(Is Tithing For Today?)
What you won't hear in some places about tithing - giving money
(By: Norm Rasmussen, Director, Precious Testimonies Evangelistic Ministries)
Just about everything important that I could possibly think of to say about "tithing" can be summed up in the following:
Being a Christian is not something we have to do. It is something we get to do; privileged to do; very WISE to do).
Giving money to help God's work is not something Christians have to do; it is something they get to do, and is wise to do. Reading the Bible is not something Christians have to do; it is something they get to do, and is wise to do. Praying is not something Christians have to do; it is something they get to do, and is wise to do. Visiting (attending) a local Bible believing, non-compromising church fellowship is not something Christians have to do; it is something they get to do, and is wise to do. Witnessing about Jesus Christ is not something Christians have to do; it is something they get to do, and is wise to do. I could keep going and going with many other things that are a part of Christianity, but I hope you get the point.
There is a huge difference in our relationship with God between being motivated to have to" versus "get to" ...
Satan wants to try to subtly twist our thinking to believe, as Christians, that there are certain things Christians MUST do. The Holy Spirit wants Christians realizing there is NOTHING they have to do ... but GET to do, and are wise to do as disciples of Jesus Christ, so they can experience greater peace and joy with God - not to mention the issue of eternal rewards).
"Have to Christianity" triggers rebellion in us toward God sooner or later. "Get to Christianity" triggers freedom in us to love and serve God with the purest motives like nothing else will.
Imagine this if you can. You are visiting a church - maybe even a mega church. The Sunday morning offering is about to be taken, and you prepare yourself to hear: "How if I'm robbing God, the devourer will get me, if I don't put my 10% in the offering plate when it goes past." Like many times previous, you might be greatly tempted to get up and walk out immediately upon hearing such "comforting" words.
The Senior Pastor stands behind the pulpit, waiting for the deacons to position themselves with offering plates in hand. Then you hear the Pastor say, "Before we take our Sunday morning offering, I want to share something with you that we need to be reminded of from time to time."
Here it comes . . . you think to yourself.
He continues: "Do you know that if you never put one penny in this offering plate that goes by you this morning, you will still get to heaven, if you are trusting Jesus Christ to save you of your sins?"
He pauses momentarily, then continues. "Furthermore . . . do you know that if you do not put one penny in this offering plate the rest of your life . . . you still would go to heaven, as long as you are trusting Jesus Christ for your eternal salvation?"
Maybe you can't believe what you have just heard. Maybe you sit there stunned.
"Let me say this as well. On the other hand, if you could afford it, and put one million dollars in this offering plate as it goes past . . . do you know that a million dollars will not grant you entry into heaven?"
"Furthermore . . . if you put a million dollars in the offering plate every week the rest of your life, if you could afford it -- do you know even that would not grant you entry into heaven either?"
"Whether you give money or don't give money has absolutely nothing to do with you getting into heaven after you die. Now isn't that good news?!"
The entire congregation sits there stunned - shocked. What is wrong with this Pastor? Is he crazy or what?
You begin thinking about what you have just heard. Is it true what he is saying? That money would not grant me eternal salvation, nor would it KEEP my eternal salvation?
"Let me share another precious truth with you about money that we don't often realize," he continues. "Do you know that if you do not give God a penny the rest of your life, He will not love you any less?"
This is getting more interesting by the moment, you're thinking.
"By the same token, do you know that if you put a million dollars in the offering plate every week, or give it to an outreach ministry, God would not love you any more for it? God the Father loves everyone equally the same, sinner-to-saint, because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross -- period. His love for each of us is equal whether we give money or don't give money. Now isn't that incredible?!"
You are waiting for the deacons and the elders to begin walking out the back of the church by this time, dragging the Pastor behind them by the hair, but maybe they are in such shock like everyone else that they can't move.
