Tuesday 27 October 2015

The Truth about Tithing

Happy Readers & Followers,

I trust your week is going well. This week's post stemmed from an heresies article that I read online; the author wrote that, tithing was not paid before the Law was given. I was amazed at the number of people that agreed to the heresies teaching.  I took it as my responsibility to share the truth about tithing with my Christian readers and followers. 

I'm a firm believer of tithe payments, and as I continue to attain maturity in my Christian faith, my understanding of tithe payment has increased immensely.

                                 The Truth about Tithing

Throughout the Bible, we are encouraged to give the first part of our resources to God as an expression of honour and gratitude: Honor the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: so shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine (Proverbs 3:9–10).

Did you know that many famous Christian business people throughout history were faithful tithers, including Henry John Heinz of Heinz 57 Varieties, and William Colgate, the toothpaste magnate? Some of these people were so blessed that they gave God 90 per cent of their income and lived on the other 10 percent.

While many Christians pay tithe with joy and in obedience to the Word of God, some Christians struggle to understand the concept of tithing. When they do pay tithe, they feel guilt tripped to pay it because in their minds, they believe tithing was only done when God gave the Law to the children of Israel.

                   Was there any tithing before the Law? 

Before the Law, Abraham and Jacob paid tithe to the Lord. In fact, Jacob was not a giver by nature; he cheated his brother Esau out of his birth right which entitled him to double of their father's inheritance. When Jacob worked with his father-in-law (Laban), he took advantage of him.

                 So, what made Jacob pay tithe to God even before the Law was introduced? 

The bible records in Genesis 28:20-22 that: 

“Then Jacob made this vow: “If God will indeed be with me and protect me on this journey, and if he will provide me with food and clothing, and if I return safely to my father’s home, then the Lord will certainly be my God. And this memorial pillar I have set up will become a place for worshipping God, and I will present to God a tenth of everything he gives me.”

                                 What about Abraham? Why did he tithe before the Law? 

The bible records in Genesis 14:19-20 that: 

“Melchizedek blessed Abram with this blessing: “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. And blessed be God Most High, who has defeated your enemies for you. Then Abram gave Melchizedek a tenth of all the goods he had recovered.”

Key themes: Abraham and Jacob paid tithe because of their love for God, without any law influencing them. They paid tithe to express their gratitude to God.  They put God first in the place of giving. God also demonstrated his love through giving as He gave His only son to die for you and I (John 3:16). 

                                           Is the law of tithing abolished? 

The law of tithing has not been abolished as there is no evidence that it was abolished after the new covenant. If it was abolished, the scriptures would have mentioned it.  I have not read any evidence in the bible to suggest that tithing has been abolished, and the Holy Spirit has not told me otherwise, thus, I believe tithing continues. I also don't believe the scriptures in Malachi 3:10-12 has been abolished. 

The summary of the commandment in the new covenant centres on loving the Lord with all our heart, soul and mind, and loving our neighbours as ourselves. If you are to check the 10 commandments, the first five commandments centred on loving God while the last five is about loving others. It is therefore crucial to tithe out of love for God. Actually would anyone tithe out of hatred? I doubt it.

An author wrote, instead of saying "I am giving God my tithe", you should say, "I'm giving God His tithe" as the Bible says, 'the earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof; the world and they that dwell therein' (Psalm 24:1). 

The Institute of Basic Life Principles states that: 

"Tithing is one way to worship God—to honour Him as your provider and remind yourself that all of your resources belong to Him and are provided through His grace. As you give away that first 10% of your income, you set your course to honour God in the way you handle the rest of your finances."

                                         How should you tithe?

Establish a pattern of tithing in relation to when you receive your income. Also, examine the motives of why you are giving to God. Remember God loves a cheerful giver, He wants everyone to give whatever they have decided in their heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion (2 Corinthians 9:7-8 Paraphrased).

The tithe should be given to the local church where you worship. God wants the tithe to be paid into His storehouse (Malachi 3:10). However, there was a time God led me to pay my tithe to another church. It's important to be led by the Holy Spirit.

The tithe is 10% of your income.

Tithing demonstrates your dependence on God in the good times, and in hard times when your resources are low. Tithing also demonstrates that you have conquered the fear of lack and self-interest by placing your faith in God.

From my personal experience, the blessings of tithing do come and you will have your personal testimony of tithing. 

- Myss Lafunky

Reference: UCB (United Christian Broadcasters) daily devotion and the Institute of Basic Life Principles websites.

