9Honor the Lord by giving him
your money and the first part
of all your crops.
10Then you will have
more grain and grapes
than you will ever need.
It’s settled – give your tithe (10% as determined elsewhere), do that first and you will have more than you’ll ever need (prosperity, wealth, success etc.).
The Pharisees at the time of Jesus had defined every possible aspect of life. And in doing so they defined their own role in being the Keepers of the Law since no one could possibly remember everything. Jesus burst on the scene not only upsetting the money changer’s tables but upsetting everyone’s personal applecart, so to speak. The long and the short of it is, he redefined the position of human beings before God as a relationship rather than a religion. In doing so he moved from activities to principles.
An incomplete reading of these verses could give us the idea that we simply give the first fruits or tithe and not only are we off the hook but we’re going to be prosperous. The incarnation gives fresh insight into this verse. If we truly recognize and incorporate his ownership over everything we possess and then live that principle out, we will have all we could ever need.
But to get the full meaning of this we need to roll the rest of Christ’s teaching into it. Justice and our response to the poor are central themes of God’s recipe for life to the fullest. We find communion with him by living in compassion with the world. Until we do this we can never say we are honouring him by giving him everything.
The fascinating fact is that if we find our way through to this way of life, what we consider to be “more than we need” will be radically different and yet immeasurably greater.
Father, I bring to you everything I have and again place them at your feet, recognizing that I have nothing without your provision. I pray for strength to honour you above all others with my time, my money and my devotion. May I simply rest in your grace.