The Heart of Giving

Gen 14:20 And he gave him a tithe of all.

Tithing is a hot, debatable topic in the church. Some say it was Law and therefore Christians are not bound to it; this despite the fact that Abram giving tithe to Melchizedek was before the Law.

Giving is not mandated by a law – giving comes from the heart and a need to help someone.

In my research on the subject one commentator said that Abram did not tithe to Melchizedek of his own resources but with the spoils he took in the rescue of Lot.
The Bible does affirm this but can you make it a legitimate excuse not to tithe because of it?

Years later, Abraham’s grandson, Jacob said, “…of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You.” Gen 28:22
His decision also predated any law to do so.
His decision was also based on the resources God would bless him with.

There is no easy answer to whether you believe in tithing or not. You either do or you don’t.

Despite the fact that it’s in the Law, do you think God would demand less of His people today – the people He fills with His own Holy Spirit?
If God demanded 10% from His people under the Law – do you think He would now be happy with you giving 1% under Christ?
Does God move backward or forward?
Does He lower His standards or raise them?

There is more to be said and so I shall.

Abba, I ask for guidance in giving. You have abundantly blessed and I should never be stingy or greedy with what wasn’t mine to begin with. I am just a steward. In Jesus’ name, YES&AMEN

Let Christ bring us together!

Heb 7:21-22 “The Lord has sworn and will not relent, You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek'”), by so much more Jesus has become a surety of a better covenant.

Many believe that Melchizedek is the pre-incarnate Jesus making an appearance in the Old Testament. As one commenter to the blog said, “I have heard it said that Melchizedek was Jesus in the flesh. Maybe, maybe not!”

I, personally, think not. I lean more toward Shem.

Perhaps the author of Hebrews does the same. The scripture mentions the order of Melchizedek and the better covenant of Jesus. It seems to me that if they were one in the same the writer of Hebrews could have indicated it in this verse.

Whether you believe it’s Shem, the pre-incarnate Christ, or a totally different individual, do not let it divide you from others that believe differently.

Melchizedek is not the real issue – Jesus is!

Christ brings all of us together. Man-made ideas divide and separate.

For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? 1 Cor 3:3

Abba, there is much about Your word I do not know completely or understand. But I know what Jesus has done for me and it seems sufficient. YES&AMEN

King and Priest

2 Chron 26:18 They withstood King Uzziah, and said to him, “It is not for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the Lord, but for the priests, the sons of Aaron, who are consecrated to burn incense.”

The king did not listen and broke out in leprosy for the rest of his life.

What was the problem? Uzziah was the king, not the priest!

Ps 110:4 The Lord has sworn and will not relent, ‘You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.’

Melchizedek was also king of Salem and a priest of the Most High God.

This is the other unique characteristic of this dynamic individual and one that is shared by Jesus.

In the Old Testament, there were kings and there were priests – but they were never the same person. King Saul offered a sacrifice and the kingdom was taken from him and given to David.

There is only One that deserves to be both King and Priest – Jesus Christ. And it is from the example of Melchizedek.

Uzziah and Saul needed to be what God wanted them to be but they tried to assume a position that was not theirs.

You, also, need to be what God wants you to be. If He has called you to only to be in prison ministry then you don’t need to be a praise leader in a church.
If your calling has you as a missionary in Mexico, then what are you doing pastoring in North Dakota?

You need to be where God wants you – doing what He has equipped you!

Abba, make me what You want me to be and put me where You need me to be. In Jesus name, YES&AMEN

The Order

Heb 5:10 called by God as High Priest “according to the order of Melchizedek,”

A TV commercial for jelly comes on and the announcer says that the recipe hasn’t changed since “mom” invented it in 1850. She set a standard of wholesome goodness and instilled the same ethics into her children to keep the ingredients and taste the same for generations to come.
The result is an old-fashion taste you can’t find in any other product.

There are many products and businesses that still continue on the principles in which they were founded decades or centuries ago.

Hebrews and the Psalms both declare that the priesthood of Jesus would be based on something founded millennia ago.

So what is the “order of Melchizedek”?

During the time of Moses the directive from God was for all priests to be of the lineage of Aaron, a Levite. This order was maintained through the years, with the exception of a few corrupt individuals who sought their own gain and not God’s will.

