Wednesday, June 15, 2011

God’s Way


Matthew 6:24 No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.

God will not be number two – He will only be number one. God will not participate in a polytheistic gathering. If you call the god-roll in your meetings, He will not be there as one of the invited deities.

If Jehovah shows up at a god convention, it won’t be a pretty sight – just ask the followers of dagon, the god of the Philistines, what happened to their idol when they dared to bring the Ark of the Covenant of Jehovah into the temple of their god. (1 Samuel 5)

Or perhaps you can read about Jehovah showing up on Mount Carmel in the midst of about 450 prophets of baal and another 400 prophets of asherah. Fire came down from heaven and the day ended with all of those false prophets dead. (1 Kings 18)

Whatever you do … don’t invite Jehovah God to a god party and don’t call on His name from a list of potential deities in some ungodly attempt to be politically correct – only the ignorant of every religion appreciate that. Political correctness will not get anyone into heaven and polytheism in any form is going to upset every god, all the false and also the One True and Living Jehovah Almighty.

God refuses to just be one of the boys or to play second fiddle in anyone’s life … even when it comes to money! For this reason, when life first began on planet earth, God instructed man concerning the dedication of Tithes and Offerings.

As far back as Cain and Abel, men were making offerings to God in recognition and thanksgiving for His blessings. Some offerings were acceptable to God because they were given in accordance with God’s instructions while others were unacceptable and unblessed.

Such was the case with Cain and Abel which finally led to jealously and resulted in Cain’s murder of his brother Abel. The first murder no doubt stemmed from a disagreement about offerings:

When, how much and with what attitude should we give to God?

Give to God, Yes! – not just to Church and not to a Priest … but to God!

Hebrews 7:8 Here mortal men receive tithes, but there He receives them, of Whom it is witnessed that He lives.

Certainly – on earth men receive tithes but in heaven, God receives them.

Genesis 4

1 ¶ Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, and said, "I have acquired a man from the LORD."

2 Then she bore again, this time his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.

3 ¶ And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the LORD.

4 Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the LORD respected Abel and his offering,

5 but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell.

This is an interesting and insightful account of God’s expectation and man’s interaction with God’s evident blessing. What happened … what was the difference between the offerings of Cain and Abel?

Verse 3 reveals that one of the major differences was that of timing.

“In the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord.”

· Cain brought an offering of what he wanted, when he wanted, just some of the fruit, nothing special either to Cain or to God.

If your offerings mean nothing to you, it will mean nothing to God.

However, if it means much to you, it will mean much to God. And, if it means everything to you and you keep it away from God and choose to not include Him in that which means everything to you, then you have just become a worshiper of money and believe that it can take care of you and your future … but, like everyone else – you will leave planet earth without money … only that which you send to heaven ahead of you will have any effect on eternity.

· On the other hand verse 4 says that Abel brought the “firstborn” of his flock. This too deals with timing and determines which one and when the offering is made.

· Abel brought his offering to God according to God’s timing and according to God’s choice – it was the firstborn.

Basically, Abel did it God’s way and Cain did it his own way … this is why God accepted Abel’s offering and refused Cain’s.

Verse 5 leads us to believe that Cain was surprised when God was not thrilled to receive his tip. Cain had a hard time reconciling the thought that God did not appreciate his willingness and the effort he made to give God anything from what he had worked so hard for. After all, Cain went to a lot of trouble and way out of his way to bring this stuff to the altar, it wasn’t like he didn’t have better and more important things to do. You know how hard it is to work in a field all day long and how much time it takes to provide for your family? God should have been happy with anything he was given, after all … it was more than He would have gotten without Cain’s gift.

By the way, do you know what the difference is between a tithe and a tip? 5 percent! If you’re going to tip God, at least give Him as much as you will give that greasy haired 17 year old who brings your tray to the table at lunch today … just sayin …

Verse 5 says that Cain was very angry. With whom was Cain angry? He was just angry – very angry … Cain had a bad attitude when it came to giving. Perhaps he had a bad attitude when it came to being told what to do. Maybe he was one of those independent types who feel like nobody has the right to tell them anything – you know the type … prideful, arrogant, angry men … let’s continue with the account:

Genesis 4

6 ¶ So the LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen?

7 "If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it."

I promise you: If you will just do things God’s way, everything will be OK.

8 ¶ Now Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him.

I can imagine that Cain didn’t hear what he wanted to hear and get the support or satisfaction he wanted from his conversation with Abel and so he killed him.

Killing the messenger won’t change the message and destroying the witness won’t make the guilty innocent.

Bad won’t be better just because good shuts up.

Just because the preacher doesn’t preach on tithes and offerings does not make it right to rob from God. And, even if you go to a church that never preaches about sin or if you never go to church at all, the fact that you never hear the message does not make your sin OK with God.

Bad won’t be better just because good shuts up.

You never win a one man race – you may as well have been walking; and, if you are the only one you will listen to, you never win an argument; you just teach others to stop wasting their breath and leave you to your own delusions. These things produce very angry men – why … because there is no peace where there is not peace with God.

Once again – we must learn to do things God’s way.

Genesis 4

9 ¶ Then the LORD said to Cain, "Where is Abel your brother?" He said, "I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?"

10 And He said, "What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground.

11 "So now you are cursed from the earth, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand.

12 "When you till the ground, it shall no longer yield its strength to you. A fugitive and a vagabond you shall be on the earth."

Cain’s independence and refusal to simply do things God’s way led him into sin. Cain was a farmer and one of the evident results of Cain’s sin was that the ground would no longer yield its strength to him.

What does this mean in real terms? It means that when we choose to do thing s our own way and withhold from God what God wants, withhold even those things He requires from us, which in this case the honor and respect due His name, it will make life much harder than it needs to be for us. Things which could go much easier become more difficult when we withhold our first and our best from God for any reason.

God has instituted a simple way of testing and proving our loyalty and submission to His Lordship. Jesus described the war that existed between Jehovah God and money by saying that no one can serve two masters, either you will love the one and hate the other or you will cling to one and despise the other; you cannot serve both God and money.

God’s Word teaches that a person will put his money in the place he values the most. Where his treasure is, there will his heart be also. What we do with our money reveals what we believe about this life and about the life to come.

Allow me to conclude tonight by sharing a few simple Bible truths about tithes and offerings.

Tithe – 10%

500 years before the Law

The Old Testament is not the Law – it contains the Law

All scripture is given by inspiration (2 Timothy 3:16)

I will give you a tenth of all (Genesis 28:22)

Honors God

Honor the Lord with your substance (Proverbs 3:9)

Supports the Priesthood

Gave him tithes of all (Genesis 14:20)


To Sow our Seed

Give and it shall be given (Luke 6:38)

To Meet a Need

Now concerning collection for the saints (1 Corinthians 16)

If you see a brother in need (1John 3:17)

To Follow the Lead

Sell what you have an divide it to the poor (Luke 18:22)

Out of what you have (2 Corinthians 8:12)

2 Corinthians 9:7 So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.

· Not grudgingly

· Not of necessity

· Cheerfully

Cain gave what he wanted when he got around to it – not in accordance with the heart and hope of God. He was not thankful but resentful and angry. Ultimately, Cain had no faith in God – only faith in himself to take care of himself by his own work and wisdom. However:

Hebrews 11:4 By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks.

Abel is still speaking – he is speaking to us tonight. Let us have faith in God and do things His way, especially when it comes to money!