Cheating God


God’s Story For Your Life

Cheating God
============
Read Deuteronomy 16:13-17
=========================
“For seven days you must
celebrate this festival to honor the LORD your God at
the place he chooses,
for it is he who blesses you with bountiful harvests and
gives you success in
all your work. This festival will be a time of great joy
for
all.

“Each year every man in Israel must celebrate these three festivals:
the
Festival of Unleavened Bread, the Festival of Harvest, and the Festival
of
Shelters. On each of these occasions, all men must appear before the LORD
your
God at the place he chooses, but they must not appear before the LORD
without
a gift for him. All must give as they are able, according to the
blessings
given to them by the LORD your God.” / (Deuteronomy
16:15-17)

Reflect
=======
Three times a year every male was to make
a journey to the sanctuary in God’s
appointed city—Israel’s religious
capital. During these three festivals, each
participant was encouraged to
give what he could in proportion to what God had
given him. “For it is he who
blesses you with bountiful harvests and gives you
success in all your
work.”

God does not ask us to regularly give more than we can afford. God
is not
demanding that we give the majority to him and live in poverty. Paul
thinks
about it this way. “You must each decide in your heart how much to
give. . . .
And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will
always have
everything you need and plenty left over to share with others”
(2 Corinthians
9:7-8).

Unfortunately, by the end of the Old Testament,
God rebuked the Israelites for
failing to give back to him. “You have cheated
me of the tithes and offerings
due to me. You are under a curse, for your
whole nation has been cheating me”
(Malachi 3:8-9). But then God challenges
them once again to renew their
offerings, and to see if God would not pour
blessings out on them. “Try it!”
the Lord told them. “Put me to the test!”
(Malachi 3:10).

Respond
=======
Have you been cheating the Lord?
Have you considered testing God and seeing
how he’ll respond to your
faithfulness? Look at what you have and then give as
you are able. For some
this may mean giving much. For some it may be a small
amount. Celebrate what
the Lord has given you by giving a portion back to him
and sharing it with
others.

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