Hello Lovely Family, We are gradually getting to the end of what has been a wonderful and enlightening series on the Store House. I can’t believe that by Friday we will be done with Tithing and move on to other issues. I like to talk but for now just dig in.
When you look at the Laws of tithing in Deuteronomy, the poor had an entitlement in these offerings and tithes (Deut. 14:28-29; 26:12-5). Discovering that God’s intention for the storehouse was majorly to make it a place where there would be food to feed those who are hungry was a real spiritual awakening for me. Realizing just how money and material blessings corrupted the Jews so much that the store house became more commonly used as a treasury to store wealth (cf. 1 Chron. 26:20; Neh. 13:13) while the most important things became neglected made me understand we Christians are just as corruptible as ancient Israel used to be.
In Christ, the laws, even that of the tithes, were to be fulfilled and He taught his own repeatedly that there should be no limit to how much care you put into giving for this reason. His Apostles did just the same thing and gave 100% of their time and their life to this cause. You can read it up in the Acts of the Apostles. I won’t bother myself quoting a single passage for you. READ! No one burdened their followers on laws such as tithing because much more was expected from those who were beyond the law and they were filled with the grace to do exceedingly more than a mere one-tenth tithe, one-sixth and one-fifth offerings or even first fruits. New Israel has been commanded, under the dispensation of grace, to give everything to the cause of God’s true justice. The Apostles were really strict about the dangers of subjecting anyone to the law because every law comes with both a curse and a blessing. Those who are in Christ have received the grace to do beyond what the law demands. St. Paul while talking about the dangers of being held by the laws [of circumcision] warns that they are obligated to obey the whole law if they obey just one of it and “this persuasion does not come from Him [Christ] who calls you” (cf. Gal. 5). Be wary of being forced to obey the laws of Moses. Such persuasion does not come from Christ who calls you. The Apostles taught the faithful to have collections for the Lord’s people and that’s the most you will see in the infant Church of the New Testament concerning commandments of giving.
An Example in Corinth
In Corinth, St. Paul had sown the seed of Christ in the hearts of a good number of faithful but the sheer number of spiritual gifts they kept receiving made these young Christians very unruly in many aspects. In Pauline fashion, he decides to address their misunderstandings in a letter with his usual style of admonishing, in an act to drive home key points that matter most, before returning to the loving fatherly figure he is in person. After talking about divisions, disputes, sacrilegious feasting of the Eucharist and abuse of spiritual gifts he gives them the most important teaching on Love/Charity in chapter 13 before giving them the same commands of giving every Sunday for the purpose of the Lord’s people (I Cor 16:2). Please do not mistake the “Lord’s people” to just mean the Church leaders only because they are not the main people who these collections were for. They were for those Jesus mentioned in Matthew, remember the hungry, thirsty, naked etc. These were the purpose for giving so that all can find meat in the New Covenant storehouse of God (cf. Matt. 25: 31-40). It was important for the faithful in Corinth to understand that they were under no lawful compulsion but were expected to give from the heart so, in his second letter, Paul included the emphasis “not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver” to drive the commandment home. Those words were forever etched in my heart as a child even if I didn’t really understand why (see. II Cor 9).
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