"Now . . . before we end it there . . . and I'm thrown out of here as the greatest heretic that ever lived . . . let me also remind you of some other truths regarding money. The eternal spiritual law of sowing and reaping is not nullified by what I have just shared with you. Second Corinthians 9:6 means exactly what it says: 'But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.'
"If all you want to do is get to heaven and never give a penny to the work of the Lord from this day forward, don't be whining and crying when God generously rewards those who did give while they were here on earth as Christians. What we sow here in this life will be rewarded in the next life. What we withhold in this life will be withheld from us in the next life, to some degree or another. Contrary to what you may think, you will not find in scripture that everyone receives the same reward in heaven. First Corinthians 3:14-15 is our assurance of this fact."
"I want to say something about 2 Corinthians 9:7 as well. Let me read it first: 'So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.'
"My question to you is . . . does it imply from this passage that God doesn't love an uncheerful giver? Not at all. I told you, God loves everyone equally the same, whether they give money or don't give money. What then, is the Holy Spirit trying to communicate to us here in this scripture passage? He's trying to communicate at least these three important insights:
1) God is not normally going to tell you how much money you should give. It's up to you what you want to give. (Please read Part 2 of this writing for a qualification of this statement).
2) If we are expected to give money, for any reasons, bitterness will begin to grow in our hearts. Bitterness will rob us of joy very quickly. When we are depleted of joy, our faith and trust in God dwindles. Lack of joy can affect our prayer lives, and our desire to be used of God to avail ourselves to minister to others can diminish quickly.
3) People who preach Malachi 3:8-11 and fail to understand that a person doesn't have to pay God a tithe to get to heaven .... they will be dumping a spirit of "necessity" - "obligation" - "fear" ... upon their hearers. Remember - John 10:10 warns us "that Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy" our joy. Being manipulated to give money or service unto the Lord out of "necessity" is Satan's tool to steal, kill, and destroy your intimacy and joy with the Lord.
"And above all else, keep this always in mind. Salvation (forgiveness of your sins and entry into heaven upon death) is TOTALLY free. You can't earn it; you and I don't deserve it, but it's available to one and all totally free of charge. All one has to do is ask for it, and keep on trusting for it.
"It doesn't require 10% of your paycheck to get . . . and it doesn't require 10%, 20% or 1% of your paycheck to keep.
"While we're on the subject of money, allow me to share a few other thoughts. Young people, listen up now. What I'm about to share with you will probably never get taught in High School or College. The "devourer" spoken of in Malachi 3:11 has several names you probably are very familiar with. His most popular name is "Charge it." His appearance is plastic, and he fits nicely in a man's wallet or a woman's purse. What he likes to do is get you so far into debt that you are "sowing interest abundantly" to your credit card holder instead of the Kingdom of God.
"Kids -- young adults . . . many people can't give 10% of their income to the work of the Lord if they wanted to, simply because they can't afford to. They were never taught by their parents or teachers to learn the most important thing about money: STAY OUT OF DEBT, AND LEARN HOW TO TAKE YOUR MONEY AND MAKE MONEY. If you don't have cash to pay for what you want, work hard and save up enough until you can pay cash for it. Secondly, learn how to invest your money early in life that will GROW interest for you to sow abundantly into the Kingdom of God, not for the kingdom of the "devourer."
"Saying it another way . . . become your OWN bank. Pay yourself interest instead of paying everyone else interest.
"Investing is not the "world's" idea. It's GOD'S idea. Investing for eternity is not the world's idea. It's God's idea. Investing at a young age in good investments down here on earth will make it so much easier to have money to invest for eternity when the offering plate goes past. Remember that young people; you can't give something you don't have.
"Before we take the offering, I want to say one last thing. People who have never been taught to save their money and invest it at a young age into good investments have the most difficult time receiving what I've just shared with you here this morning. People caught up in debt are more prone to believe the lie that everyone gets the same reward in heaven no matter what they did on earth.
"Matthew Chapter 25 gives us so much insight into faithfulness. God wants us to realize that if we are faithful and wise with our money here on earth, we can be trusted with greater rewards in heaven.
