By Allen White
Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.
Okay, think about this. How many spices do you actually use? Divide that amount by ten. Unless you’re Colonel Sanders, it’s a miniscule amount.
The Pharisees were faithful to the nth degree when it came to giving God a tenth of their possessions. But, God desires far more than a tenth of any of us. God wants all of us. And, He wanted all of the Pharisees too.
While the Pharisees were overly focused on the precision of their tithing, they overlooked more significant, godly pursuits – justice, mercy and faithfulness. They had paid at the office. They gave God what he was due monetarily according to the law. After all, it’s much easier to write a check than to give of ourselves. They had the perfect loophole.
Their tithing amounted to nothing more than tipping God. They gave their nod to God, then they were on their way to doing things their way. They felt they could turn their heads to injustice, because they had already done their part. Their God thing was out of the way for the week.
What are our excuses for not getting involved? “Well, I do usher for 10 minutes every Sunday morning…” I’m not bashing ushers here. People need to find seats. But, God wants each of us for far more than serving on Sunday or sitting in our small groups or writing a check.
The calling on every believer’s life is a 24/7 enterprise. God’s Kingdom is not built on spare time and spare change. God’s Kingdom is built by radical believers who give God everything they’ve got. As we go about our days in our homes, offices, factories and neighborhoods, we are on-mission for God.
What we did last Sunday sitting in worship or contributing to the offering plate is great, but it’s only the starting point of what God desires in our lives. Wherever we go, whatever we do, we are God’s representative, literally. The presence of God in our lives is a light shining into dark places. There’s no on/off switch.
The question is – do we take the time to notice what’s going on around us? And, when we see what’s happening, do we just complain about it or do we actually pray about what to do? When God gives us His marching orders, do we actually do it?
God values mercy over mint. Doing over dill. (I can’t come up with a c word for cumin. Sorry). How is God prompting you to give 100 percent of yourself to Him? Where do you find yourself holding back? When do you feel that God should be satisfied with what you’ve given?
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