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Choose the Abundant Life!

Choose the Abundant Life!

What did Jesus mean by saying in John 10:10 that He came to give us life more abundantly? Watch as Gerald Weston explains from the Bible how our choices, clean living, and Christian walk impact the path to abundant life.

[The text below represents an edited transcript of this Tomorrow’s World program.]

The Key to Overcoming Hardships

The national debt of the United States is approaching a staggering 32 trillion dollars. The United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia have their own debt problems to a greater or lesser extent, as do most nations. Why are our nations so heavily indebted? How did our world get into this financial quagmire?

But what about you? How are you doing? Are you among the many living “paycheck to paycheck,” fearing what the future holds for you? Everywhere, inflation is squeezing personal budgets, but do you realize that the God of Creation wants you to prosper? Don’t take my word for it. Believe the words of Jesus Christ as found in John 10:10:

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly (John 10:10).

While that abundant life applies to far more than your pocketbook, that is certainly included. So, how does He give you a more abundant life? Is it only the forgiveness of sin? Or is there more to it? On today’s Tomorrow’s World program, I’ll give you one law of God that affects you as an individual and our nations as a whole. I’ll also be offering you what is our least offered booklet, so be sure to have writing material available to take down our contact information. Now stay tuned, as I will be right back to discuss one law of God that brings about a more abundant life.

Bad Choices Lead to Suffering

A warm welcome to all of you from all of us here at Tomorrow’s World, where today I’ll be discussing a law that promotes an abundant life. When Jesus said He came to give us life more abundantly, He was speaking in a broad sense. He came to show us a better way of life, one that avoids the heartache brought about when we break God’s laws. Contrary to what many think, He did not come to do away with God’s immutable laws. As He said in Matthew 5:17:

Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill (Matthew 5:17).

But He also came to remove the stain of sin through His sacrifice, freeing us from the guilt of past sins. He also brought good news of the coming Kingdom of God—giving purpose to our lives. All this leads to a more abundant life.

God gave our first parents a choice between two ways of life, symbolized by two trees. The fruit of one would lead to wonderful blessings, resulting in life. But the fruit of the other, to curses, ending in death. These two trees are introduced in Genesis 2:9, but let’s pick it up in verses 16 and 17:

And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:16–17).

This one prohibited tree was symbolic of man choosing for himself to determine good and evil, right from wrong. But God did not stop him from making that disastrous decision. As you likely know, Adam and Eve chose to disobey. The result? They were kicked out of a beautiful garden paradise where food was plentiful, and life would be pleasant. Instead, they were doomed to hardship, suffering, and death. Sadly, their children, including you and me, have made the same choice—rejecting God’s revelation and determining for ourselves right and wrong—and experiencing the same results.

God reminded the nation of Israel of this choice in Deuteronomy 30, beginning in verse 15:

See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, in that I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the LORD your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess (Deuteronomy 30:15–16).

He summed it up in verse 19:

I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live (Deuteronomy 30:19).

That choice would appear to be, as they call it, a no-brainer; but if so, why is the majority of mankind choosing death? America was once the greatest creditor nation in the world, but today is the greatest debtor nation. Why?

There are invisible laws that if followed bring prosperity, but if broken, bring financial disaster. To the nation of Israel, God declared in Deuteronomy 28:

Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the LORD your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. … Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country. Blessed shall be the fruit of your body, the produce of your ground and the increase of your herds, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks (Deuteronomy 28:1, 3–4).

God next gave a long list of curses that would come upon them for disobedience. Among them, we read in verses 43 and 44:

The alien who is among you shall rise higher and higher above you, and you shall come down lower and lower. He shall lend to you, but you shall not lend to him; he shall be the head, and you shall be the tail (Deuteronomy 28:43–44).

Longtime viewers of Tomorrow’s World know that we do not shy away from the truth. We show from the Bible what few seem to realize. We go against the grain by teaching the seventh-day Sabbath and the biblical Holy Days, rather than the pagan observances with the name of Christ blasphemously attached to them. But there’s one law that we practice that we almost never mention on this telecast—the law of tithing. The reason should be obvious. We follow Jesus’ command in Matthew 10:8:

Freely you have received, freely give (Matthew 10:8).

That is why all our resources are given away free of charge. We pay for the phone calls, the postage, and the resources you request. I think you know our program is different. We refuse to merchandize off the word of God. So, to avoid even the appearance of contradicting our sincere desire to give the truth free of charge, we generally avoid the biblical subject of tithing. However, when the Apostle Paul gathered the Ephesian elders together, he explained in Acts 20:20:

I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you, and taught you publicly and from house to house (Acts 20:20).

And then in verse 27 he said:

For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27).

The law of tithing IS part of the whole counsel of God. It’s taught in the Old Testament and affirmed by Jesus. God wants what is best for us. But for that to happen, we must choose His way of love and outgoing concern, rather than the selfish get way of life. Part of that way of life is found in Matthew 23:23. There Jesus criticized the Pharisees for meticulously counting out seeds and leaves to tithe, but neglected how they treated others.

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone (Matthew 23:23).

Yes, justice, mercy and faith are “weightier matters” than meticulously counting every tenth seed, but note that Jesus said,

… without leaving the others [tithing] undone.

Are we here at Tomorrow’s World to leave out that law when instructing in righteousness? We want everyone to know that we do not request donations from the public. Everything we have is given away free of charge. The call center we use instructs their operators not to ask for, not even to hint for, donations when you call for our materials. But we will do as Paul did—teach the whole counsel of God—including God’s law of tithing.

And the whole counsel of God includes the command against stealing—either from your neighbor or from God.

