Archive for November 2011

A Grateful Heart

A Grateful Heart

Yesterday I heard a sermon based on the story about Jesus healing 10 lepers. Since leprosy was thought to be highly contagious, anyone who had the disease was required to make a racket and shout, “unclean, unclean,” to keep people at a safe distance. When these lepers saw Jesus, rather than shouting “unclean,” they called for Him, asking for His mercy to heal them.

Jesus, acting according to their faith that He would heal them, sent them to the priests so they could prove that they were healed and rejoin society. The physical signs of healing did not appear until after these men started the journey to the priests. Only one man, who was cleansed, ran back to Christ to thank Him. The man fell on his face giving thanks. Jesus pondered where the other nine men were and even asked if they were not cleansed. Jesus wasn’t doubting His healing power. He was wondering why the other nine did not show gratitude.

Do we always show the Lord gratitude for what He has done? Maybe we take Him for granted from time to time. I have a friend and author who begins every day with a prayer listing what she is grateful for. Even when she doesn’t feel like it, she still thanks God for specific things He has done for her.

Everything we have is from Him. Even if I work 60 hours a week to produce an income, the work is a gift from God. Having a grateful heart is such a wonderful way to approach life. The next time you feel grumpy or frustrated, stop, and give God thanks for something specific. Start your day with thanksgiving to God. You will be amazed at what it does for you.

Does Tithing Really Matter?

I’ll answer the question with a question. Would you steal from God? In Malachi 3, God speaks through the prophet to ask the same question, and give His answer.

“Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say ‘How have we robbed Thee?’ In tithes and contributions. You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing Me, the whole nation of you.” Malachi 3:8-9. The good news is that when we do tithe, God promises to open the windows of Heaven.

About six years ago, before I really understood tithing, I was sitting at lunch with some people after church. One man was complaining about tithing in a way, because he was talking about how much it cost him. At the time I was not doing so well financially, and thought to myself, I wish I could afford to tithe. The fact is, I couldn’t afford not to.

What about opening the windows of Heaven, as God points out in verse 10? That may come in many forms. For me, when I started tithing the first 10 percent of my income, my consulting business began to prosper and I got a contract with a large and stable client that has now lasted four years. This is in an economy when many in my field have complained about not being able to find consulting work.

A good book to explain tithing in more depth is The Blessed Life, by Robert Morris. The book totally changed my perspective on tithing and giving.

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