A Tithe to Remember
May the grace of God our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ bring such comfort and peace, that you with joy commit your spirit into their hands
As this service draws to close, there is something we need to discuss, something I need to encourage you to do, that you might not want to do.
I am here to convince you to tithe.
Is that okay Pastor Rich? You aren’t going to mind if I talk about tithing a little, right?
By the way, by tithing I am not talking about a measly 10 percent of your net, or better 10% of your complete worth.
I am going to talk about a tithe of 100 percent.
The goal is to give it all to God, for that is what Peter is talking about when he tells believers,
“For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps.” 1 Peter 2:21 (NLT)
To tithe, to give it all, to take up your cross,
It is difficult, but not as difficult as you think. For Jesus shows the way, even as He utters these words,
46 Then Jesus shouted, “Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands!” And with those words he breathed his last. Luke 23:46 (NLT)
I entrust my spirit, or as the translation here has, “Into your hands I commit my spirit.”
When we hear Paul say, imitate me, as I imitate Christ, this is the kind of tithe we are talking about.
When we hear Jesus say, take up your cross that too is part of this tithe which we speak
So are you ready to tithe?
II. Christ’s tithe.
To tithe, means to commit, to entrust, to give over.
It is what Jesus does, as He entrusts everything to the Father as he is dying. Not 10 percent, not holding back anything. Theologians will talk discuss whether this is an act of the human part of Jesus, or the divine part, missing the point.
Jesus trusts the Father. They committed themselves to our salvation, before the world was began. You see it during all the work God did with Israel, assuring us of Christ’s presence, His love. And here, in the depth of His pain, as he bears the weight of the sin of the world, as He bears the weight of our sin.
Jesus entrusts Himself to the Father. He tithes.
He endures to the end, trusting in the Father, and the promises the Father made to us.
He entrusts Himself to God the Father, even as we should.
That is tithing,
Trusting, having faith, believing that the Father will keep to His promises.
III Our tithe.
So now, let’s talk about you and I, and how we take up our cross, how we walk in Jesus steps, how we are to tithe, commit, and entrust our Spirit to Christ.
The simple answer is, you already did. Well you didn’t…God took care of that for you. Nevertheless you are committed into His hands. You just need to realize it.
When a pastor poured water over you, or dropped you into a baptism tank, it wasn’t the pastor at work. It was God, taking you into His hands, promising to care for you, body, soul, spirit and mind. He united you to the cross with Christ, nailing your sins there, but promising that by the power that raised Christ from the dead, you would know that resurrection as well.
He committed Himself to holding you in His hands. He tithed you, completely into His hands.
When you hear a pastor forgive your sins, you are reminded, you are not your own, you’ve been bought with a price, the price pain on that cross.
When you are given His Body, when you drink His blood, the promise remains.
He died for you, and you shared in that death.
Even as you hold His body and blood in your hands, He has placed you into His own. He tithed you there.
When He says, Father, into Your hands I commit my Spirit… we are there, the children of God, the sisters and brothers of Christ, united to God through the death of Christ.
Here His words from the apostle John:
19 And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth. John 17:19 (NLT)
All this, the sermons, the music, the service, is here to convince you to persuade you of this, that as Christ tithes, as He commits His Spirit to the hands of the Father, so all in Christ are placed there too.
Secure, saved, redeemed, in Christ. Dead to sin, and alive to Him.
(for the Greek and Hebrew Scholars out there, yes, I know that there is a word in Hebrew that means 10th, and iithemi – or paraTITHEmi is the word in Greek. Yet a tithe in Hebrew is a iving that represents ownership of the whole, by the one the 10th is given to.)
Thought of the Day:
As I peruse my fb page, and I see the “soundbites” that proliferate it, many include a call to make a choice.
Some call to make a political choice.
Some call us to make a purchase – making a choice to spend money so that our life will be perfect. ( I tend to block MLM posts quickly)
Many call us to make a moral choice, or urge others to make a choice, or even to force them to make a choice.
These are choices that fellow believers would have us make – stating how critical they are. These choices are not critical! For a believer, for one in a relationship with God, there is only one decision.
All three readings today talk of it – and why we make the one we do:
Joshua said this “choose this day whom you will serve,”
Are you going to choose to walk with God, or will you continue to follow some other god, made in an image you find palatable. Remember – he is talking to people who have seen God at work, who know His love. He’s not speaking to unbelievers, those unfamiliar with His love and power. Yet we, like those who heard these words, struggle with listening to God, to following His call, to giving up all the things that burden and distract and enslave us. Until we realize what the apostles did, when they too were faced with the decision. Here is that account.
After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. So Jesus said to the Twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”
You’ve come to know He is God, that His words bring life….that’s what you need to know, as a believer, how to live.
Choose wisely…and know His love and mercy never will fail you.