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GOD LOVES A CHEERFUL GIVER

GOD LOVES A CHEERFUL GIVER

Sakkie Parsons

Translated from Afrikaans:  God het 'n blymoediger gewer lief
Translator:  Robin Barker

Someone asked me for my opinion about tithes and because many people have questions about tithes, I am sending you my views on the subject.

I had to compile this very carefully to include everything that I wanted to say in this, yes, in this very big nutshell.  Believe me I could have written such a lot but I hope that what I have written, shall be helpful to someone.

I am going to begin with a statement to you, to which I am sure you will be dumbfounded / amazed:

I do not believe in tithes – I definitely believe that we must give and if we can, very much more than a tenth. 

According to my understanding of the Word are tithes part of the law and we are not governed by the law.
Tithes are part of an agreement/contract/vow between the Jews and God.

EXO 24:4-8
4  Moses then wrote down everything the Lord had said.  He got up early the next morning and built an altar at the foot of the mountain and set up twelve stone pillars representing the twelve tribes of Israel.
5  Then he sent young Israelite men, and they offered burnt offerings and sacrificed young bulls as fellowship offerings to the Lord.
6  Moses took half of the blood and put it in bowls, and the other half he splashed against the altar.
7  Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it to the people. They responded, “We will do everything the Lord has said; we will obey.”
8  Moses then took the blood, sprinkled it on the people and said, “This is the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words.”

Look again at the following: (We read from the New King James Version (NKJV):)

EXO 24:7  Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read in the hearing of the people. And they said, “All that the Lord has said we will do, and be obedient.” 
EXO 24:8  And Moses took the blood, sprinkled it on the people, and said, “This is the blood of the covenant which the Lord has made with you according to all these words.”

Very clearly it was an agreement between God and only Israel.
To tell the truth, before Jesus died for you and me, you and I were lost, because the law with all its regulations, also that about tithes, was just for the Jews.  For the reason that it was only them and God who were involved with that covenant/agreement.

EPH 2:10-16
10  For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. 

Jew and Gentile Reconciled Through Christ
11  Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (which is done in the body by human hands)—
12  remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world.
13  But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
14  For he himself is our peace (Christ is indeed our peace), who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility,
15  by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace,
16  and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.

Let’s read this again.
New King James Version (NKJV):
EPH2:12  that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.

Without God in the world!
“Lost/Strangers” without the law but now a chosen people/nation.

1PET 2:9  But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
1PET 2:10  Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

It seems to me, that Paul in the following section tells the people which also heard, that they must do this and that because it is the law:

COL 2:13-16 
13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins,
14  having cancelled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.
15  And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.

Freedom From Human Rules
16  Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day.

Jesus says the following regarding the law:

MATT 5:17  “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them.

Look at how the law reads which Jesus has fulfilled:
(New King James Version (NKJV))

MATT 22:36-39 
36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”
37  Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’
38  This is the first and great commandment.
39  And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’

There is according to my humble opinion for the child of God just two “musts” and it is what you have just read.
All the other things you do because you love your Lord and neighbours.

Nowhere but nowhere in the New Testament is there spoken about tithes that you must give.
Certainly there is said:

1COR 16:1  Now about the collection for the Lord’s people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do.
1COR 16:2  On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.

You see, you give according to your ‘fortune’ and your wonderful love for your God and your forced neighbours and if you want to give a little, God will not inflict leprosy, in other words, He will not punish you because you did not give more than a 20th, but you must remember:

2 COR 9:5-8
5 So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to visit you in advance and finish the arrangements for the generous gift you had promised. Then it will be ready as a generous gift, not as one grudgingly given.
Generosity Encouraged
6  Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.
7  Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
8  And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

Paul speaks of a ‘Thanks Offering’ which shall be collected and not of the people’s tithes.
We must certainly give.
We can give greatly and if we cannot, we may give a little.
My love for our Lord, my fellows and the work of our Lord is all that, to put it that way, should force/encourage me to give, what I want to give in love.

No-one must force me to give a so called tenth.
Our Lord certainly does not do that.
As I understand the Word it is not Biblical and therefore, if someone shares it as part of the Gospel of Christ, that person is preaching an evil lie.

Tithes are according to what I understand from the Bible part of the law and I am not governed by that law.
Before my salvation I was not part of that law, and after my salvation I did not become governed by that law.
Before my salvation I was one of the “Lost”
For those of you who think that you must comply with the law, I shall show you the following:

GAL 3:24-27 
24 So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith.
25  Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.
26  So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith,
27  for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.

Jesus says, what you and I must remember and do:

MATT 22:36-40
36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37  Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’
38  This is the first and greatest commandment.
39  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’
40  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Then Paul came and emphasized what Jesus said, when he writes:

1COR 13:13  And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

You see, I must give according to the love within my heart and not what I am forced to give. 
I sometimes wonder if we in spite of the god Mammon that we hammer on about that part of the law.
Is it not maybe because the Christians are trying to serve two gods that things are going the way that it is going in the Christian world?

MATT 6:24  “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

You see, I came to this conclusion, that many people serve the Lord because they are frightened of hell and not because they really love our Lord.

So we also teach our people, that we must give if we want our Lord to bless us.

And then many people give, not because they love God or His people – but so that they will not become poor but rather that they will live in abundance. 
As if our God’s favour can be bought with what belongs to him in the first place.

So you get many people who are compelled to try and calculate an exact tenth. 
Not so much so that they love our God but because they want to flourish.

I say, you and I are part of the New Testament and that is precisely what it says, “New
Agreement / covenant / vow / testament.”

Jesus says: (New King James Version (NKJV))

MATT 26:26-28 
26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed[a] and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.”
27  Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you.
28  For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

So it works for me this way:

We give as we flourish and then, if I can, it is impossible to ask of me to work out just a tenth. 
So if you have decided what you want to give our God, look just at what you have and this does not have to be money and discuss it truly with the love within your heart for Him, with your loving Father and you will know what you must give. 

And do you know what?
Our Lord is going to feel much happier, according to the Word, about what you do give out of love, then a billionaire who gives a compulsory tenth.

It applies to your money, time and charity and whatever else you want to give.

There are people who do not have money to give our Lord but they give so much of themselves and that which they do give is very precious in the eyes of our Lord, as the thousands which some people give without the right attitude.

Listen to this: 
In the Law of Moses – in the Old Testament, it was compulsory for Israel under the old covenant to give a tenth.

In the ‘Love Law’ of Jesus Christ in the New Testament, for the Christian governed by the New Covenant it is a privilege to give as follows:

2COR 9:7  … what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion,

Then, while the Christian gives in that way, how lovely to remember:

2COR 9:7  … for God loves a cheerful giver.

The following daily thoughts which I have written, can help to give you more clarity of my explanation regarding my opinion and I will send it with great love to you on your request thereof.

• Hoe heerlik!  Jy en ek is vry   - How magnificent -  you and I are free
• Die wet deur Moses en die genade en waarheid deur Jesus – The law of Moses and the grace and truth through Jesus
• Die liefde die vervulling van die wet – The love and fulfilment of the law
• Wie volop saai, sal ook volop maai. – Who sows abundantly, shall also reap abundantly

Greetings,
Sakkie

 

Email: bediening@sakkieparsons.co.za
Website: www.sakkieparsons.co.za
Cell:  083 457 6669    

Jude 1:24-25 „To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy, to the only God our Saviour be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen. (TNIV)”

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“To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy – 25 to the only God our Saviour be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen." Jude 1:24-25