Giving and Getting


imagesDid you know that there is a chapter in the Bible that is committed to the subjects of our giving and what we get back? Sure there is and it is found in the New Testament. It is the middle of what we call the Sermon on the Mount – chapter 6.

I did a sermon series on this chapter one year and we had 14 documented substantial financial miracles that happened within two months – I’m talking thousands.

Rather than outline the chapter here I challenge you to look and ask yourself how each verse or paragraph fits into one of two categories; giving or receiving. Grab ahold of these biblical principles and watch them transform your life in your finances.

Just remember, although you may be in the midst of financial stresses, do not forget Genesis 15:1 … “Do not be afraid Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.”

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Never Getting Ahead


The Devourer

The Devourer

Malachi 3:10-11 “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this,” Says the Lord  of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, so that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,” says the Lord of Host;

Yes, I am one of those who believe that this verse works for us today. It is a practice that preceded the law. It was the practice of not just 10%, which is what the word tithe means. It is the practice of first fruit. It is where Cain failed. It is what Abram did in Genesis 14. It is the city of Jericho was when Israel defeated them. Some even believe that it was what was requested of Adam and Eve when they were asked not to eat of the tree, that it was God’s portion.

But, that is not what I am wanting focus on. In Malachi God mentions a devourer. Each time we give of our tithe (first fruit, ten percent) He rebukes the devourer. What we often fail to remember is that the reverse is true. If we do not give in our tithe then we have the devourer taking from us.

The point is, there is never a moment where we will ever enjoy 100% of our increase. We either give to our Provider what is His share or the devourer takes and often wants far more than 10%. Please remember that not everything has to do with money. It can be health. It can be your family. It can be your employment. It can be your relationships.

This principle has always worked for me and it will for you too. Keep the devourer away!

When Does FIRST Make A Difference?


images-15Genesis 4:1-7 Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, and siad, “I have acquired a man from the Lord.” Then she bore again, this time his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord. Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Can was very angry, and his countenance fell. So the Lord said to Can, “why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”

What was Cain’s sin? Some have suggested that it was because he gave fruit rather than a blood offering to God. Really? What if that was not the issue, what would be the difference?

Able’s Gift – Able offered up a blood offering. It was the fruit of his labor and therefore a portion of his increase. It was not just from his increase but it was the firstborn of his increase.

Cain’s Gift – Cain offered up fruit. It was the fruit of his labor and therefore a portion of his increase. It does not state that it was the first fruit of his labor. Instead, it said “in the process of time.” Either he waited to make sure that there was enough to give to God or, do you know what happens to fruit in the “process of time?” It turns mellow or rotten.

If the problem was all over the issue of offering to God the first of what was earned or produced, then what message does it speak to us today?

Was this a trial and error experiment with these Cain and Able to try and figure what God wanted? I don’t think so. God said to Cain, “If you do well, will you not be accepted?” Therefore, I believe that Cain and Able knew what was expected.

This may have been the very first time that we see a lesson on firstfruit or firstborn, but it is not the last.

Let’s jump over many other illustrations. When Israel came into the promised land what was their order in regards to the first city they came to? They were to destroy it and take NOTHING for themselves. Why? The principle of firstfruit.

For another study, take a deep hard look at verse 7. “… sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”