I find myself, as a Christian in today's society, sometimes picking and chosing what fits my lifestyle in regards to how I should live my life for Him. The flat truth is that it is not up to me at all. We all have means to the most perfect "guidebook" for life right at our fingertips. It's not rocket science....it's there. It's all there.
2 John 1:6
And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.
As I posted in my previous post, God desires nothing more from us then our time and our utmost obedience. It is ONLY by giving Him these things that we grow in our faith and our relationships with Him. To think about it, I say to myself, "duh," but day after day, my flesh gets in the way and I find the day is at an end, and I haven't given near the amount of time to Him as He so deserves. Tomorrow is another day....
" 'A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the LORD; it is holy to the LORD.
The fact is both the Old and New Testaments reinforce that God expects us to tithe a tenth of our income. It’s not negotiable. The problem is that we get so bogged down in the legalism of tithing that we miss the whole point. Tithing is not something that we have to do. The born-again Christian should want to tithe.
We need to remember that God is not as concerned about the till as he is about our hearts when it comes to tithing. He’s much more interested in our attitude towards tithing than how much we put in the plate. Sure he expects us to tithe because tithing is an outward and visible sign of our acknowledgment that it really belonged to him all along. The whole purpose of tithing is to teach us that God wants to enjoy first priority in our lives which is why the word, first fruits, is often used synonymously with tithes.
The Lord expects nothing less than the best from us when it comes to tithing, and he wants us to do with an attitude of joy. If we do, God says, "…and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it." (Malachi 3:10) My father-in-law says it another way, "You can’t out give God."
Is it hard not to think about the things you could have done with the money that you tithe, donate or give as an offertory; sure. So many times, especially around tax time, when I sit down and calculate the years givings I have to take a moment and make a conceince effort not to think about that sort of thing. The fact remains....it is not negotiable. These "first fruits" are His to begin with. Period.
1 Corinthians 6:19
"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;"
Our bodies are the "house" of the Holy Spirit,and we are to honor God with our bodies. It takes conscious effort and attention to take care of our body and to truly honor God with it. Better eating habits are a way of bringing health so we may have times of enjoyment. Yes, good food is a blessing and the Lord DOES want us to eat, drink and enjoy (Ecc 8:5) However, if we eat, drink and enjoy all the time without any self-control, without taking time to "repair", we will find our "house" (body) falling down, sagging around us. How much work (time, effort) will it take to rebuild? Let God be your master carpenter as you spend time with Him and He shows you how to make little repairs daily on your house....... every one of us requires different things at different times and only God knows our bodies intimately (Psalm 139:13-16), He knows our needs before they are spoken on our lips (Psalm 139:4), so let the Lord guide you. He may press upon your heart to eat a nourishing meal, take a brisk walk, have a time of refreshment, or to be still and "rest" in Him. These times of obeying the Lord and taking time daily to care for your "house" will "seal" up that leak in your house that can cause deterioration to your body. Even though our bodies may age, have pains and problems at times, when we seek God first and keep our spirits "healthy", God will give us the strength, knowledge and desire to care for our earthly homes as they need it and live a healthier, happier and more fulfilling life in our "castles" (temples).