THE PHARISEE AND THE PUBLICAN (Continued)
Scripture Reading: Luke 18:9-14
9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:
10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
Many today actually believe that their finances represent the true Tithe. If the tithe that God instituted was corn, wine, oil, and the firstling of the cattle in the Old Covenant, His Thought did not change. The tithe was fulfilled in Christ Jesus. As living sacrifices, holy and acceptable unto Him, we too have become the true of a shadow. Money is a financial contribution to meet natural needs of ministry and the people. As Jesus said in Matthew 22:20, "Whose image and inscription is on it? According to I Corinthians 15:49, does it bear the image of the heavenly which we are to bear? Does it proceed from a heart whereon the laws of God are written and one is led by His Spirit? Far removed indeed! 2 Corinthians 9:7 reads, Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver." The tithe is who one has become and finances are among the things such a one cheerfully gives.
As the Pharisees, when one regards the self, the spiritual is always left undone. For example, all the things mentioned that the Pharisees paid tithes, mint, anise and cumin, all have one thing in common. They are aromatic or please the sense of smell. In the spirit, the counterpart to the natural sense of smell is discernment. The trade-off here is monumental.