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Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Biblical Power of Blessing; When we Tithe, We are Blessed

    Looks like I published the Genesis 25 reading early (part of my posting mix-ups).  Here is a link to that post in case you missed it.  I think the order of the Genesis readings will be fine from here on out. 
    Today’s Reading:
  • Genesis 26:17-27:46
  • Proverbs 3:9-10
Read Bible Passages Online

Genesis 26:17-27:46
Chapter 27 details how Rebekah and Jacob stole Esau’s blessing. This is only a single chapter, however there are so many elements to discuss. My first thought is how did this come about? I know that the Lord told Rebekah that Jacob would serve Esau (Gen. 25:23). My question is this: did the Lord tell Rebekah this so that she would set up the deception and it would become true, OR did the Lord tell her this because He knew what Rebekah was going to do with the blessing? It's kind of a pointless question I guess, but it was the first thing to pop into my mind. 

The topic of blessings is something that greatly interests me. Not God’s blessings – not to say they aren’t incredibly important, but I already have faith in His blessings and know they will come true.  My interest is the power of ordinary people to cast blessings upon others. Not only do they cast these blessings, but they come true! These men offered promises only the Lord could fulfill, and the Lord delivered. There was a lot of power in a blessing. I wonder what kind of power there is in blessing today? Is there anyone alive today to whom God has given that gift to? I don’t mean priests and their blessings of this and that; I mean true “this is exactly how your life will be from here on out” type blessings. I’ll just have to keep my eyes and ears open for more on this topic.  

Proverbs 3:9-10
Verse 3:9 states:
Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce.
I used to tithe exactly 0% of my income.  I knew that the Lord would provide back to me, but I guess I was just too afraid to let my hard earned money go.  Then one day I rearranged my budget to allow for a small but regular contribution.  I didn't have a church at that time, so I scoured Christian charities and found a few causes I really liked and started contributing to them.  That year I gave .05% of my income.  Sad, I know! But an improvement over 0.0%.

The next year I increased my contributions.  I began to really enjoy finding Godly causes to give away my money to.  It started to feel really good to know that I could be a blessing to others. Meanwhile, my cup was overflowing plenty.  Of course I'm not rich and I don't have a fancy house or a lot of expensive furnishings, and I hardly buy clothes or go out.  But all my needs are completely met, and some of my wants too, and the money does come back at me.  I don't give to get back monetarily, but it's awesome to see the blessings come back this way.  And with everything that comes back, I get to use a portion of that to give away even more money!  It's truly a wonderful feeling to help others.

This year I increased my contributions further.  No, I am not yet at 10%, and I do feel ashamed for that, but I am giving more and more each year.  I also have a church now (just joined Wednesday night!) so I do actually tithe with some of the money, but for the majority of my givings I still have numerous Christian causes that I love to help out.  It's so wonderful to know that my small contributions have helped out people from all over the world.  The money I give does so much better for others than it could ever do for me right now. 

Of course the Lord Himself doesn't need our money.  But he does need to teach us how to let go of this thing that has a stranglehold on so many of us.  If we were walking down the street, and someone said: "Please help me lift this box!" we would probably stop.  If someone said, "Please spare some change! " the majority of us would walk on by.  I know because I see it every single day in my metropolitan work location. I used to be one of those people who walked on by.  I am proud to say that no longer am I one of those people who keeps on walking, for the Lord is helping me realize that when we honor the Lord with our wealth, we are the ones who truly are blessed.

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