Wednesday, September 01, 2010

The Blessed Life

Last weekend finished reading "The Blessed Life" By Pastor Robert Morris. I was blown away by the challenges the book addresses to us about living a life of giving. This is the first book that I have been satisfied in terms of understanding the principles of tithing at a deeper level how it is a form of worship that is sacred to the Lord. Though I took a lot away from the book and referenced it deeply from the word of God, this post however will not delve into all the details but some important points that I want to record  for my own personal memoir.

God always takes the first place. You cannot give Him a second place in any realm of your life. Believers in Yeshua are called to lay down their lives and deny themselves. It is like the inner man dies and the new man now lives as exhorted in the gospels and Pauline letters when you are in Yeshua.

Some important points I go away blessed with in the area of giving: are:

The Lord tests us in three areas:

1) Test of Need: This is where the principle of the first fruits apply. In whatever you make and do the first portion is always the Lord's. This is the only area the Lord allows a believer to test Him back. He promises:

8 "Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me.
"But you ask, 'How do we rob you?'
"In tithes and offerings. 9 You are under a curse—the whole nation of you—because you are robbing me. 10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. 11 I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit," says the LORD Almighty. 12 "Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land," says the LORD Almighty. (Malachi 3:8-12)

2) Test of Greed: When the Lord blesses you with abundance, the question that comes to your heart is will you hold back your generosity?. The principle here is we give because God is a generous giver and He tests us to see if we will hold back in greed, and begin trusting in our resources or something that replaces Him. Our abundance and wealth are to be held loosely and we give not to get, but we give so that we are instruments of His blessings, we becomes vessels that pour out generously to meet a need that the Holy Spirit prompts us to. Sometimes abundance can also put us in a state of fear, when we begin to depend on it as the source of our resources rather than Him being the source of all our life and all our needs.

3) Finally the Test of the Seed: Morris talks about three types of givers, tithers, generous givers and the extravagant givers. The final test is in the test of the seed once you grow and are fully sold out to God and are living in the leading of His Holy Spirit we go past the state of abundance and are in the unique position of being extravagant givers. Because God is an extravagant giver, He teaches us this test has three underlying principles, they are:

a) You get what you sow: If you sow bountifully, you will reap bountifully, if you sow corn you will get corn, if you sow wheat, you will get wheat.

b) You reap after you sow: The harvest comes after you have sown. A farmer cannot say I will reap in so and so month this much without actually sowing something.

c) You will reap more than what you sow: The harvest that comes back is always much more than what you sow. A apple seed when it becomes a apple tree brings forth much more apples.

Now these principles are important to understand in understanding the test of the seed. God will give extravagant givers seed. They will be instrumental in building the kingdom of God, though God is the provider of the seed and He is the one who gives growth to that seed and He is also the one who brings fruit, our test lies in what we are going to do with that seed. When King David saw that he was not the one supposed to build the temple, he purposefully set out to lay out all the provisions necessary (for his son Solomon), wood, workers, silver, gold, supplies, and monies.If you take that in today's value perspective it would be roughly about 21 billion dollars. You will ask just to build a temple for the Lord. The natural logical mind would say "should we waste that much on a building instead of  helping the poor?" I know a selfish mind would also say that...It all boils down to your heart's condition and hearts attitude in extravagant giving. Yeshua talks about an equally extravagant gift in His eyes when he points his disciples to the poor woman's mite who gave it all into the house of God. One may also draw attention to the form of worship that Mary showed by pouring out precious spikenard on Jesus's feet that was worth a year's wages in Israel.

3Then Mary took about a pint[a] of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus' feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.. (John 12:3)

It was indeed an extravagant giving and  an extravagant act of worship that came from a heart in a good place.  Its not the value associated with the giving or the seed but it is the action and attitude of the heart that counted towards the Lord and His Kingdom. And in closing, the Lord God of Israel will never be out given. He promises and guarantees His children a return much more in the natural and the super-natural realms. Again its not in what we get but in what we give the joy of the Lord & His kingdom expands and overflows in our hearts.

Blessings & Shalom,

Sam Kurien

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