‘And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: and blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.’ Genesis 14:18–20
Suggested Further Reading: 2 Corinthians 9:6–15
Truly our holy faith deserves of us that we should give all to Christ. I would that some Christians, however, practised the rule of giving a tenth of their substance to the Lord’s cause. The Lord’s church need never lack if you had a bag in which you stored up for Christ: when you gave anything, you would not feel it was giving of your own; your left hand would not know what your right hand did, for you would be taking out of the Lord’s stock which you had already consecrated to the Lord’s cause. Not less than one-tenth should be the Lord’s portion, especially with those who have a competence; and more than this, I think, should be expected of those who have wealth. But there is no rule binding with iron force upon you, for we are not under law in Christ’s church, but under grace, and grace will prompt you to do more than law might suggest; but certainly the Christian should reckon himself to be not his own, and that he has nothing to retain for his own private account. I pray God if I have a drop of blood in my body which is not his, to let it bleed away; and if there be one hair in my head which is not consecrated to him, I would have it plucked out, for it must be the devil’s drop of blood and the devil’s hair. It belongs to either one or the other: if not to God, then to Satan. No, we must, brethren, have no division of ourselves, no living unto this world and unto God too.
For meditation: It is good if our giving to the Lord’s cause is systematic (1 Corinthians 16:1–2), but it will be even better if both giver and gift are consecrated to him first (2 Corinthians 8:3–5).
Sermon no. 589
11 September (1864)