So the priestly lineage is through Aaron and the Levites. But Melchizedek is not a Levite. He couldn’t be. If he is Shem, he would have been the great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather of Levi. He lived and died before Levi was born, much less Aaron.

Jesus on the other hand was born thousands of years after Levi. But Jesus is the Lion of the tribe of Judah and not a Levite.

So, to me, the order of Melchizedek predates the order of Aaron. It is not a Levite priesthood that one is born into – but a calling of God to serve.

I have met many people that when asked why they are a Christian the answer is an order – “my parents were Christians” or “my family has always gone to this church. In fact, my great, great, great grandfather helped found this church!”

Though my parents and grandparents may have had an effect on my religious upbringing – I am a Christian because of a calling of God in my life. That call convicted me of sin and I prayed for His forgiveness for my life. My Christian life is a calling of God to serve!

What an honor

Heb 7:1-3 For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God… without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, remains a priest continually.

Imagine meeting someone that actually fought in the Battle of Gettysburg. What an honor it would be.

Or what if you could talk to your great-great-great grandparents, the ones that came to America from the “old country”?

What if you could meet someone that saw the world before the great flood – a survivor of the ark?

Though I cannot prove it, I think this is who Abram met. His great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather; one that helped build the ark and lived on it for over a year. He was there to see the corrupted world of men that God was going to destroy. He was there when the rain began and the fountains of the deep spewed forth. He saw the raven fly off and the dove return.

Shem was born 100 years before the flood began and died only 30 years before Abram (Abraham), who lived to be 175.
So at this point Shem is alive and it is very possible that he and his greatX7 grandson met.

He has no father or mother. Noah died 2 years before Abram was born. He has no genealogy because the old pre-flood world is long gone and the genealogy of Genesis hasn’t been written. Moses would do that over 400 years later.

Abram paid homage to a man that was a king and priest of the Most High God and was kin to him. As I said, I cannot prove it and if you believe differently I’m not going to debate because whatever you believe about Melchizedek probably cannot be proved either.

Abba, Your word is often mysterious and has the power to divide soul and spirit but also the minds of people. But the blood of Jesus brings us all right back together. Praise the name of Jesus’ for this healing on Your people. YES&AMEN

Give Honor

Gen 14:20 And [Abram] gave [Melchizedek] a tithe of all.

Who is this man that Abram would give him a tenth of all?

He was a king of a city and a priest of the Most High God, but is that enough to warrant such giving?

Perhaps in such a godless land, Abram was glad to enjoy fellowship with someone that believed and followed God as he did. And this wasn’t just some ordinary person. The fact that he was a king and priest made him much more unique, especially when you compare him to the king of Sodom, an exceedingly wicked man.

Today we honor special people.

I once was received an email from a man I did not know. He wanted to know if I was the Tim Swanson that served with him in Vietnam.
I told him I was in high school when the war ended.
But then I thanked him for his service in Vietnam to help keep freedom for a kid like me so I could stay in high school.

He wrote back and said he’d never been thanked for his service in Vietnam.

As Abram gave a portion of his goods to honor Melchizedek – surely you can give a portion of your time and effort to honor someone that has made a difference in your life – no matter how small.

And how much more should you honor the Lord and Savior for what He has done for you, which is so much!

Abba Father, my praise is insufficient to honor You. My tithe is insufficient. The truth is I can never do enough for what You have done for me. I can offer nothing to You but my life. Take me – I am Yours. In Jesus’ name, YES&AMEN.

Giving

Gen 14:20 And he gave him a tithe of all.

It is one of the most difficult things for most Christians to do – tithing.

In fact, many Christians don’t believe in the practice stating as their reason that tithing was part of the law.

That is not the case. Tithing predates the law by at over 400 years.

There was no law that commanded Abram to give a tenth of everything to Melchizedek – but he did.
Abram did this out of the joy in his heart to give.

Had Abram received anything from the king and priest of Salem?
Certainly he received and accepted the communion between them, symbolized by the bread and wine. And he accepted the blessing that Melchizedek spoke.

When we receive the Communion of God (the body and blood of the Savior) for ourselves and then accept the blessing of God, then joy should be the motivation to give from the heart!

Abba, I fail in this area in so many ways – giving! Giving to you and to others in true need. Yet I have never turned down any of Your blessings for me. I repent of my shortcomings and seek Your help to overcome it. In Jesus’ name, YES&AMEN