"Another thing . . . remember this: We've all heard that we can't take our worldly wealth to the grave. That's not true either. We can have our money buried in our casket if we want. But, what good would it do, right? [All cemetery groundskeepers - nod your heads in the affirmative]. On the other hand, If we want to keep our earthly wealth continuing to work on our behalf after dying, then we need to have a will or trust made out, leaving our wealth to the ministry - ministries - of our choice that will use it wisely to help win lost souls to Jesus Christ, and to help disciple those new converts in the balanced Word of God.
"Finally, here is a matter that will not sit well with a lot of people whose incomes have been derived from "ministry." Most likely, a time is coming upon this earth where God's people are going to have to take care of each other in ways that the early Church did. Giving to the work of the Lord may be helping your next door neighbor ... a believer in a DIFFERENT denomination than YOURS or MINE (God forbid!) ... buying food for them to help them survive. God's people may find that with only so much money to be had, helping our neighbor in need is REALLY what God was getting at when the early Church began and Jesus stated the second most important commandment is to "love your neighbor as yourself.
"I'll expand on what I just said, to help clarify matters. If those in "ministry" are living off your giving into their offering plates at the expense of you being put under some guilt trip for using that money instead to help out a starving neighbor ... it may well be that those same "ministers" will one day find little or no money is available to keep them on the "ministry payroll."
"Thank you for letting me share that . . . and now we can go ahead and take the offering."
So ... is tithing Biblical or not, now that Christians are not living under the Old Covenant, but rather - under the New Covenant? Tithing ... as in giving to God 10% of our income? Let's address it another way. Was tithing done away with in the New Covenant or not? Yes, because it was God's instruction to the Jewish people living under the Old Covenant. In a sense, it was the equivalent of our present-day income tax. If you click on the above underlined portion, you can read about this in depth.
However, there are two other major issues important to God that Christians today need to be informed of if they think they have now found an excuse not to be concerned about sowing (investing) finances into God's harvest field.
Simply stated, they are: 1) Honoring God; 2) The eternal spiritual law of sowing and reaping.
Most Christians I've met tend to believe that the Book of Proverbs is a book of wisdom that applies to ALL times, including myself. God's wisdom is either God's wisdom, or it is not God's wisdom. Does the changing from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant cancel out the wisdom of God in what is most important to God and what isn't? I don't see that it does.
Specifically ... did God desire to be honored just during Old Covenant times when the Book of Proverbs was written, or does He desire to be honored for all times and through all eternity? Obviously Satan and a third of the fallen angels neglected to honor God fully, and we know where that got them! To assume that God no longer desires to be honored once the New Covenant was implemented is about as unwise as believing the world is still flat.
If we're on the same page about the vital importance of always honoring God - forever - then perhaps we can appreciate the wisdom of Proverbs 3:9-10:
Honor the Lord with your possessions, and with the first fruits of all your increase; so your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine. (NKJV)
The scripture above just given is not a command, by the way. It is a wise suggestion from God. Having said that ...
God has always, and will always be, interested in knowing what is first place in our hearts. That is why God has always been interested in our first fruits. He wants to see what is first in our hearts. Him, or anything else?
If you will do a study in the Old Testament on first fruits, and keep an open mind, you'll come to the sobering conclusion that God desires we put Him first before anything else. God wants our very best. And when we give God our best, we get blessed for it by Him one way or another. God is constantly testing His people on this issue. Why? Because if Satan and a third of the angels that fell from heaven lost sight of the importance of honoring God, how much more can we easily lose sight of the importance of honoring God?
It is easy to honor God with our lips: it is a bit more difficult to honor God with our money, isn't it, especially when we are short of it? When we don't seem to have all the money we would like to have, our human nature is to tell ourselves that we'll give to God when He starts giving us more. I hope you can receive this: that can be a huge trap of Satan! It is a rationalization that can keep the blessing of God from fully coming upon our lives! Meaning - "our barns of blessing" may never fill up quite as much as they could be if we constantly find reason/s to not be sowing into the work of helping advance God's Kingdom.
