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Recognizing a Blessing

2nd Corinthians 9:9 (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever.

2nd Corinthians 9:10 Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;)

2nd Corinthians 9:11 Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.


For the astute reader, there is a blessing in those verses. The blessing is in verse 10. It is not a distinct promise. It is not a law. It is a blessing that the Apostle Paul wrote out modeled after Psalm 112:9; He hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor; his righteousness endureth for ever; his horn shall be exalted with honour. The good apostle is not putting anyone here under the law. He is referencing a blessing from the law and applying it to New Testament saints.

It is interesting that the law promised blessings on those that tithe whereas the New Testament blesses those who give voluntarily and proportionally. Under the law men tithed the increase of their goods. In the New Testament they give themselves (2nd Corinthians 8:5), their goods (Romans 15:27), and their money (unless you believe that the disciples were hauling farm produce all over Europe and Asia in an economy that used money).

The Apostle Paul used voluntary giving as a measure of the sincerity of love. I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love, 2nd Corinthians 8:8. Wherefore shew ye to them, and before the churches, the proof of your love, and of our boasting on your behalf, 2nd Corinthians 8:24. Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account, Philippians 4:17.

As a pastor I would be remiss not to teach our people the joy and the blessings of giving. Every year I see more and more proof before my eyes that those people who regularly, voluntarily, and cheerfully give proportionally prosper more and more in the spiritual blessings of God and in this world's goods. Recently I was reminded how that Abraham and later Jacob voluntarily gave 10% of their goods as opposed to Israel which was commanded to tithe. When new converts ask me about giving, I tell them that before I give to any special offering, and before I do anything else with my money, I tithe 10% of my money both earned and given.

I know that I am told to give proportionally, Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come, 1st Corinthians 16:2. I know that Jesus Christ saw giving as a proportion not as a fixed amount.

Luke 21:3 And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all:

Luke 21:4 For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had.

I'm not a financial genius but if Abraham and Jacob both settled on a figure of 10%, it seems like a good figure to me. This is not a law. It is not a prerequisite to be in the in-crowd at my church. It is a joyful voluntary gift that I gladly throw into our church offering. I have thrived on that system. Year after year, I watch families and individuals thrive on that system.

Year after year, I watch those who cannot or will not bring themselves to regularly give on a proportionate basis. I am reminded of Haggai's admonition; Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes, Haggai 1:6.

I know one or two Christians who preach against a tithe, but whose finances are obviously blessed. For everyone of them that I know, I know far more whose finances always seem to be snake-bit. I know families who hate the tithe with a vengeance, but if they didn't get the yearly (In the United States) welfare payment disguised as a tax refund they would financially collapse. These are often the same people who rail against socialism but make an exception when the government takes wealthier people's money away and gives it to them.

Under the law, (Psalm 112) the Lord put a blessing on those who give. That blessing is extended to us today. What kind of a pastor would I be if I did not teach that blessing?


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Since this blog is about giving, I would like to comment. I like the way they gave in Acts 4:34-37!

I love my children and my wife so I have given all I had at times to take care of them. I haven’t only done this cause I’m suppose to, but God put something in me called “want to”, and I delighted in giving to them.

When I see street people I don’t always look down my nose, but sometimes I “want to” give to them. When I kill an animal (o glory), I like to give meat, when I catch fish (after I clean them), I like to give some to others.

I could go on but I will…


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Dido
Dido
29. März

"... prove me now ..."

Malachi 3:10

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Timothy McVey
Timothy McVey
29. März

Thank you for that admonition. It certainly is more blessed to give, but I'm not a novice. I've proven that!!

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