Monday 19 October 2015

Your Faith - Living or Dead?

Hi Readers & Followers, 

How was your weekend? I trust you had a lovely weekend.

Thank God for this new week. I'm glad that God has kept you alive. Now, give God a smile.

Yesterday was an interesting day for me; my faith was tested severally with the things I had discussed. In fact, I had to plead for mercy of God as I was reminded that my faith was not alive whilst I slandered and God was not pleased with my actions. I was also reminded of the scripture that says: "We all stumble in many ways. For if we could control our tongues (If anyone is never at fault in what they say), we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way (James 3:2 NLT version)."
In addition, I humbly learned that I must not be self-righteous when correcting others or admonishing people as other believers' strength may be my weakness and my strength may be their weakness. Therefore, we are all work in progress. Thank you Jesus for this learning. 

Be blessed by this article that the Holy Spirit instructed and directed me to write. 

What good is it, my brethren, if one says I have faith but does not have works? Can that faith save the person? (James 2:14). Or should we ignore the scripture that states that we should let our light shine before others, that they may see our GOOD WORKS and give glory to our Father in heaven? (Matthew 5:16). 

From my personal experience, practising good works unto the Lord can be costly, i.e., financially costly, emotionally costly, time costly, etc. However, when we practise good works both in the open and secret, even when they are extremely difficult, God sees them as sacrificial obedience unto Him and He rewards us accordingly at the right time (Gal 6:9). 

There was a time that I had an opportunity to lie about a situation but I stated the truth albeit I was penalised for sharing it; I was emotionally hurt but the Holy Spirit comforted me. I knew my honesty was in line with God's word and it was a sacrificial obedience unto God. Also, there was a time that I had twisted an information and made it not 100% accurate. I knew my faith was not alive during the act; it was dead. Thank God for His mercy that forgave my transgression. 

I would like us to examine ourselves and assess how alive our faith is.

Is your faith only alive when you are praying? Or when you are reading the Word of God? Or is it only alive when you are in church? 

How alive is your faith?

Is your faith alive when you have told that woman that you are just 10 minutes away from meeting her at that particular location but you know that you are 45 minutes away? 

Is your faith alive when you made a promise to pay that debt that you owe but, deep down in your heart, you know that you won't be paying back? 

Is your faith alive when the usher in church directs you to sit at a different row from your choice but you gave her the worst of looks? 

Is your faith alive when you paid a bribe to someone in order to by-pass a few steps? 

Is your faith alive when you falsely condemned that sister or brother? 

Is your faith alive when you have chosen not to support your family financially as you believe all your income must go to the church at all times Or to buy the latest SUV?

Is your faith alive when everyone around you is scared of you because your level of anger is second to none even though you are full of anointing?

How alive is your faith? How balanced is your faith? 

God wants us to be balanced in our faith and works so that we can be fruitful and enjoy His numerous blessings. Above all, to proclaim His name which gives Him glory. The Bible says in the book of 2 Peter 1 vs 5-8 that: 

Verse 5 - But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge,

Verse 6 - To knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness,

Verse 7 - To godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 

Verse 8 - For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

One of my friends said: "let's not be good, self-controlled, patient and godly Christians that exhibit all the gifts of the spirit but ignorant of God's word due to a deficiency in faith and lack of knowledge."

Be the Christian whose life and actions preach Christ.

The Bible says in the book of Acts 4:33 that: "And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all."

I pray for the Great Grace and Great Power of God to be released upon you so that your faith can be alive in every situation in Jesus' name.

You can also pray the prayer of mercy; for God to have mercy on you wherever your faith hasn't been alive.

May we not profess to know God, but in works deny Him, may we profess our Christianity in words and actions in Jesus name.

Enjoy your week.

- Myss Lafunky

Photo Credit: http://www.damondnollan.com/

Monday 12 October 2015

Are You Dwelling On Your Past Mistakes?

Thank God for this new week. I'm glad that God has kept you alive. Now, give God a smile.

Enjoy this article that I wrote for a Christian women's group. There's a post on the blog that links to to this week's write-up. Click here for the previous post.

Meet Rita...
As a child, Rita was a chronic liar. She grew up lying about every little thing. She continued in the habit of lying for decades. Though Rita had given her life to Christ at the age of 22, she could not stop lying until she was convicted of the habit by the Holy Spirit at the age of 28.

