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Monday, October 1, 2007

Giving Our Way to Prosperity (Lesson Thirteen)

This final lesson deals with giving throughout the Bible. As its purpose the chapter has, "to impress upon our minds that God through the ages has taught man to give of his means" (75). There is no way, in a brief review post, that every aspect of this chapter could be discussed. This final chapter deals with one subject, but goes deeply into that subject, making the student understand that giving is not some thing God "made up" to torment Christians.

Giving is good for us. Giving to God is even better. By sacrificing, we put our trust in God and we show our appreciation to Him. This chapter simply deals with how that has been done over the centuries.

Section one deals with 3 tithes that Old Testament Jews were required to make. The first is called The Priestly Tithe by Brother Black because the purpose was to aid the priests in their work (75-76). The other two tithes are not given specific names, but are listed to impress upon us that Jews were required to give a significant amount of their wealth often (76-77).

With that reminder in place, brother Black turns the student's attention to the New Testament law. What are we to give? As we have noted, there is no "set" amount listed in the New Testament, but Christians are still commanded to give. We are to be good stewards of our blessings and we are to give liberally to the cause of the Lord. How do we do that? Section two deals with the mental side of giving. It takes a mental recognition of the need for stewardship (77-78).

Finally, to close the book (79), Black helps us see the fallacy in giving only what is left over. David, in Second Samuel 24:24 understood that he needed to sacrifice in order to please God, not just give Him "something." David said that he would not give to God something that did not cost him anything. I need that same attitude! I need to learn the meaning of sacrifice, and I need to trust God to protect me.

After having read through this book again, and having written these posts, it is cemented in my mind that Christians (me included!) need more teaching on money, stewardship and sacrificial giving. This book may be somewhat hard to find, but it will be worth finding. Adult classes (and even youth classes) would benefit greatly from a study of this book. It is not long (just 80 pages), but it covers so much. If you are looking for material for a Bible class, find this book and teach it. Then, live it!