Posts Tagged ‘ Giving ’

Brought out and taken in

Do you remember the old song, He brought us out to take us in….though there be giants in the land I will not be afraid, so let us go at once to our inheritance? This is what I think of when the feast of Tabernacles comes up. Tabernacles is a celebration commissioned by God so that Israel would remember their time in the wilderness.

The Children of Israel were not supposed to spend forty years in the wilderness, it was supposed to be a short trip through the wilderness to the promised land. How many times do we all do this, stop longer than we should or not heed instructions? But that is not what Tabernacles is about. Tabernacles is about God’s grace, God’s Provision and God’s nearness. Many of us start our walks as Jesus followers excited and then slow down due to distractions. God led the Hebrews the long way so they would not be tempted to turn around and go back. Why? Because the short route included a couple battles along the way, that alone is a message in itself.

The root word for wilderness and the Holy of Holies is the same word. It’s when we find ourselves in desert places that God is so close. We have misunderstood wilderness in our western culture. We look at wilderness as a bad thing, yet it was the wilderness where God spoke to Moses and let His goodness pass him. It was the wilderness where God’s presence first came to the Children of Israel, it is the wilderness where Jesus was filled with power, and it is the wilderness of life where many of us have found God and move forward.

Now grant it we should never live there but we should understand what the wilderness is, it is not a bad place but a meeting place with God for transitional time. Think about the instances mentioned, the wilderness catapulted those individuals into a completely different realm of life. Tabernacles is a celebration of God being with us.

Leviticus 23:33-44 gives us the outline of the celebration of Tabernacles and there are two things I want to look at. First, the giving aspect. Leviticus 23:37-38 NKJV “These are the feasts of the LORD which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire to the LORD, a burnt offering and a grain offering, a sacrifice and drink offerings, everything on its day – 38 besides the Sabbaths of the LORD, besides your gifts, besides all your vows, and besides all your freewill offerings which you give to the LORD.”

Now before we get into the giving aspect I want to share a quote from Tiz Huch, “God is not trying to get something from us, He is trying to get something to us”. The enemy has convinced so many believers that giving is a taboo subject and that all the Church is about is money. I’m going to have a moment of blunt honesty with us, we are willing to give money for game tickets, willing to give money to eat out, watch movies, and more why aren’t we willing to give to God, the one who has given us the power to get wealth (Deuteronomy 8:18). We must break out of this anti-giving, anti-prosperous mindset the enemy has over much of the Church. We are blessed to be a blessing and if we only have enough for what we need we cannot be a blessing to others.

Verse thirty eight says besides Sabbaths, gifts, vows, and freewill offerings. Giving during the Feasts is what opens the windows of Heaven. Malachi three says we rob God in tithes and offerings. If we are not givers, why should we expect the blessing of God? God loves a cheerful and prompt to do giver. We sometimes hear, that’s Old Testament, tithing and giving isn’t mentioned in the New, we can just give whenever. Jesus and all the disciples were Jewish, there was no need to go over things that were already established and Malachi three and four were written to Gentiles, it is for us. Giving is what unlocks the door of blessing. These are not celebrations relegated to the Jews, they are God’s feasts and we are grafted in to the root and invited to join the celebration. Do as Malachi says, give and see that God will open the windows and rebuke the devour. And give with expectation to reap a harvest.

The second thing I want to draw our attention to is found in verse thirty nine, on the first and eighth day there shall be a sabbath rest. Hebrews four tells us that a rest remains for the children of God. It is good, it is biblical for us to have one day each week that is set aside for rest, especially with the kids of lives we live today. The rest of God, can be present everyday for those of us who will be willing to walk in that rest.

Tabernacles is a reminder every year that we have been delivered from the bondage of sin and have open and free access to a relationship with God. One last Scripture in closing, Deuteronomy 23:13-14 NKJV “and you shall have an implement among your equipment, and when you sit down outside, you shall dig with it and turn and cover your refuse. 14 For the LORD your God walks in the midst of your camp, to deliver you and give your enemies over to you; therefore your camp shall be holy, that He may see no unclean thing among you, and turn away from you.”

Bury your poop because God doesn’t want to step in it. Yep, that’s in the Bible. Sin is poop and God doesn’t want to see or smell it. That’s why Romans six through eight is all about how we are free from sin and how to continue to live free from it. It’s Tabernacles, check your toilets, make sure they’re flushed and spray some Febreze, God is coming to hang out.

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Giving in Worship

In the last three weeks we have looked at the Word and prayer as it relates to spiritual warfare. 2 Corinthians 10:4 KJV “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds;” Ephesians tells us that we do not wrestle with flesh and blood but with principalities, powers, and rulers of darkness. Part of our warfare is worship and giving. Many times we have a tendency to separate these two things, yet Scripture says God loves a cheerful or worshipful giver. In the Jewish culture, giving was a very intentional part of worship.

The Church also sees giving as worship but in many cases giving has been removed as a part of actual worship, through online giving, boxes in the back and other things, I think we have lost a worshipful expression in giving. Look at Malachi 3:11 KJV “And I will rebuke the devourer for your sake…” When we give, God Himself does battle on our behalf. This is a key element of our warfare.

