*WISDOM FOR TODAY.*
*TITHES AND RIGHTEOUSNESS (2)*
Rom 10:3 *For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God*
*Insight and Highlight.*
While Jesus endorses and encourages tithing, He does not want us to lose sight of righteousness.
God does not want us to establish our own righteousness (Isaiah 64:6), but what He has set as standards as Kingdom righteousness by His command.
Not many people know or believe it is righteousness to tithe.
Even some ministers, well-known and acclaimed, do not believe it is righteous to tithe.
Paul wrote that people established their own righteousness.
This is true today when people set their own standard of righteousness.
Such people are most righteous in their own eyes. This may be in the form of trying to disguise themselves in order to make followers believe they are not after tithes or any form offering besides, may be, your freewill offering.
The following should teach us that Jesus preached about money and tithes included.
First, we have seen in Matt 23:23 that Jesus encouraged tithes. Furthermore, He was not silent about money in His earthly ministry.
We must never think that it is not appropriate for ministers to preach about money. People who think this way often say in their hearts that Jesus did not preach about money. but it is not right for them to think this way.
Preacher should preach or at least include it in their sermons. If they do not, they will be setting aside much of what Jesus said during his earthly ministry.
We must know that Jesus had more to say about money. The only subject Jesus talked about more than money is the Kingdom of Heaven, and there was hardly any time Jesus spoke about it that investment and money were not involved. For example, the parable in Luke 16:1-11 tells us about the unjust steward and the parable of the talent, Matt 25:14-30.
Second, it is not holiness to preach that tithe is of the Old Testament, so it is not relevant in the New.
Though tithe is more mentioned in the Old Testament under the law, and we have been redeemed from the law, but, this does not make tithe irrelevant to the New Testament believers.
True, we must know that we have been redeemed from the law, but tithes remain a command that must not be neglected according to Jesus's word in Matt 23:23.
Furthermore, we must look at the word of Jesus, which goes as follows: *"Think not that I am come to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.*, Matt 5:17. This connects the Old Testament with the New.
Matt 5: 19 says *Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.*
James says, "Whoever keeps the whole law but stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.* James 2:10.
Righteousness will tell you to pay your tithes.
Third, Jesus teaches us in Matt 23:23 not to consider tithing as a form of righteousness on its own.
We must never assume doing so without other forms of righteousness is a guaranteed entrance into the Kingdom of God
In Luke 18:10-14, the Pharisee who exalted himself by the tithes he paid was considered not justified by Jesus.
Though he paid his tithes, which Jesus did not condemn, but his righteousness was incomplete because his confession and repentance, which are vital conditions to true righteousness, were not included, (ref Matt 3:8).
Jesus never condemned tithes but urges that giving it be considered with righteousness.
Fourth, when Jesus was answering question about whether it was right to pay tribute to Caesar, He told the people to *Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's.* Matt 22:21.
The latter part of Jesus's answer opens our eyes to know, acknowledge, and give to God *'....things that are God's.....'* after you have done your civic duty.
What goes to God is nothing other than your tithes and other givings.
If you do not give these, then you are not giving to God what belongs to God, as Jesus said.
It is counted for righteousness when you give God what is due to Him.
If your heart is with God, tithing will not be an issue
*Call to Word action.*
Matt 22:21 *Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's. It is righteousness to give God what belongs to Him.*
*The Christian clarion.*
We must know that while Jesus encourages us to pay tithes, offerings, and First-fruits, these givings must also be observed with a life of righteousness.
Lord, help me to offer givings in righteousness, in Jesus name.
Good morning all, and have a blessed day today.
God bless you.