Not steadily moving forward in honoring God with our first-fruits is one of the most unwise things we could ever do, in my opinion, and I would not be stating my opinion if I didn't believe it was backed up by the Holy Spirit. Conversely, honoring God with our first-fruits truly IS one of the wisest things we could ever do. It can be the difference between God placing His increased blessing upon your life, or remove His blessing to one degree or another. God's blessing upon our life does not necessarily imply that it will come in dollar amounts either. Having a fruitful and joy-giving ministry is a blessing from God that cannot be measured in this life. Only eternity will prove out what the greatest wealth really is. I believe being used of God to help win lost souls, and to help other believers grow in their relationship with the Lord into maturity is the greatest wealth we have in this life. Neither pursuit costs a dime, when done the way followers of Jesus Christ did back in the Bible times, did it?
Please allow me to ask you a question. What would you rather have from God: All the money you could hope to have right up until your time on earth is done - OR - a prayer life where you KNOW God will meet all your needs, which includes your financial needs? I believe God is stripping many people in these last days of option number one and forcing His disciples to tap into option # 2 unlike ever before. Having a confident prayer life makes us the wealthiest person there IS on this planet. To attain to a confident prayer life, one must walk closer and closer with the Creator, with the purest of motives. One must desire daily intimacy with God more precious than ANYTHING else, and all ELSE flows out of intimacy with Him.
Let's address the "local church fellowship". Any local church fellowship that will not accept me for who I am, and must examine how much money I am giving to that fellowship before my giftings are allowed to be used in that local fellowship ... I will most likely give no money to that fellowship. (I might give privately to certain people in need in that fellowship, but most likely not put money in the offering plate used for the general fund). Let me say this another way. If money is tied to my being used of God in a local fellowship, I most likely will not give a dime to that fellowship general fund. Why? Because Satan has so connected money to so many local church fellowships to those who get to serve in some form of leadership in the local fellowship and those who don't ... I believe it is a stench to God in the highest form!
Here's the kind of local church I'll give my money to. It's a church where leadership is not concerned at all with who gives what amount of money. It's a church that would treat me exactly the same as if I never give one dime to that local church (though they would be quick to let me know that if I'm not honoring the Lord's work with the first fruits of all my increase at ALL ... I'll be the one who comes up on the short side of God's maximized blessings on my life).
This needs to be reinforced: God wants us giving to Him purely because of our love and appreciation for Him for saving us, and to help advance the Kingdom of God in the lives of other people. Not out of obligation; not out of fear, not out of compulsion, not out of trying to apply Old Covenant instructions to the Jews that should NEVER be applied to the Body of Christ (the Church) under the New Covenant ... but out of love, freewill, and out of wisdom, that increases one's faith and joy. When we give of our financial resources to help advance the Kingdom of God in the lives of others ... truly we are laying up eternal rewards for ourselves in heaven that will last for eternity. One cannot "honor God" in any greater measure than to truly desire to see lost souls saved.
This bears repeating: If the fellowship or ministry you are giving to is not diligently helping pursue in some tangible manner the work of helping win lost souls, and/or helping new Christian converts become taught the balanced Word of God (making disciples) with the ultimate aim of doing the same thing ... you may be sowing into "wood, hay and stubble" as 1 Corinthians 3:12 addresses. Don't be unwise in who and what you give your finances to, for goodness sake. None of us want to discover one day in eternity that our financial giving and time devoted to God was nothing more than building on "wood, hay and stubble" ... built on quick-sand, in other words.
Again, 2 Corinthians 9: 6-7 reads: But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.
