Daily Devotional – 7/18/17 – What do I tithe?

My daughter and I were having a conversation a few days ago about tithing. She had recently spoken to a young lady who said she stopped going to church because no one could explain to her how tithing went from fruits/vegetables and such to money. Before you go there, this young lady’s point was, why the churches of today are so focused on money when tithing wasn’t originally this. **Disclaimer, these are just my thoughts. ** Well, this is where my issue comes in because so many of our millennials are leaving the church in record numbers because they cannot get answers or understanding to things that matter to them. Personally, I was never taught how to tithe or how to know where and when to sow seeds; even though I was raised in the church. But, I do know that tithing changed to physical money when we, most of us, stopped basing our eating on what we harvested in the field. We work, therefore, we receive a paycheck that equates to money. So, the overall issue of tithing should not be whether it is money or harvest because your harvest is money.

Now, we move from this argument to the question that everybody has, yet not often asked, “How much am I really obligated to give?” Well, the bible says in 2 Corinthians 9:6-7, “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” In other words, will I go to hell if I don’t tithe 10%? The short answer is no. What you tithe is between you and God and this is why you have to ask Him and let Him lead you because He can equip you with the ability to “tithe” more than 10%. The other question, “Do we have a responsibility to care for those over us?” Yes. The bible says in 1 Timothy 5:17-18, “The elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, “YOU SHALL NOT MUZZLE THE OX WHILE HE IS THRESHING,” and “The laborer is worthy of his wages.” Taking care of the worship places and those who lead them is a part of our ‘owe’ to God but what you give and when, is between you and God. Think on it like this. In your home, you pay bills. When you have other adults who live there, you often times, expect them to chip in on said bills in order to ensure the house runs. Well, in church, the leader is the head and he, along with you (members) have a responsibility to ensure the house runs. Thus asking you to tithe. Plus, you cannot get upset when your opinion does not count, on how the house should be taken care of, if you are not putting anything into said house.

Daily Devotional – 7/17/17 “Struggle!”

A butterfly begins as a small egg, however, instead of being born as a baby butterfly, it begins as a caterpillar. At birth, the caterpillar’s only responsibility is to eat and they eat in abundance because it helps them to grow. Once they are done and reached their full weight, they hang themselves upside down, spins itself into a hard shell called a chrysalis and stays there. Inside of this hard shell, metamorphosis is happening because the caterpillar is shedding its old body and the markings of a butterfly are appearing. On the outside, all you will see is a hard shell of something, hanging from a twig but inside, some stuff is going on. Finally, when the caterpillar has done all it can, the butterfly will begin to emerge from the shell. If you happen to be watching the process, you will see the butterfly struggling to get out. Get this though, the butterfly has to struggle because the struggle causes blood to be pumped into their wings which are soft and without the struggle, the butterfly would not have the strength to fly. If you try to help it out of the shell, you risk damaging their wings, preventing them from being at their full potential.

Why am I sharing this? Well, because somebody this morning is having a hard time trying to understand why you’re struggling. You have begged God to get you out but He will not. You have tried your best to deal with it but you cannot make logical sense of it. You’ve stood in the mirror, in the shower, over the dishes and you still cannot wrap your mind around your struggle. Sir, ma’am; you’re about to soar and without the struggle, you’d have no strength to fly. And if God were to bring you out, prematurely, you’d risk not being at your full potential. See, I looked up the definition and struggle is defined as to make forceful or violent efforts to get free of restraint or constriction. Without the struggle, you wouldn’t be free. Free from what? Whatever it is that is keeping you restrained where you are. You have to struggle, beloved, because struggling sets you free to fly and when you have the strength to fly; you are then able to get to where God needs you. Look, the only time the word struggle is in the KJV of the bible is Genesis 25:22, where Rebekah is pregnant with twins and it says, “And the children struggled together within her; and she said, if it be so, why am I thus? And she went to inquire of the LORD,” and the Lord told her in Genesis 25:23, “Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.” You are struggling now but baby you have no idea what your struggle will birth. All you have to do is be willing to fight through your struggle and not give up! Struggle is the strength you need to survive.