Part 2 – the Call
Last time we looked at God’s challenge to the Israelites:
Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In your tithes and contributions. You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you.
Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need. (Malachi 3:8-10).
Most of you will know that the Law of Moses commanded a tithe (10% of their earnings, crops, etc) from the people. There is much debate about what is demanded from God today, in regards to the tithe. But the simple answer? God demands everything.
Having observed God’s challenge to the Israelites, our next question naturally turns inward, as we ask: “What is demanded of Christians? Of us today?”
Paul knew: Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. (Philippians 2:17).
No longer is the command the offer of physical sacrifices; Paul gave his life as the sacrifice – just as Christ gave Himself for us.
Christ was clear:
And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” (Mark 10:21).
And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. (Luke 9:23-24).
Take note that the call to walk in faith is again partnered with a promise of rewards.
God demands our very lives – but the reward is treasure in heaven, eternal joy, the glory of Christ . . . and, in the life to come: He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away (Revelations 21:4).
To be a follower of Christ is to carry a cross. There will be suffering – it is to be expected – but our reward is that we have been welcomed into Christ’s Kingdom as the children of God and fellow heirs of Christ.
Put God to the test – pick up your cross and receive LIFE. It can be scary, it certainly takes faith, but the reward is treasure in heaven.