Giving Freely To Jesus
Do You expect less of me than You demanded of the poorest Israelite?
What a great question for each of us to ponder. As we honestly look at God's Word and how the Lord has revealed His desires about our stewardship of our money - what should be our response to Him?
Specifically, as we look at the Old Testament record, "God do You really expect less of me - who has Your Holy Spirit within and lives in the wealthiest society in human history - than You demanded of the poorest Israelite?"
Well a close examination of the Old Testament reveals that the Lord asked for two types of giving: required tithing and free will offerings.
First, there was tithing that was required. This tithing was three-fold. The first was called the Levites' tithe (Lev. 27:30-33), the second was called the festival tithe (Deut. 12:6-7), and the third one was called the poor tithe (Deut. 14:28). All three of these were demanded like taxation, and was not free will giving to God. In addition to that, there was profit sharing on the corners of the fields (Lev. 19), a temple tax (Neh. 10:33), and the Sabbath land rest (Ex. 23). They were giving about twenty-five percent of their income for the funding of that government and for the caring of the land.
Second, there was giving that was voluntary. This voluntary free will giving was a matter of freely giving Him the best. Exodus 25:1-2 says, "The Lord spoke unto Moses saying, `Speak unto the children of Israel that they bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart'." This willingness of heart is emphasized over and over again. The beauty of it is that giving in this way provides more than enough. So again we see that required giving was always taxation. Free will giving was always what came out of the willing heart.
- John Wesley said, "Money never stays with me. It would burn me if it did. I throw it out of my hands as soon as possible, lest it should find its way into my heart."
- Hudson Taylor said, "The less I spent on myself and the more I gave to others, the fuller of happiness and blessing did my soul become."
- Missionary C.T. Studd said, "Only one life, ‘twill soon be past; only what's done for Christ will last."
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