Elijah meets a prosperous widow

Elijah prophesied that it would not rain in Israel until he said so. That got the king upset with him, so he went into hiding. God sent him directly to Queen Jezebel’s homeland, perhaps the last place anyone would look for him.  Eventually, he stayed with a widow in Zarephath. To herself and everyone around her, she looked destitute. Actually, she more nearly represents the biblical model of divine prosperity than anyone else I can think of.

It has been a long time since I have watched much Christian television. Many popular ministries I know of preach some kind of gospel of self-esteem.… Read the rest

Robbing God in tithes and offerings

As Christians, we don’t pay tithes to our church; we pay them to God. The check may be made out to our church, but we pay them to God. Suppose instead of putting your tithe in the offering plate, you decide to keep the money for bills. Chances are no one at the church will notice. You would not be taking from the church, but the prophet Malachi says you are robbing God.

What is the tithe? Ten percent of gross income. Don’t try to tithe on the net, unless you consider the government and whoever else gets your deductions more worthy than God of the first portion of your income.… Read the rest

Love of money, or contentment?

“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.'” Hebrews 13:5–NIV

We need to trust God with all our heart, mind, and body. That, alas, means to trust him with our money. That’s what the tithe and savings accounts are for. We should all live on 80% of our income. 10% belongs to God, payable to a local church congregation or some other ministry that is doing his work. 10% belongs in savings or investments so that when hard times come (and they will to everyone at one time or another) we have resources to see us through.… Read the rest