The happiest Christians I know are those who give to Him because they WANT to - not because they believe they HAVE to, or are SUPPOSED to. When we feel like we have to give, or are supposed to give, it becomes impossible to be a "cheerful giver," doesn't it? Honoring God with my finances purely out of my love and appreciation for saving my soul, with a desire to see other lost souls saved and then discipled in the Word of God is wisdom, wisdom, wisdom. That, my friend, is how we truly can be certain we are laying up treasures for ourselves in heaven, and for God and others ... as Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:19-21 that we can and should be doing ... again, if we are wise. We can be wise master builders like the Apostle Paul was as addressed in 1 Corinthians 3:10, or we can be unwise builders in giving our money and our time to anything that does not line up with the full counsel of God's New Testament Word ... rightly divided.
A person cannot buy God's love and acceptance and righteousness. All the money in the world will not buy it. It comes through the free gift of salvation, and it comes freely by God's grace. (I got trapped into believing I had to somehow try to "earn" God's love and acceptance and righteousness. It's one of the biggest lies Satan will try to brainwash you with).
God's favor (or blessing), however, can be entered into in an ever increasing measure by the sowing of our time, talent(s) and finances to help advance the Kingdom of God in the lives of other people.
Satan is constantly trying to rob us of our peace and joy in our relationship with God and others, as John 10:10 speaks of. Here is one of the ways he can do so. If we are giving money in hopes of just to get more money back, to heap it upon our selfish, canal desires ... we'll most likely become very frustrated in our desire to honor the Lord with our finances and remain cheerful about it. Giving to get is fine with God ... if our motive to "get" is to be even more fruitful in helping advance the Kingdom of God in the lives of others.
God wants us to give with pure, God-honoring motives. When you purpose to allow God to use your life the way the Apostle Paul poured out His life for the advancement of the Kingdom of God in lives of others ... you can confidently know you are giving as unto the Lord with the purest, of pure motives. The Apostle Paul poured everything in his being - once He became a Christian - into the work of advancing the Kingdom of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, as the Holy Spirit led him and empowered him. You and I have every right to do the same.
In simple terms, Paul's devotion to God involved the saving of lost, deceived souls, and helping the local Church of believers nurture and teach those newly saved Christian converts the New Covenant truth of God's Word, so they in turn would one day be about doing the very same thing (Christian disciples making more Christian disciples). If we are doing anything less than the very same thing ... somehow we have become spiritually blinded, and our relationship with God will become very, very lean and joyless.
Don't let Satan do that to you, okay?
As we mover ever closer to end end-times, we may find that persecution of Christians intensifies to the degree that we will no longer have the freedoms of meeting openly in a "church building" - depending upon where we are living, of course. If the economy continues to worsen globally, we may find the only "secure" place Christians can meet are in homes. In that setting, we may realize we have come full-circle; realizing this is how much of the early Church met, as is recorded in the Book of Acts. If that becomes the norm for us (depending on where we are living), we may find that very few if ANY salaries will be going to people in "church leadership", but rather ... our giving to the work of the Lord will be trying to help people eat and clothe themselves and have a warm place to sleep at night.
In the Book of Proverbs, God connects a great deal of our giving to helping meet the needs of the poor. It really doesn't address giving our financial resources to pay someone's salary all the time, let alone making "mortgage payments" to the lending institution for a "church building." In a "house church" setting, that would make a lot of common sense, would it not? Nevertheless, God clearly states in the New Covenant that Elders who minister well are worthy of DOUBLE HONOR, and it clearly says to me that also includes taking care of their financial needs. So, please don't think I'm trying to say that all of our giving is to go strictly to helping poor people in our house fellowships if it comes to that.
Money is tied to our heart more than most of us realize. Let us never forget one very important thing about the way God views each of us. This truly transcends Old Covenant and New Covenant. There clearly are things about God that stays EXTREMELY consistent. Here happens to be one of those things:
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? I, the Lord, search the heart; I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doing. - Jeremiah 17:9-10 (NKJV)
Meaning, what, Norm? Meaning ... God is testing a LOT of people's hearts in these final days prior to His return for us. You can be a faithful thither, and even give beyond 10% to God's kingdom work, and STILL find yourself being "sifted through God's grinder" financially. Many Christians in America and other more financially prosperous parts of the world are being tested by God a whole bunch more than what they would like to be tested. Some have been blessed so long by God financially in the world's system, and they are now finding that God wants to teach us something even MORE important to God than the wisdom of giving our first fruits to Him.
