Digging in Deeper: Amos 6:1

“Woe to those who are at ease in Zion and to those who feel secure on the hill of Samaria — the notable people in this first of the nations, those the house of Israel comes to.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

One of the things Jesus talked about more than just about anything else was money. He spoke frequently about our attitude toward our money and condemned our tendency to trust in it more than we ought. He warned against trying to serve two masters—God and money. On one occasion, He commanded a rich young man to actively sell all of his possessions before he could come follow Him. It’s almost like He was trying to say something. It wasn’t something new though. He was right in line with what the prophets of old had been saying for a long time. Amos gives us a great example here.

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Morning Musings: Proverbs 3:9-10

“Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.”  (ESV)

As much as many would like and have even tried to argue this is the case, one of the things the Bible does not teach is a kind of tit-for-tat giving arrangement whereby every time we give something, God gives back to us in equal amounts.  Any preacher or teacher who has said otherwise is a snake oil salesman in disguise.  But… Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: 2 Corinthians 9:7

“Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

What is it that makes a cheerful giver so much better than otherwise?  Well, who wants a begrudging gift?  I sure don’t.  When someone gives something under compulsion, it tends to take all the joy out of receiving for the recipient.

What’s more, when someone is giving to God under compulsion, that person is treating giving like a religious exercise.  You do a religious exercise not because you want to or because it’s the right thing to do, but because if you don’t, you will incur the wrath of the deity you are trying to appease.  No one wants to do that.  God makes abundantly clear in the Scriptures that He has absolutely no interest in that kind of thing.  He’d rather people not even bothering trying if all they’re going to give Him is a half-hearted religiosity.  He wants our hearts, not our wallets. Read the rest…