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One can give without loving, but it is impossible to love without giving! God loved us so much that He gave His one and only Son to die - that we might live. The love of God is beautiful, gracious, holy, and merciful. Love that went to such awesome, terrible, and heartbreaking depths to redeem us from our sins must cause an appropriate response from our hearts. If we are truly to become like Yeshua then we want to be people who love, and, therefore, be people who give.

Yochanan records Yeshua’s answer to the Jewish people who claimed that Avraham was their father. He said to them, “If you are Avraham's children, do the deeds of Avraham.” The principle of faith without works being useless is at work here, for Avraham who offered up Yitzchak, his son, on the altar, began by giving his tithes to God. Avraham had a loving heart and his deeds reflected that heart. But in order to give the ultimate gift to God he needed to trust God in the smaller mundane things.

In the time of the Mishkan, the Tabernacle, and later of the Temple in Yerushalayim, there were three words associated with giving. The Hebrew word “terumah” meaning “offering” or “portion,” was used only in conjunction with giving to the Lord, meaning that this “portion” was to be set aside for a higher purpose, such as the building of the Mishkan. Second Hebrew word for giving was “ma’aser,” translated as tithe. After the building of the Mishkan tithing became a mandatory giving for the maintenance of the Mishkan, for the priests and the Levites in addition to the terumah, the offering for the Lord. The third Hebrew word for giving is “tzedakah.” Tzedakah was associated with the giving to, or the good deeds towards, the widows, the fatherless and the poor.

The apostle Shaul teaches that faith works through love. If we love Yeshua, then our faith will perform its work, we will enter into God's good works prepared for us beforehand (Ephesians 2:10). But, as with Avraham, one needs to go first through a learning process before the faith is strong enough for the bigger things, and that is the reason God has taught us to give continually. Our faith must be tested. The Hebrew word “tzedakah” also means “righteousness” which implies that our righteousness is tested in our giving. Do we put our trust in God, or do we put our trust in money? Is God the secure Rock of our lives or is our bank account our security in life? In 2 Corinthians chapter 8, the apostle Shaul uses the example of the assemblies of Macedonia to teach us this principle. These believers, though going through a “great ordeal of affliction,” had an even greater joy in knowing Messiah, that, even in deep poverty, they gave liberally to support the spreading of the good news: “For I testify that according to their ability, and beyond their ability they gave of their own accord, begging us with much entreaty for the favor of participation in the support of the saints.”

As beautiful as this example is, can it be applied to our modern life? What are we to give and how much, now that the Temple in Yerushalayim has been destroyed and the offerings and the tithes are no longer applicable to our lives? Are we still supposed to support the people who teach us and labor for our spiritual edification and uplifting, as the priests of old? the various ministries for the edification of other people? the maintaining of our place of worship? and the widows, the fatherless and the poor? Yes on all counts. But should we be giving to God when we need new clothes for our children, or when we have unpaid bills, or when we need to pay tuition, rent, buy food or take care that we have enough saved up for our future? This is exactly the challenge to our faith. Yes, we need to take care of our needs, but when we give from our excess and are still assured that we can afford all the things we desire in life, how is our faith challenged? If we cannot trust God to take care of us in this life and provide for our needs, then how can we have faith that He will save us and grant us entrance into His eternal Kingdom? Yeshua's words must resonate in our hearts: "If you are not faithful with earthly riches, who will entrust you with true wealth?"

The Macedonians were poor, very poor, it is described in the Scripture as deep poverty, yet they gave beyond their ability and considered it a favor to them. Their faith was working! Their trust was in their Savior because they first gave themselves to Him and their hearts were responding to His love. Yes indeed, the New Covenant giving is a matter of love.

Sisterhood

Coming up this Shabbat at Ben David

September 23 - Message by Robb Schwartz:

Title:

“Jewish Objection: Jesus cannot be the Messiah because He is a descendant of King Jehoiachin (Jeconiah).”

God cursed both this king and his offspring, saying that none of his descendants would ever sit on the throne of David.
Is there a way around the curse in order for Jesus/Yeshua, to ascend the throne in light of the genealogical issues in Jehoiachin's line? Both the scripture and ancient rabbinical opinions offer some interesting answers to this question.

Simchat Torah

October 14 - Simchat Torahtorah
The Joy of the Torah - Morning Service
Concluding the annual Torah reading and beginning anew.
Join us celebrating God's word.

Rosh HaShanah

Wednesday, September 20 - Erev Rosh HaShanah Messianic Service at 7:00pm.rosh
Rosh HaShanah, also known as the Jewish New Year, is called in the Bible, The Feast of Trumpets, or, in Hebrew, Zicharon Teruah, the Day of Memorial of Blowing.
Rosh HaShanan (literally, Head of the Year) occurs on the first day of the Jewish month of Tishrei, this year, on Thursday, September 21.
Please join us for the evening service on Wednesday, September 20, at 7:00pm and celebrate this Biblical Holy Day and its Messianic significance.

Yom Kippur

September 30 - Yom Kippur Messianic Serviceykippur
Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonement, occurs on the tenth of Tishrei, Saturday, September 30 this year.
Join us for this Messianic Service at 10:30am.

Sukkot

October 7 - Sukkot Service at 10:30am:sukkot
join us for a Sukkot celebration.
- Morning Service and Oneg in the Sukkah.

Tzedakah - Giving

TzedakahS

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