Last week (4/23/17 message available here, don't worry the message is in English, only the scripture reading is in Japanese) I gave a message on giving. Not one of my favorite topics to preach on, however an important topic nonetheless. One of the questions I had to struggle with as I prepared and gave this message was the practice of tithing. Is tithing still required for believers who are under the New Covenant? This blog won’t go into details on this topic, and because of the potential divisiveness on this topic, I’m hesitant to give you my take on it (although you can easily click on the message above and hear my take on it). I personally know sincere believers, pastors, family members who are on either side of this conversation. Therefore, I’m well aware that I may just be wrong and that my stance could easily change on this subject if there’s a good biblical reason to. The reason for this blog isn’t to reiterate what I preached, rather, I’d like to make one correction/addition to my message. I made a statement to the effect of you are no longer robbing from God when you don’t give you are robbing yourself. I made that statement because of what Paul said in 2 Corinthians 9:6, “whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully”. The picture seems clear enough, without a lot of explaining to understand what the Bible states. If you give more you will also get more, and if you give less you’ll get less. Certainly, our motivation for giving shouldn’t be for covetous, greedy, and materialistic purposes, however, it’s also important to note that there is a blessing in giving generously, and cheerfully. So, I do think that you’re selling yourself short if you’re not giving what you have decided in your heart what to give. I Also believe, which I did not mention in my message and therefore the whole reason for this blog, that you are grieving the Holy Spirit when you don’t give what you have decided in your heart what to give. I’ve been walking with the LORD for about twenty years now, and I could tell you, there are few things worse than grieving the Holy Spirit. You may be able to make the argument that, I no longer can rob from God, and that I’m blessed beyond any curse because of the cross, etc. etc. etc., but grieving and quenching the Holy Spirit is more important than being afraid of robbing yourself, it’s more important than reaping much, it’s one of the deadliest place you can be as a believer.