What might that be, brother Norm? Who we are REALLY trusting in to be our provider. Are we trusting in our employer to be our provider, or are we REALLY trusting God to be our provider? Are we trusting our 401K to be our provider in these last days, or would we STILL continue to trust God to be our provider if He allows our 401K to vanish before our eyes, as WELL as our employer (as many 401Ks have already vanished and businesses are being either greatly strained, and many even closing down)? Will we trust the government to be our provider, or will we trust God to be our SOUL provider when the government runs out of money ... or will we sell our soul to the governing powers to be, if that is what we decide it takes for our needs to be fully met? I have a firm conviction deep in my soul that many "Christians" will fall away from God prior to the return of Jesus over this very issue. They will buckle and give in to whatever system is demanding of them to submit to, so they can "survive." The "666" system spoken of in Revelation will ultimately be the final financial system established across this globe, prior to the return of Jesus Christ. Moving forward the implementation of this system may be happening much faster than what some realize. (Stay awake, saints. Be watchful, as Jesus says to do!)
Many Christians in America are struggling a great deal financially, as well as in other parts of the world, due to the troubled economy. I believe the reason God is allowing this, in part, has to do with the following scriptures.
Jeremiah 17:9-10 above, is proceeded by these sober warnings:
Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the Lord. For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see when good comes, but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land which is not inhabited.
Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of the drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit. ( Jeremiah 17:9-10)
Many Christians around the world are being tested, and flames are getting hotter. In this testing, in one sense, God is doing them a HUGE favor in that they will be FORCED to trust in God in ways they never could have imagined. In being FORCED to trust the Lord to this degree, many will grow cold to God because of the pain this economic sifting has caused them (which will be part of "the great falling away" as spoken of in 2 Thessalonians 2:3. For the fewer in number, most likely, who dig in with God and press through in their trusting Him to meet their needs (not wants all the time; needs), God will honor His Word about taking care of them and their needs. Some of the most supernatural provisioning from God ever to be experienced on this planet may spring forth and land upon those who FULLY have decided to place their trust in Jesus Christ to meet ALL their needs, realizing that there is everything to lose by NOT fully trusting God to be their financial provider; physical and emotional and spiritual deliverer and healer; protection - security; their ALL in ALL. We must never lose sight of the fact that God can execute a miracle on our behalf any time He chooses. What we may not be so excited about is that we may not see that miracle happen for us, unless we are truly determined to believe God for one. The catalyst for that is usually spawned out of the crucible of desperation.
(Lord - instruct us in how we can have faith to believe you for miracles when we see no other way to have our needs met!)
On the other hand, if God so wills for certain ones, they might find themselves having to give their very lives in some very painful ways for their trusting God to meet their needs and remain obedient to our Lord Jesus Christ and His Word. Much of the early church had the fullness of the Holy Spirit, remember, and they left this planet being martyred for their trust in Jesus Christ. Hebrews 11:35-40 clearly reveals such. Has God so changed that He would not allow that to happen to His Church in the end end-times? To assume not, in my firm opinion, is very unwise, but to each his/her own.
Yet let us never forget our Lord Jesus Christ is THE deliverer. He has the power to translate us to safety any time He decides. He has the power to deliver T-Bone steaks (medium rare, Lord, for me) wherever we find ourselves in the midst of famine and/or lack of food. He has the power to place protection around us when evil completely surrounds us. And yes, He can do an "Elijah rapture" on us as well. But never let us forget Jeremiah 17:9-10. We have no clue how much God plans on using us in eternity, and to be EQUIPPED to fulfill that responsibility, God may allow us to be tested beyond anything we care to think about right now. More important to God that our needs being met, believe it or not, is an intense desire GOD has.
