In the days of Jesus Christ,
many cities used walls to defend themselves. They didn’t have missiles, guns, or nuclear weapons back then, so they surrounded their most precious population with high walls. You can see the people riding donkeys on the bottom of the picture, these are massive structures. There were guardsmen on the top of each outcropping watching day and night for enemies approaching. In in most cases, the gates were closed every evening. If someone came to the gate, they had to declare their name, business and intended length of stay.
Would you feel exposed while explaining yourself at these gates? Arrows were aimed down at you as you spoke, waiting to fire and take you out?
Once inside the city, you could feel safe, although your conduct was scrutinized by the residents living there, you could feel like you were in a safe place. You were protected. If you lived there you knew that the safety of your family, livelihood and future depended on the careful screening of input and inflow at the gates.
“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” John 10:10
Jesus Christ came so we could have…
- More life
- And Life more abundantly.
Life is the Greek word, “zoe” which is: life lived to its vigorous fullness and veracity. I should say it differently to catch the meaning.
Jesus Christ came so we could have LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!! and a more abundant LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Do you see? It’s big! It also includes protection of that life. Life is the opposite of death, disease, sickness and decay. Abundance is the opposite of lack, poverty, famine, and need. What does this tell us about God? God wants us to have those things. When we don’t, something is wrong. Something or someone is stealing, killing and destroying us. There are gaping holes in our walls. So how do we diagnose the problem? How do we fix it.
It goes back to before Jesus Christ.
In the following record, God’s children were struggling with tremendous lack. (Something akin to what we see in the church today) Finally, God had his minister Malachi say something about it.
“Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation” Malachi 3:9
He saw their problem.
The whole nation was hurting and it was bad. Then He tells them why. They robbed God. Whoa, robbed? What does that mean? God doesn’t use money, or need food or clothing or even houses or land. God is a Spirit. How could they rob Him? You are right! They couldn’t rob God Himself. But they kept back their tithe and used it for their own lives. The tithe (is a tenth of your gross income) was, and still is, meant to feed and help the ministers of God doing God’s work here on Earth.
I don’t get how that made them cursed?
Let’s read on at what giving would do for them.
Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts.
And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delight-some land, saith the LORD of hosts.” Malachi 3:10-12
Do you want the devil rebuked by the God and Maker of all the Universe? How about a good reputation? How about God pouring out a blessing that you don’t have room enough to receive. Ha! That sounds GREAT to me!
It’s not that you’ll be cursed if you don’t do it. It’s just plain ol’ consequences. It’s like a car that has water put in its gas tank. Eventually the water is going to get in the lines and clog everything up. You’re car needs the right fuel. Your abundance and protection need it too. And we do this out of a thankful and grateful heart for all the stuff God does and DID for us already.
Today we went over part one of this topic tomorrow we’ll cover part two. There is one more thing that if you don’t do, you’ll only get partial results, which for most of us is still pretty awesome.
In the mean time,
God bless you today!