One person CAN make a difference!
You never know when God may use you because you held fast to what you have learned. In the above verse, God stopped a plague against Israel because one man, Phinehas, was greatly angered at Israel’s idol worship. Greatly convicted, Phinehas moved decisively to stop Israel’s sin. 24,000 people had died, but God’s heart was moved to find just one man who cared about Him and His honor.
. . . Phinehas . . . has turned away My wrath . . . in that he was jealous with My jealousy . . . —Numbers 25:11
We should also be jealous in our honoring of God.
. . . you shall revere your God; I am the LORD. —Leviticus 19:32
What god is great like our God? —Psalm 77:13b
I am on the mailing list of a TV ministry that sends me their material. In every piece, they give testimonies from various people who have given money toward their building fund. The testimonies are all very similar and state how after people gave to their ministry, they got a new house, a bigger house, a profit on an old house, a bigger salary, a new car, etc. They base it on Luke 6:38, “Give, and it will be given to you.” I am a firm believer in the blessings from God, but should we expect things in return?
This has been dubbed the “Prosperity Doctrine” and is from the pit of hell. They take one Scripture out of context and misapply it to meet their needs. Satan himself used the same tactics when he tempted Jesus.
Then the devil took Him into the holy city and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written,
‘HE WILL COMMAND HIS ANGELS CONCERNING YOU‘;
and ‘ON their HANDS THEY WILL BEAR YOU UP,
SO THAT YOU WILL NOT STRIKE YOUR FOOT AGAINST A STONE.‘” Jesus said to him, “On the other hand, it is written, ‘YOU SHALL NOT PUT THE LORD YOUR GOD TO THE TEST.‘” —Matthew 4:5-7
Satan used a Scripture verse out of context, and Jesus corrected him saying, “On the other hand, it is (also) written . . .” The “Prosperity Doctrine” also puts the “giving” emphasis on temporal things instead of eternal blessings. Regarding the “personal testimonies,” the Bible teaches us not to let anyone know how much or to whom we give. Regarding why you should give, it IS true that giving is good and it has tremendous rewards. But you are never to give to get something in return from God. That’s like saying “God now owes me,” and God never owes you anything. The only reason you give anything is because it’s the right thing to do, from a willing heart. . . . whoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it as the Lord’s contribution. —Exodus 35:5 . . . do good . . . expecting nothing in return. —Luke 6:35a ______________________________ ______________________________
Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them . . . When therefore you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do . . . But when you do give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. —Matthew 6:1-4
Who has given to Me that I should repay him?
Whatever is under the whole heaven is Mine. —Job 41:11
. . . do what is right and good in the sight of the LORD, that it may be well with you . . . —Deuteronomy 6:18
Regarding the “personal testimonies,” the Bible teaches us not to let anyone know how much or to whom we give.
Regarding why you should give, it IS true that giving is good and it has tremendous rewards. But you are never to give to get something in return from God. That’s like saying “God now owes me,” and God never owes you anything.
The only reason you give anything is because it’s the right thing to do, from a willing heart.
. . . whoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it as the Lord’s contribution. —Exodus 35:5 . . . do good . . . expecting nothing in return. —Luke 6:35a
. . . do good . . . expecting nothing in return. —Luke 6:35a
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Scripture taken from the New American Standard Bible, copyright The Lockman Foundation 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977. Used by permission.
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