Who tell yuh dat? - The lies we believe: Money is root of all evil - Pt II
If I just had a little more money, I would be happy! If I could just afford that new car, I would be happy! How many times have we found ourselves thinking statements like these? Last week, we discussed how, at times, we fall into this trap of thinking that money can buy us security, happiness and peace. This fallacy has caused some Christians to believe that money is the root of all evil, but as we have seen, the Bible teaches that the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.
Today we continue our dialogue on Who Tell Yuh Dat? The Lies We Believe, by focusing on putting God first in our finances which shows we love and honour Him above money. Putting God first in our finances means we give God authority over our money and possessions. God understood that we were prone to putting money before Him, so He instituted giving as a direct way to test, challenge and demonstrate our commitment to Him.
One way of giving is by tithing. Deuteronomy 14:23 TLB tells us "...the purpose of tithing is to teach you always to put God first in your lives". This principle predominant in scripture is known as the Principle of the First. It was a common commandment throughout the Old Testament as the Lord instructed Moses in Exodus 13:1-2 NIV to "consecrate to me every firstborn male. The first offspring of every womb among the Israelites belongs to me, whether human or animal".
Some may argue that this does not apply anymore because it was written in the Old Testament, but as 1 Corinthians 10 tells us, everything in the Old Testament is an example for us. It is written for our instruction. Therefore, we cannot do away with the Principle of the First.
The Principle of the First teaches us:
1. THE FIRSTBORN MUST BE SACRIFICED (OFFERED TO THE LORD)
The firstborn must be sacrificed or offered to the Lord. If you had an animal that was considered clean, then you would sacrifice the firstborn. If your animal has a baby animal, whatever it is, you are to sacrifice the first one. This takes faith. God didn't say, 'wait until the animal has 10 offspring, and then give me one'; He said, 'give me the first and the rest will be blessed'.
2. THE FIRSTFRUITS MUST BE OFFERED
Exodus 23:19 NKJV says, "The first of the firstfruits of your land you shall bring into the house of the Lord your God". Proverbs 3:9-10 NKJV also states, "honour the Lord with your possessions, and with the firstfruits of all your increase; So your barns will be filled with plenty and your vats will overflow with new wine". Give God the first fruit of your increase and the rest will be blessed. Not only must God be first, but God commands a blessing on us when we make Him first.
3. THE TITHE MUST BE FIRST
The tithe must be first. Leviticus 27:30 NKJV says, "and all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord's. It is holy to the Lord". It is set apart for the Lord. This means I cannot give it to anyone I want as it is not mine to do as I please, it belongs to God. We must also understand that a tithe means 10 per cent, but not just any 10 per cent - the first 10 per cent. It takes faith to give the first 10 per cent and then pay the bills, not pay the bills and see if we have enough left over for God. Give the first 10 per cent and the rest will be blessed.
Some say, well tithing was under the Law and I'm not under the Law as a Christian, I'm under grace and so I don't tithe. Well, tithing was before The Law as Jacob and Abraham tithed between 400-500 years before the Law. Jesus Himself said that we should also tithe in Matthew 23:23 TLB "...you tithe down to the last mint leaf in your garden but ignore the important things - justice and mercy and faith. Yes, you should tithe, but you shouldn't leave the more important things undone".
If we continuously train ourselves to put God first in our finances, by applying this principle, then we would learn how to depend on God and not our money, as tithing, offering our firstborn and firstfruits teaches faith as we sacrificially give to God. This demonstrates our love for God and not our money. Join us next week as we conclude this theme with 'God will never give you more than you can bear'.
*Some information contained in this article was obtained from The Blessed Life by Robert Morris.