God's desire is to have faithful followers who are willing to starve for Him if forced to; be martyred for Him if it so decreed; being tortured for Him if God so allows ... because God's number one priority with His Bride is to make her spotless - pure - passionate. Spotless in her loyalty to Him, and trust in Him; pure in her motives to the core of her being; passionate about what brings Him the greatest pleasure. She has matured to the place where she realizes that to get the very best from Him, she first needs to give her very best to Him. When she does that, He will take very, very good care of her. First-fruits. There is that word again.
God knows what it will take with each of us individually to have these priceless qualities formed in us, and we must never assume that our painful and trying circumstances is escaping God's attention, nor are they a waste. When OUR perception(s) of "need" lines up with God's desire for His Bride," then we are truly the most PROSPEROUS people on this planet. A truly prosperous person is one who has come to grips with the fact that Jesus Christ is in fact our ALL in ALL, and that the only thing we truly NEED on this planet is for God's Spirit to bring us to the point of total surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Firstly, that involves Salvation -- the saving of our soul and spirit and eventually body from suffering in hell for eternity. That is our GREATEST need. Our second greatest need is to confidently trust God that He knows what is best for each of us, in His eternal scheme of things and how He plans to use us in eternity ... and that what He allows to happen in each of our lives before we pass over into eternity to be with Him forever will be something we will one day thank Him for allowing to happen.
We don't have to wait to start thanking Him for it in eternity either. The wise person makes the choice to start thanking Him DAILY -- NOW. In so-doing, it dethrones our flesh from wanting to get angry at God and stay angry at God. It kicks anger and bitterness at God right out the door, which is where it belongs! The only thing that is to be allowed inside our "house" is peace. Thanking God because we trust that He knows what is best at any given time in our life, no matter what circumstances we find ourselves in -- that is what brings a supernatural peace from God that can't be obtained any other way. Period.
In conclusion, if I'm perceiving correctly in how things are going to unfold in the future prior to the return of Jesus to earth, anger is going to boil inside many people, and Satan will use that anger to ultimately vent it on born again Christians. Persecution is going to increase across this globe in ways we don't care to even think about right now. For those who are prepared for whatever God may allow to happen to them, yet also purpose to remain filled with faith as much as possible, supernatural blessing from the Lord may overtake them. Time is going to tell all. Don't wait until tomorrow to begin preparing for whatever God may allow to happen to you. Today is the day to prepare your mind as to what you will do if any "worst-case situations" tap on your door. We all get tested. The goal is to make CERTAIN we pass each test!
Dear Reader - are you at peace with God? If not, you can be. Do you know what awaits you when you die? You can have the assurance from God that heaven will be your home, if you would like to be certain. You can even have that assurance RIGHT NOW! Either Jesus Christ died for your sins, or He didn't (He did!). Are you prepared to stand before God on the Judgment Day and tell Him that you didn't need the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross to have your sins forgiven and get in right-standing with God? We plead with you...please don't make such a tragic mistake.
To get to know God, to be at peace with God, to have your sins forgiven, to make certain heaven will be your home for eternity, to make certain that you are in right-standing with God right now ... please click here to help you understand the importance of being reconciled to God. What you do about being reconciled to God will determine where you will spend eternity, precious one. Your decision to be reconciled to God is the most important decision you'll ever make in this life, because in Christ, it is impossible to put a value on the worth of your soul in light of eternity.
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Remember: All that we do in this life comes back to our God-given purpose which is to serve and glorify God. The money and assets we accumulate, the fame and power we've attained or seek to attain - all of the things of this nature will one day pass away, but those lives of others we impact for Jesus Christ will last for eternity, and we will be rewarded for the part we helped play by impacting those lives ... for eternity. (Matthew 6:19-20 is our assurance)