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Deuteronomy 26


A Devotional Journey
   led by Dr. Gene Pearson                                                                                 
Thru the Bible in a Year
       This is an important chapter.  It deals with material possessions and how God’s ownership of everything can be expressed in the way property is used.
       The Land itself is a gift from God and comes to the People of Israel as the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham.  The first fruits of harvest are to be brought to God as a sign of recognition that He is the Giver and every good thing comes from His hands.
       The statement in verses five through ten is the Creed of Israel for all generations, and, in fact, is still recited at Passover Feasts to this day.  The wandering Aramean is Jacob, who moved to Egypt at the invitation of his son, Joseph.  God delivered the people from Egypt after they had been made slaves and cried out to Him for help.  The power and blessing of God alone, account for the liberation and prosperity of His people; therefore, the first fruits of harvest are always brought to Him and everyone rejoices.
       After this discussion, which includes a restatement of the principle that a tenth of everything must be given each year to God (see chapter 14 for additional discussion),
He promises that faithfulness to His laws & commands will be rewarded with His blessings.
       Do you ever wonder why so much is said about money in churches?  Obviously, in an organization without direct sales or sanctions, the only way to carry out programs and support ministry (and the pastors who lead it) is through offerings.  As a result, Christians are reminded and urged to give so that God’s work may go forward. Of course this is not strictly accurate, because God is powerful enough to carry out His work without any help from us!
       Our giving can be used by God to carry out His purposes through the life and ministry of the Christian Church, but there is much more to it than that.  Giving is our way of affirming that we understand the Source of all our blessings and that all we have and are belongs to Him.   Our reluctance to give grows out of an inner misconception that somehow we are actually the ones who provide for ourselves, that everything depends on us and that we must therefore be very careful about giving things away.  Nothing could be farther from the truth or closer to our thinking!
       Today determine what percentage of your income you gave to God in the place of His choice, the Church, last year.  If it was not a tenth, consider what would be required to make it so.   Probably some sacrifice, change of lifestyle and reorganization of priorities.  None of these are bad in themselves.  Ask God what He wants you to do about giving.  Then take a step.  You may not be able to start giving a tenth immediately, so give two percent, or five or eight or whatever, and then as God blesses you increase until you get to the tenth.  If you are like everyone else who’s ever tried tithing, you’ll be amazed at how God blesses you in it!