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Monday, September 3, 2018

Sunday Words of Encouragement September 2, 2018

I had this post just about to go up late yesterday (Sunday) when we lost power in the house. We are blessed to have the motorcoach where we spent the night with power and ac (no internet which comes through the phone system in the house.)

We enjoyed a nice Sunday School lesson based on 1 Corinthians 1:1. Paul introduced himself as one with authority. He reminded the people that he had learned to be content because his circumstances, good or bad, didn’t control his relationship with Christ.

We shared a nice time of Worship and Praise. Pastor’s Sermon was titled Under the Blessing.
We all want to be blessed. Throughout our lives we seek blessings of one form or another: Guys get blessing from future fathers in law; couples seek pastors’ blessing; children seek blessings of their parents; employees seek blessings from their bosses.
Some people think “I'm getting a blessing so someone else must not be blessed.” Rarely someone will reject a blessing.
When someone lives under the blessing of God they know that they can face any difficulty and God will see them through.
It's not about luck, fate or fortune. It’s knowing you have God's favor.
Leviticus 26:3-12 sets out a beautiful picture of blessing but Leviticus 26:14-35 sets out a dismal picture of a curse for disobedience. (Also Deuteronomy 28.)
The blessing is conditional, beginning with “IF…”. “If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands,”…then….
Although the Bible passage conveys a pastoral view of blessings, the concept applies today too.
God will give you the employment or work that you need. He will give you the benefits you need. He will give you favor. He will give you peace in your home. He will give you peace in your finances. He will go where you go and protect you.
God reminds us that HE is the source of our blessings.

Point: God's blessing is conditional on our obedience to His most basic request: to put Him first.

Sometimes we try to limit God’s reach and we try to do it ourselves; we try to be self-sufficient.
We are stewards of all that God gives us. What we have, He allows us to manage. We are to Honor God with the obedience of bringing Him the first fruits. Proverbs 3:9-10 is another if then provision.
The tithe predates the law but is still applicable to our lives. Jesus never weakened the law but strengthened it.
When you get it right, He blesses.
Tithe is the first tenth of increase.
And Blessing is contagious. WHAT we give God and WHEN is a testament to the ordering of our heart’s condition (priorities).
Honor God first. 1 Corinthians 16:2.
Recognize that it is your choice to live under blessing or live under curse.
In Malachi 3:6-12 God tells his people that they are breaking covenant by withholding tithes. He challenges them to “Test me in this.”
It all belongs to God. We are stewards. If we don't return the tithe, we are stealing from God.
Choose a life of blessing.
1. Repent for failing to be obedient.
2. Bring a gift.
3. Bring the tithe to the church.
4. Then learn to give sacrificially.

This is the song I chose for this message.
Verses for Today:
Malachi 3:6-12 (NIV)
Breaking Covenant by Withholding Tithes
6 “I the Lord do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed. 7 Ever since the time of your ancestors you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord Almighty.
“But you ask, ‘How are we to return?’
8 “Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me.
“But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’
“In tithes and offerings. 9 You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me. 10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. 11 I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,” says the Lord Almighty. 12 “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the Lord Almighty.

My Prayer: I give thanks each day for God's blessings. Help me be obedient to stay under His blessings!

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