Discipleship Is In The Details – Part 2

The last three details of dedication continue with the theme of supporting the worship of God with material things.  The financial support of our home church is a vital part of our devoted worship to God. Jesus taught many times of the dangers of loving money rather than God. How we handle our finances is one of the most clear indicators of our trust in God and desire to put Him first in our lives.

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and to bring the firstfruits of our ground, and the firstfruits of all fruit of all trees, year by year, unto the house of the Lord: also the firstborn of our sons, and of our cattle, as it is written in the law, and the firstlings of our herds and of our flocks, to bring to the house of our God, unto the priests that minister in the house of our God: and that we should bring the firstfruits of our dough, and our offerings, and the fruit of all manner of trees, of wine and of oil, unto the priests, to the chambers of the house of our God; and the tithes of our ground unto the Levites, that the same Levites might have the tithes in all the cities of our tillage. And the priest the son of Aaron shall be with the Levites, when the Levites take tithes: and the Levites shall bring up the tithe of the tithes unto the house of our God, to the chambers, into the treasure house. For the children of Israel and the children of Levi shall bring the offering of the corn, of the new wine, and the oil, unto the chambers, where are the vessels of the sanctuary, and the priests that minister, and the porters, and the singers: and we will not forsake the house of our God. – Nehemiah 10:35-39

6. They gave the best and first of all their income every year. The harvest happened only once, therefore they gave once. This included animals as well.   The equivalent concept for us today is this: If you are paid twice a month, you should give twice a month. You give as the Lord provides.

7. They gave their firstborn sons to the service.  The importance of the firstborn in a family is somewhat lost in our modern culture. The concept refers to more than just our physical firstborn. The Bible is teaching us that, what would be our heritage (firstborn), should be dedicated holy unto God. Therefore, this means we are to give our very best to the Lord in every aspect of our lives and let that be our legacy.

8. They supported the Levites physical needs.  The Levites were not allowed to own land and earn an income that way. They were to dedicate themselves wholly to the service of God and ministry of the people. The people, in turn, would support them financially. I think this aspect is also extremely vital to the health of a church in the 21st century. A man that is divided between support of his family and study of the word will not be able to do either to best of his ability.

The last verse points out that the people didn’t see this as paying the preacher. They felt if they did not do these things, they were forsaking the house of God.

Two New Testament scriptures come to mind regarding our devotion and quality of discipleship.

I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, – Ephesians 4:1

Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: but as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. – 1st Peter 1:13-16

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