God’s House

Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Consider your ways! Go up to the mountains and bring wood and build the temple, that I may take pleasure in it and be glorified,” says the Lord. “You looked for much, but indeed it came to little; and when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why?” says the Lord of hosts. “Because of My house that is in ruins, while every one of you runs to his own house

—Haggai 1:7–9

No matter a person’s opinion on tithing as a New Testament principle, the fact of the matter is, God has a plan for us in every area of life, including finances. Some have said that the standard of giving in the New Testament age is whatever we can give cheerfully, based on 2 Corinthians 9:7. There are two problems with that viewpoint. First, using that as a basis for giving takes the Scripture verse out of context; and second, cheerfulness is an emotion, and since when are God’s people to be guided by emotion? If a person cannot give anything cheerfully, is that person then exempt from supporting the work of the Lord?

The children of Israel had failed to rebuild God’s house while they continued to live in their paneled houses (Hag. 1:4). They continually offered excuses for why it was not yet time to repair the house of the Lord. Finally, the Lord said to the people, “Listen, you’re robbing yourselves of My blessing by ignoring My house”; and in verse 6 of this same chapter, He said, “He who earns wages, earns wages to put into a bag with holes.”

Ever feel like there is a hole in your checkbook or bank account? Perhaps it’s a result of your financial practices. I personally believe that since tithing is mentioned long before the law as a practice of the friend of God (Gen. 14:20), then a tenth is the standard of measure by which we are to support our home church. Offerings, such as Paul addressed in 2 Corinthians, are something God loves to receive when they are given cheerfully.

Is God’s house part of your financial plan? It should be. As a matter of fact, God seems to indicate that blessings on the 90 percent we keep is dependent upon the 10 percent we tithe. Yes, some ministries today do abuse believers in the realm of finances, but don’t let one person’s abuse become your excuse. All that will do is allow a liar to make you into a thief (Mal. 3:9)!

Excerpt from “Body Builders” now available on Amazon.

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BARRY STAGNER

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