You will learn what that person’s mind set is. Remember God says as a man thinketh so is he. If you know a pessimist, you are dealing with someone who has a mindset believing negative thoughts. Believing evil out weighs good. So how do you help someone like that?

I am not endorsing any political candidate in America’s election but there is a perfect example of what I call O or P ( Optimist or Pessimist ).

When President Obama came into office about 45% of people thought he would heal alleged race divisions. I didn’t see divisions based on race. I saw Americans. Instead, President Obama has fueled race divisions by his own comments and through his administration. So has President Obama shown himself O or P regarding race?

If comments come to “transform America” then there are thoughts that America has not been working over 240 years correctly according to President Obama ‘ s thinking.

Then, along comes a guy, right or wrong, starts promoting optimistic thoughts, “Make America Great Again”. This suggests America has lost her greatness, a thought I do not believe. The American people are very generous and love freedom and liberty. But that slogan is an optimistic slogan that plants seeds of good, goodness, greatness.

So given a choice, would you rather listen to the person who wants to transform a country that has been successful for 240 years into something else? A person who plants seeds of division? Seeds of anger? Or would you rather listen to someone who is positive, optimistic, promoting greatness?

No matter what area of life, if you ask a person if they are O or P about the family, O or P about the country, O or P about God, you clearly learn how to speak to that person and impact their life by showing them optimism is the best way when you know and believe God has everything under control. Romans 8:28.

Until next time my friends.

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Yoke To God

Paul lays out, in 2 Corinthians 6, what we are to do, how we should do it and what the world will think of us and how God helps.

Paul tells us ( believers ) as ministers of God in (in meaning we may experience what he is saying). In:
Much patience –
Afflictions –
Necessities –
Distresses –
Stripes –
Imprisonments –
Tumults (riots) –
Labours –
Watchings –
Fastings –
( Doesn’t sound like a positive message does it? )

And how are we suppose to go through these?

By Pureness –
By Knowledge –
By Longsuffering –
By Kindness –
By the Holy Ghost –
By Love Unfeigned (not counterfeit ) –
By the Word of Truth –
By the Power of God –
By the Armour of Righteousness –

Notice several of these line up with the fruit of the Holy Spirit as Paul mentions in Galatians 5.

What the world will see verses what God sees.

By honour (God sees) and dishonour  ( world says and sees)
By evil report vs. Good report
As deceivers vs. Yet true
As unknown vs. Yet well known
As dying vs. We live
As chastened vs. Not killed
As sorrowful vs. Always rejoicing
As poor vs. Making many rich
As having nothing vs. Possessing all things.

Paul goes through all this for a reason. What is the reason? Verses 14 – 18.
2 Corinthians 6:14-18 KJV “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
[15] And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
[16] And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them ; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
[17] Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing ; and I will receive you,
[18] And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

If you truly separate yourself from unbelievers you do not yoke yourself meaning you do not join with unbelievers with anything, no mortgages, no credit cards, no marriage, nothing the way the world does, then you will experience those 10 things listed above. Remember, he is talking about believers not join with unbelievers in anything. We join with God and believers only.

When you decide to stop doing things the world’s way and start obeying God and doing things God’s way, there is a cost.

And how are we suppose to handle going through the mocking, the struggle, the 10 things listed above? By the middle 9 ways listed above. And how will “Christians ” and heathen look at you? The last 9 things.

When you decide to do things God’s way, Christians and heathen will come against you. But how do you handle that? The middle 9 mentioned above.

One reason the world is messed up is Christians have not obeyed God and they have yoked / joined themselves to unbelievers in marriage, in business, in finances, morality and ungodliness.  If you do not yoke yourself with unbelievers in anything, there is a cost. Your family and friends will mock you, you will have all kinds of issues.  Even “Christians” will come against you.

But are we to please God or man? God! Until next time.

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Shalom