The Church God Wants – New Wine Week 1
RT Kendall spoke on generosity and gratitude….and tithing
Malachi 3:10 “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 there will not be room enough to store it.
Philippians 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
The first case of tithing seen in the Bible is in the gift that Abraham gave to a priest called Melchizedek (Genesis 14). Abraham responded out of gratitude to God by giving a tenth (the tithe) of everything God had provided to him as the spoils of a battle to the priest, Melchizedek. He gave to God before he did anything else with this income.
John Wesley said the “the last part of a person to be converted is his wallet”!
Why should a person tithe?
1. Jesus affirmed it (Matthew 23)
2. Paul assumed it (1 Corinthians 16:2) – it’s the fairest system in the world where everyone gives in proportion to their income.
3. What it will do for the church – if everybody tithed then the church would have no financial problems at all.
4. It honours God and He notices it – even if you feel your giving is small, God values it equally with those whose giving is large. He notices it and it honours Him.
5. What it will do for you! Malachi says that you should bring the whole tithe into the “storehouse” and he will bless you! 2 Corinthians 9:6 “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.” You cannot outgive God and you give out of gratitude.
God asks us to show his glory to the world and one way we do that is through our attitude of gratitude. God loves gratitude! Gratitude is something that must be learned but God hates ingratitude (see Romans 1:21)
Let us be thankful people who continually thank God for all he has given us and let that attitude of thankfulness overflow in the way we live out our lives.
For more detail read “Tithing – discover the freedom of biblical giving” by RT Kendall and be challenged and blessed.
Garden City – New Wine Week 2
John Mark Comer spoke on practising the way of Jesus in a post-Christian culture. He shared how the Sabbath rescued him from breakdown. (Extracted and summarised from New Wine Magazine)
In today’s culture, busy seems to mean important. “I’m busy” means “I matter”. We’re busy with play too. There’s so much to do, to watch, see, experience and buy. We overfill our lives with work and email and social media and friends and nights out and church and community work and shopping and travel. It’s a non-stop, frenetic lifestyle – and it’s soul destroying. It’s been said that if the devil can’t make you sin, he’ll make you busy. It was at the edge of burn-out that I caught wind of this ancient practice called Sabbath. I started to read up on it and honestly it has changed my life.
In Genesis 1:1-10 we read how God is hard at work in creation. But on the seventh day he rested from all his work. After six days of universe-making work, God said it’s time to rest – Shabbat in Hebrew, where we get the word Sabbath. It means to stop, cease or be done as well as to celebrate. From the very beginning, God built a rhythm into the fabric of creation. For six days we work, but on the seventh day we take a deep breath, we rest and celebrate the world.
Genesis 2:3 says God blessed the seventh day. Life is tiring even when it’s good. Work in particular is a drain on your energy no matter how much you love it. Rest refills you with creativity, vision, strength, energy and optimism. Rest is life giving. God blessed the seventh day and made it holy. God created a holy time for His people.
There’s a lot of controversy about whether we need to keep the Sabbath since there is no command in the New Testament. My opinion is that there’s also no command to get a good night’s sleep, but if you want to live an emotionally healthy life, you need sleep. The Sabbath’s no longer a binding command, but it still stands as wisdom.
There’s no right way to Sabbath, it depends how you’re wired. I’m an introvert so I want hours alone to read, journal, pray, think and dream. My wife is more sociable so likes to take a little time to read and pray, but then wants to go on a bike ride or for coffee with a friend. People get hung up on when to do it and I say whenever works for you.
The Sabbath is a day when God has my rapt attention. I tune into the frequency of his presence around me and all other noise fades. I am fully available to my family and friends. My phone is off, my email closed, and there’s no to-do list. I don’t accomplish anything and I don’t feel guilty.
This coming week, I encourage you to take a Sabbath. If you’ve never done it before, don’t expect it to be easy. The Sabbath should become your time to reconnect with the soul and wake up to all that is good, beautiful and true in the world – it’s a weekly celebration and a way of life.Tags: Magazine