Daily Word

Deuteronomy 26

Read Deuteronomy 26 – Presenting tithes and offerings to the LORD.  “When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you as a special possession and you have conquered it and settled there, put some of the first produce from each crop you harvest into a basket and bring it to the designated place of worship – the place the LORD your God chooses for his name to be honored.” :1

Take a look at the partnership the LORD is inviting the Israelites into with just this verse (and the parallels we have as Christians).  1) God gave them the land as a special possession, a gift (For the Christian this is Jesus – John 3:16).  2) They were to enter it (It’s a bit like Salvation, which is offered to ALL, but only those who clearly ask – receive).  3) They had to conquer it (again, like walking with Jesus, if one does not turn from their old life – repent- and embrace the awesome freedom of this new life, then what’s the point?).  4) And settle there (The Christian term is sanctification – the life-long process of walking with Jesus – it’s more than a Sunday only relationship – one should continually strive towards holiness).  5) The LORD told them to put some of the first produce aside… (as we are to set aside our first fruits).  6) God continues with, “from each crop you harvest” (one could consider this financial tithe, as well as time, talents, and resources). 7) And bring it to the place of worship – the place the LORD your God chooses for his name to be honored (God picks the place, for believers that would be the church.  When you give to your church, you are not blessing them, you are thanking God).

Beloved, look at that, we are only one verse in, and you’ve heard more than enough from me.  Enjoy the rest of Chapter 26, and examine the ways you are living up to this call to tithes and offerings.

Daily Word

Genesis 14

Read Genesis 14 – Life with Lot – Oh Lot… He just had to pick life on the edge. 

Lot is now living in Sodom when war breaks out (this is the first mention of war in the bible).  He is captured, along with everything he owned, :12.  But one of his men escaped and reported the situation to Uncle Abram. 

Abram was a man of great faith.  He was blessed with great wealth.  And here we see he was also a prudent man, with 318 men born in his household and trained to fight.  Abram recovered all that was taken, including Lot, all the women and other captives, :16. 

After Abram returns, the King of Sodom and Melchizedek, the King of Salem, go out to meet him. 

Melchizedek is one of the most fascinating characters in the bible.  He is a bit of a mystery, not in any genealogies.  He is both King and priest of God Most High (a special designation), and he brings bread and wine to Abram, and blesses him (perhaps a foreshadowing of Jesus).  Then Abram gives him 1/10 of the recovered goods… our first example of tithing. 

The king of Salem asks for the return of his people, and tells Abram he can keep all the recovered goods.  Abram answers, “Ewww”  (slight paraphrase on my part).  He does not want a cent for himself, lest the king say he made Abram rich… Abram’s wealth is to God’s glory alone.  But Abram does request that his allies get their fair share.  In other words he did not make his standards the standards of his neighbors. 

Beloved, where are you in this?  Do you live one foot in faith and one in the world, like Lot?  Are you ready to take a stand against evil, like Abram?  Do you use money to make yourself look good, like the King of Sodom? Does your faith shine with the extraordinary love of God, like Melchizedek?❓🤷‍♂️🤺💰💖❓

Daily Word

Genesis 4

Read Genesis 4 – Human nature is a messy thing. 

Meet Cain and Abel, sons of Adam and Eve.  Cain was a farmer, and Abel was a shepherd, :2.  Both honor God with offerings, but Cain did so casually, offering some fruit, while Abel offered the best portions of the firstborn lambs, :3-4. 

The Lord knows the difference between someone who throws $5 in the basket at Christmas, and one who is delighted to send what the Lord puts on their heart (generally thought to be 10%) with joy and gratitude as soon as it hits their account.  The Lord did not accept Cain’s gift, and he reacted with pride and bitterness.  The Lord is aware and discusses the matter with Cain, :7.  But Cain does not heed God’s warning, instead he takes his bitterness out on his brother, Abel, and murders him, :8!  The Lord approaches Cain after, giving him the opportunity to confess.  Cain responds with arrogance, and the Lord issues punishment.  Notice it is punishment with protection.  The Lord puts a seal on Cain and anyone who kills him will be punished sevenfold. 

Beloved, take a good look at Cain’s reaction to his sentence.  He still does not repent!  He only complains.  Cain goes on to lead a life, marries, has children, and generations to follow. 

Meanwhile, Adam and Eve are blessed with another son, and name him Seth.  Seth grew up and had a son named Enosh.  AT THAT TIME PEOPLE FIRST BEGAN TO WORSHIP THE LORD BY NAME, :26b.  Hallelujah!  Cain’s offspring was selfish and boastful, but Seth’s legacy is one of worshipping God by name. 

Beloved, who are you?  As God looks at the truth of who you are, what does he see?  If it’s time to confess, then do it NOW!  Repent and become a legacy maker!