- God wants to bless you!
- God wants to bless others through you!
- God has more blessings than you can imagine!
After hearing how the Rock donated cleanup time to the Serra Mesa Recreation Center (and impressed some city officials), Miles started this new series about the ways in which God wants to bless us.
Have you ever seen a guy walking down the street with an incredible woman and wonder, "How did this fool get with that woman?" God's blessings are a bit like that. God wants to bless you, not because you are cute, American, poor, rich or anything else. He simply wants to bless you because He loves you. However, the blessings of one may not be the blessings of another. Think of a father blessing his kids; the unruly one doesn't get the same (if any) blessings as the valedictorian.
1. Our hearts follow the cash.
Money is a subject that appears many times in the Bible. The reason for this is because money is valuable and close to our hearts. It was this way during Biblical times, it is now, and it will be in the future. Pastor Miles pointed out that you can tell a lot, if not everything, about a person by examining his checkbook. Think about this: if a woman says she is a devoted follower of Christ, but her checkbook reveals that she doesn't tithe and she spends all her free money on computer games, would you say she is telling the truth? What about the politician who says he is for helping families, but instead he pours thousands of dollars on prostitutes? What about the family that saves and saves so that they can send their children to college? Priorities are often revealed by the spending of our financial resources.
Tithing and giving are excellent ways to reveal a person's values. These are also subjects often avoided in church because 80% of those attending aren't tithing at all, making them painful to discuss. Giving is a way to support God's work and fight the selfishness that each of us has. Considering that everything we have or earn belongs to God, aren't we just returning some of what is already His?
These are also subjects often avoided in church because 80% of those attending aren't tithing at all, making them painful to discuss.
In Genesis 14:18-20, King Melchizedek of Salem blesses Abram and "gave him a tithe of all." If we skip ahead to Genesis 28:22, we find that Jacob tithed as well. These examples are important because they occurred before God commanded that there be tithing, which reveals to us that tithing is an act of faith.
2. God gets paid first.
Earlier in Genesis Adam and Eve have their two sons: Cain, who is a farmer and Abel, who keeps sheep. Now you probably know that both of them brought an offering to the Lord, but God was only pleased with Abel's offering, not Cain's. This caused Cain so much anger that he killed his brother Abel. Why was there a difference between the offerings? In verse 4 we read that Abel brought the firstborn of his flock, "Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord." Cain didn't give the best of what he had; he just brought something he had. Thus, God was displeased. We can allow this to serve as a reminder to us to always put God first. God sent His firstborn, Jesus, to die for our sins. Jesus was the only one who could do it, nobody else would do. God thus reminds us of the important of sacrifice when making an offering.
3. God blesses what is given.
This may seem rather obvious, but remember that the reverse is true as well. God doesn't bless nothing. Miles pointed out that in the last book of the Old Testament, Malachi 3:10, God says to His people,
"Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessings that there will not be room enough to receive it."
This is the only time in the Bible that God tells His people to test Him. Now it is up to each of us to test God by giving Him the best and first of what we have!