Because of her experience with the habit of lying while growing up, Rita became worried that her children were going to turn to chronic liars. So, from the tender age of six months that her first daughter, Josephine, was born; Rita used biblical stories and age appropriate toys to teach her daughter the importance of honesty but when Josephine started pre-school, various reports were sent to her mum and dad by the pre-school staff that she was in the habit of lying. 

These reports became regular as the staff grew weary of Josephine's habitual lying.

Whenever such reports about Josephine's behaviour came, Rita remembered her childhood experiences when she used to lie and the Devil constantly tortured Rita by saying that Josephine's lying habit was going to deteriorate as Rita was reaping what she had sown as a child.

With that constant thought in Rita's mind, she began to pray regularly for her daughter, yet, Josephine's attitudes toward lying did not change. Rita prayed so earnestly that she could say that her sweat became like drops of blood falling to the ground as was the case of Jesus when He prayed on the Mount of Olives but it all seemed to be to no avail.

During one of their family devotion times, Rita, her husband and Josephine gathered in the living room for prayers and the moment they opened to their devotional book, the Holy Spirit told Rita and her husband to open to 2 Corinthians 5:19 which says : "It was God [personally present] in Christ, reconciling and restoring the world to favor with Himself, not counting up and holding against [men] their trespasses [but cancelling them], and committing to us the message of reconciliation (of the restoration to favor). (2 Corinthians 5:19 AMP)"

The Holy Spirit told Rita that He had cancelled her sins the very moment she was convicted of her sins and all her sins were forgiven, and that He does not remember her sins anymore (Isaiah 43:25, Hebrews 8:12). 

The Holy Spirit further reminded Rita and her husband that Josephine's habit of lying was not unusual as it is written in Proverbs 22:15a that children just naturally do, careless things and consistently teaching them the way of the Lord and praying for them would remove the silliness.

After the Holy Spirit had explained everything to Rita and her husband, it was as though a weight was lifted off their shoulders.

Can you relate with Rita's story? Jesus Christ is telling you that: "I have blotted out your sins, because of my love for you, I have forgotten it all. I have not accused you of them and I would not accuse you of the past." Just as Paul was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and insolent man; but he obtained mercy from God because he did it ignorantly in unbelief and the grace of the Lord was with him (1Timothy 1:13/14a).  God's mercy and grace will also be with you.

Christ has given you power over all things, over sickness, over your minds, over forgiveness and over fear. Believe it, confess it and live that life.

One of the best ways to know who you are in Christ is continuous study of the Word of God. Also, taking out time to study the attributes of Christ.

Start your week by remembering that Christ has wiped out and cancelled the record of charges against you by nailing them to the cross. 

From now on let no one trouble me, for I (insert your name) bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

- Myss Lafunky
Photo credit: http://www.israelekanem.com/

Monday 5 October 2015

Supernatural Joy of the Lord

Hi Readers & Followers, 

Apologies for the long silence on the blog. A big thank you to those that took their time to contact me to ask why I had been silent. I appreciate you all.

Can you believe it's the month of October? This year has gone pretty fast. The Lord told me to term this month as the month of Supernatural Joy.  
God said there are different types of joy that those who have been waiting for a breakthrough would experience, such as: Great Joy, Abundant Joy, Unspeakable Joy, Full Joy, and Supernatural Joy.

How can you experience the Supernatural Joy?
  1. Keep your faith in Christ going. In the way you live, in what you say and in what you do.
  2. Serve God sincerely and with pleasure. God expects you to serve Him with a cheerful heart and with the right motives.
  3. Offer sacrificial praises and thanksgiving unto God even when the situation is difficult. God wants you to give thanks to Him in all situations; it's an act of obedience unto God. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, "In Everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."
  4. Be loyal in your relationship with God and people.
  5. Think Good and have righteous thoughts. Philippians 4:8 says "Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy- meditate on these things."
  6. Believe that as a child of God all things will work together for you irrespective of the various trials that you may experience.
  7. Cast all your worries upon the Lord for He cares for you and He knows what you are going through. Psalm 55:22 says "Give you burdens unto the Lord, and He will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall."
  8. Let God guide you in whatever you do. Galatians 5:16 says that "I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh."
  9. Dare to do something uncommon that is worthy of God's honour.
  10. Tell God that you would like to experience the supernatural joy. Pray this same prayer for your community, church, friends and family.

May you experience Supernatural Joy this month of October in Jesus name. 

Enjoy this song about Joy.

 - Myss Lafunky

Photo Credit: http://www.gracetoanderson.com/