(April 16, 2021) Robert McQuillan responds to a troubled family man’s question…
Dear Dr Robert Not naming my church, but our pastor demands we pay tithes to God, that if we don’t, we won’t be blessed. He quotes people receiving great new jobs or healings because they tithed and others receiving neither because they didn’t tithe. I feel uneasy about this… must I tithe to God? ‘Victor.’
This instantly causes me to query ‘What kind of a God of free grace are we worshipping if we have to pay for his blessings?’ The truth is that we could never financially pay God for all he has done for us! Your pastor is using God’s name but referring to the church and its responsibilities.
(May 11, 2020) Brian Bell shares some personal thoughts and challenges from the book of Haggai…
Let me reassure you, the title of this meditation is not drawn from the writing of a work of a similar title by the author Oscar Wilde. I don’t intend sharing about ‘being Earnest’ but about ‘being in earnest.’
Firstly, the adjective ‘earnest’ indicates ‘showing sincere and intense conviction.’ With this definition in mind, I share a few thoughts – an inspiration arising from reading the book of Haggai, NLT (1996 version).
Here, through the prophet God speaks to his people – people who thought they were living in luxury – and Haggai seeks to open their eyes tothe Lord’s perspective about their situation when he challenges ‘consider how things are going for you’ (Haggai 1:5).
God’s perspective – the ‘not enough of’ list
Through Haggai the Lord highlights in verse six some ‘not enough of’ items as he sees the situation:
Hunger – ‘Food to eat but not enough to fill you up.’
Thirst – ‘Wine to drink but not enough to satisfy.’
Insufficiency – ‘Clothing to wear but not enough to keep you warm.’