Worship defined in the Noah Webster 1828 Dictionary is extreme submission. Yes, worship is singing, clapping, raising our hands, etc. it is also giving and much more. James 4:7-8 KJV ” submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.”

Part of our warfare is submitting to God. We cannot resist the devil if we are not first submitted to God. Part of that submission, our worship to God is found in Malachi chapter 3:8-11 KJV “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. 10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.11 And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts.”

Before we break this down, notice it is tithes and offerings. When we give our tithe so that the house of God is taken care of but it is our offerings that open the windows of heaven and get the devour rebuked. many of us have wondered why we give but are not prospering, the key of prosperity is not found in the tithe but the offering. Each of us will walk in a level of blessing when we tithe, giving offerings take us to another level.

The Lord works with each of us where we are at; if you’ve never tithed to your church, start there. If you’ve tithed but have never consistently given offerings, begin to give. If your church has a missions program, begin giving to it. If a particular ministry is a blessing to you, sow into them. If your city has a food bank, take some can goods. Giving is not always money. We can give of our time, our talents and monetarily. Giving, true giving from the heart and not out of compulsion is joyful, we will enjoy giving if it’s in our hearts to do so. When we give out of guilt or pressure there will be no harvest that comes from that. If we are giving with no joy but only to receive, there will not be anything coming back to us.

Worship and giving are weapons in our warfare but in order for them to be effective we must use them properly and that means worshiping and giving with a right heart. Let’s take a moment today and examine our motives in giving and in our worship. Let’s look at the regularity of our worship, is it a church thing or a daily thing? Is our giving regular, are we praying about what and where to give? are we doing both of these things with joy in our hearts?

Feasts Giving Produces a Full Harvest

No doubt the title of this post makes some people uneasy and gives the feeling that I’m trying to get your money. I can put you at ease and say I’m not asking for your money. Giving has always been about God trying to get something to us, not trying to get something from us.

Many in the Church today have an adverse reaction to a health and wealth gospel yet so many struggle with debt and have health issues, we are so willing to go to financial advisors and doctors and these are great tools yet we won’t go to the Scriptures and tap into our covenant benefits.

Before we get into this teaching; yes, I am going to suggest you find a ministry or organization to give an offering to. No, offerings don’t have to be money, we can give of our time, but we are willing to spend our money on so much why not give into the Kingdom. With that being said, God has never been about or required people giving big offerings.

Deuteronomy 16:17 KJV “Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD thy God which he hath given thee.”

1Samuel 15:22 says that obedience is better than sacrifice. It’s not about giving a huge amount but being faithful in what God asks of us.

Remember in Luke twenty-one when Jesus said the widow woman’s two coins were more than the abundance of the others? Giving is a motivation thing, not a means thing. Our giving, obedient giving is the key to releasing God’s blessing in our lives. God’s not trying to get something from us, He’s trying to get something to us.

Malachi 3:7-11 KJV “Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. return unto me and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye said wherein shall we return? Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of thy ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts.”

Many of us can say, but I give my tithe and I’m not seeing the windows of heaven open and the enemy is not being rebuked on my behalf. I believe this is because the Scripture says we have robbed God in tithe and in offering. Many of us have left out the offering part, and this is not talking about special speaker or missions offering but feasts offerings.

Let’s go back to one of the first verses we talked about and back up a verse. Deuteronomy 16:16-17 KJV “Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread (Passover), and the feast of weeks (Pentecost), and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before the LORD empty: Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD thy God which he hath given thee.”

Notice once again, it’s not about giving a large amount but giving according to your means. This was not just an old covenant thing. The Holy Spirit came at Pentecost and Paul said let us keep the Passover by celebrating Christ, our Passover lamb.

When Jesus mentioned 30, 60, 100 times that which was sown in the parable of the sower, His Jewish audience understood the double meaning of giving during the feasts; 30 (Passover), 60 (Pentecost) and 100 (Tabernacles).

We can  all get off track in our walk with God throughout the year, that’s why God instituted the feasts, to help provide away at specific times to get back to Him. Remember in Isaiah it says, come to Me while I am near and in James it says, draw near to God and He will draw near to you. This is what these three feasts are about, coming near to God and unlocking the windows of heaven through our giving and receiving what God has for us during these three specific times each year.

God said in Malachi that we could test Him in this, so if you’re a little skeptical I would encourage you to pray and ask God what to give and where to give during the three feasts this year and see what God does. I specifically sow my feast offerings into one of the ministries I know who gives to Israel, but step out and ask God what to give if you would like more info on the feasts click the feasts and festivals category and study out the Word and see how God speaks to you. If you don’t feel right in this, don’t do it – I am sharing this because for me it has been revealed as a key to receiving from God and it may be for you too.

For more information on the feasts and giving:

Larry Huch Ministries (Learn and give.)

God’s End Time Calendar (previously published as Divine Encounter): Rod Parsley

Jesus and the Jewish Festivals: Gary M. Burge

Give to the Church of God Israel Initiative  

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