Jonathan's Perspective  

Nov 2

Blessed to Be a Blessing

Blessed to Be a Blessing

When God grabbed hold of Abraham and told him and Sarah to go to ‘a land that I will show you’, they must have been rather nervous.  They were to embark on a whole new life together, trusting in God.  God’s promise sustained them: ‘I will bless you…and you will be a blessing.  All peoples on earth will be blessed through you.’(Gen 12:2-3)  God’s hand would be upon them throughout their lives, providing for them and using them to bless others.  Abraham’s flocks multiplied and many people came to be part of his clan.  Abraham became a great leader of kings of surrounding city states, and he led the kings to battle to save people who were being carried off as spoils of war.  But when Abraham was on his way back from leading his people to victory, he met Melchizadek, a priest of The Most High God.   In his presence, Abraham honored God by giving a tenth of all he had.  You see, Abraham recognized that all he had came from God, and that appropriate worship was to give back to God.

                That is also why we give.  Everything we have has been entrusted to us so that we can be a blessing.  Like Abraham, we bless our families and our communities.  Like Abraham, we defend those who are defenseless and have no voice.  And, like Abraham, we are called to give a tithe for the world to be blessed through the church.  God calls us to tithe so that we will have an outward focus, finding creative ways to bless others. We are blessed to be a blessing. 

                When Abraham encountered the High Priest of God, he considered his wealth and gave a tenth.  I have a friend in Shreveport who recommitted his life to the Lord after having a profound experience with God.  He determined that he wanted to live his life fully for God.  He engaged in worship, small groups, missions, and more.  But one thing he still lacked:  he could not figure out how to tithe.  His problem was that he was spending so much money keeping up his lifestyle that there was nothing left for God.  His solution was to sell his mansion and downsize his life so that he could tithe to the Lord’s work.  His whole perspective changed.  He now joyfully gave 10% to God’s work, while joyfully living on 90% that God provided for him and his family. 

Mary Kay and I had to reassess our financial position with our recent move to Metairie.  We added our salaries together, then moved the decimal point one place to the left to find our new tithe.  We give about 90% of the tithe to Munholland since this is where our families are disciple and cared for.  We also give to a couple other solidly Christian organizations that help people in deep need; Trinity Christian Community, Methodist Children’s Home, Compassion International, and Crisis Pregnancy Center. 

I encourage you to sit down, consider your annual income, give thanks to God, and commit to taking a step toward tithing.  Let the words of Paul to the Corinthians inspire you: ‘Just as you excel in everything - in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in you love for us - see that you also excel in this grace of giving.’ (2 Cor 8:7)  Fill out your service and pledge cards, and bring them to worship Nov. 6.  Together we will lift them up to the Lord in thanks for God’s many blessings. 

See you on Celebration Sunday!

Blessed to Be a Blessing,

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