Read Deuteronomy 14 -- 16
In Today's Reading:
Like any father, God expects His children to be and to have all that He plans for them. He has reasons why we should or should not do certain things to achieve His best plan for our lives. Many questions are answered in these chapters, like: Why giving tithes leaves you with more, not less! Did you know that God required that after seven years all debts were to be canceled? What is so important about the month of Abib (March/April)? The answer may surprise you.
Verse for Today:
You shall truly tithe all the increase of your seed, that the field brings forth year by year (Deuteronomy 14:22).
Clean and unclean food; the law of the tithe; all debts canceled the 7th year; lending to the poor and the release of servants; dedication of the first born males of cattle and sheep; three feasts that must be observed; judges and justice.
The Law commanded the Israelites to present their tithes to God in Jerusalem, but no legal penalty was stated for those who failed to do so. However the Israelites were warned that by failing to tithe they would not only be robbing God but that it would result in many unexpected losses, such as drought, crop failures, insect infestation, and plagues (see Malachi 3:11). Giving of the tithe was a test of their love for God and an acknowledgment that God is truly the owner of all things. Although tithing was a commandment, it should be a voluntary expression of love (Leviticus 27:30-34).
The principle of tithing was made known to us by Abraham, the father of the faithful, 500 years before the Law was revealed to Moses (see Genesis 14:14-20). Jacob also tithed to acknowledge his gratitude to God, the Provider of all his blessings (see Genesis 28:20-22).
Surely, the law of love should inspire Christians to give even more than what was required under the old Law. Our gifts to the ministry of God's Word are to be expressions of our love for Him as well as appreciation for His abundant blessings to us.
At the same time, a giving spirit is a safeguard against covetousness, which is also called idolatry (putting one's own desire before God) (see Colossians 3:5). Giving to the Lord's work provides the opportunity for every Christian to share in ministering to others.
So let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:7).
A Thought from Proverbs: There is one that scatters, and yet increases; and there is one that withholds more than is meet, but it lends to poverty (11:24).
Through the year of release, which typifies Christ's forgiveness of our sins (Deuteronomy 15:1). This should lead us to forgive others, even as He has forgiven us (Matthew 18:21-22.
14:1 cut yourselves = lacerate your body as part of mourning the dead; make any baldness = shave your head as a sign of sorrow, a heathen custom; 14:2 a peculiar people unto Himself = not conformed to worldly standards but to live, according to the Word of God; 14:7 cloven = split in two; 14:21 seethe = boil; 15:14 floor = threshing floor; 16:19 wrest judgment = pervert justice; a gift = a bribe.
Government Officials: Sen. Christopher Bond (MO) · Pray for your Church · Country: Trinidad and Tobago (1 million) two islands seven miles off the coast of Venezuela · Major languages: English and Hindi · Religious freedom · 34% Protestant; 29% Roman Catholic; 25% Hindu; 7% Muslim · Prayer Suggestion: Confess any sins in your life so that your prayers can be heard (Psalms 66:18-19).
Optional Reading: Luke 21
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:13