God’s Instructions for Making Good Choices

As we have already seen, our first parents chose to trust their own judgment rather than that of their Creator. We’ve also seen that God laid out to Israel the same choice in the simplest of terms. How they chose would have radically different results, as seen in Deuteronomy 30:19.

I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live (Deuteronomy 30:19).

While God left it up to them to choose, He urged them to make the right choice—life and blessings. Even though obedience was for their own good, God moaned that mankind did not have the heart to obey Him. We see this in Deuteronomy 5:29:

Oh, that they had such a heart in them that they would fear Me and always keep all My commandments, that it might be well with them and with their children forever! (Deuteronomy 5:29).

The commandments He referred to were clearly the Ten Commandments as they are listed just before this statement. And one of those commands says,

You shall not steal (Deuteronomy 5:19).

James tells us, we are not to pick and choose which commandments to keep and which ones to ignore. He clearly referred to the Ten Commandments when he wrote the following in James 2, beginning in verse 10:

For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all. For He who said, “DO NOT COMMIT ADULTERY,” also said, “DO NOT MURDER.” Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty (James 2:10–12).

Choosing life means choosing God’s revealed way of life. Here at Tomorrow’s World we teach the whole counsel of God, which includes all the laws of God, but one law we rarely speak of to the public is the law of tithing. That is because we want everyone to know that we do not sell our materials. We depend on Living Church of God members and coworkers who have personally chosen of their own will to support this Work with their tithes and offerings.

But how can we in good conscience not tell you, our viewers, if you are sinning, when Isaiah commands us in Isaiah 58:1:

Cry aloud, spare not; lift up your voice like a trumpet; tell My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins (Isaiah 58:1).

And again, one of the Ten Commandments is:

You shall not steal (Deuteronomy 5:19).

Most people understand that we are not to steal from our neighbors, but is it a lesser sin to steal from God? Too many reason, “Well God understands.” Yes, He does, dear friends. But do we? Malachi asks in chapter 3 and verse 8:

Will a man rob God? (Malachi 3:8).

Now that’s a simple enough question. Surely, we would never do that! Or would we? Read on:

Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, “In what way have we robbed You?” (Malachi 3:8).

God’s answer?

In tithes and offerings (Malachi 3:8).

Just as then, people reason around God’s laws today.

I cannot emphasize enough that all our resources are sent free of charge. We pay for the phone call, the postage, and the specific items you request. And as all our longtime viewers know, we do not hit you up for donations. This does not mean that we fail to teach the whole counsel of God. This does not mean that we don’t “cry aloud and spare not” and show our nations our sins. This does not mean we teach against robbing our neighbor, but fail to teach what it means to rob from God. We give the truth and you can do with it as you choose; but, I strongly urge you to obey God’s laws—all of them—but only you can determine whether to tithe and where to pay it.

True Riches in God’s Service

We are here, not because of blind evolution, but because there is a God in heaven who has created all things. This universe, this solar system, this marvelous planet on which we live, including the air we breathe, the water we drink, even the dirt beneath our feet, are all the result of God’s creation. We literally owe everything to Him. As King David wrote in Psalm 24:1:

The earth is the LORD’s, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein (Psalm 24:1).

Or, as we read in Psalm 50:10–12:

For every beast of the forest is Mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. I know all the birds of the mountains, and the wild beasts of the field are Mine. If I were hungry, I would not tell you; for the world is Mine, and all its fullness (Psalm 50:10–12).

Everything was created by God. We owe Him our very existence. Now consider. If you are renting an apartment or house, you must pay the landlord. It is not a matter of giving, but paying for the privilege to live in his property. In like manner, God gives us a beautiful home, but commands us to pay ten percent for our food, shelter, clothing, and luxuries. No matter how rich or poor, the percent is the same. When you think about it, that is a pretty good deal!

But think further. God, and ONLY God, has the power to extend our life for eternity, but He tells us we must choose His way, not our own. However, it is not eternal life only that He offers. He offers us a better life today—blessings of all kinds, rather than curses. As we read in Deuteronomy 30:19:

I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live (Deuteronomy 30:19).

As we read earlier, Jesus declared:

I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly (John 10:10).

And the Apostle John wrote in his third letter, in verse 2:

Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers (3 John 1:2).

Yes, God wants us to prosper. He wants us to obey all His laws, because He knows that is the way to blessings in this life and ultimately to eternal life. God gives us time on this earth to choose the tree of life (His revealed way of love and outgoing concern), over the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (the way of human reason that is directed by Satan the Devil).

A rich young man came to Jesus one day with an important question. We read of it in Matthew 19:16.

Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?

Jesus responded by telling him to keep the commandments. The young man asked, “Which ones?” And Jesus responded by listing several of the Ten Commandments, including the prohibition against stealing. Continuing in verse 20:

The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?” (Matthew 19:20).

It was then that Jesus got to the core of the man’s problem. He was violating the spirit of the first commandment because his wealth was being placed ahead of God, and he was breaking the spirit, or intent of, the tenth commandment, against coveting. This became evident when Jesus told him to sell all that he had and to give it to the poor. This is not intended to be a command for everyone—only those who trust in their riches above trusting in God, as shown in the parallel account found in Mark 10:24.

And the disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, “Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God!” (Mark 10:24).

The whole Bible shows that God is not against you prospering. And in fact, God promises to bless those who obey His commandment on tithing. And I’ll show you that in the last portion of this program, but please do not misunderstand. This is neither an appeal for support, nor a promotion of a health and wealth gospel. If that is what you are looking for, you’ll have to go elsewhere.

Faith and the Purpose of Tithing

God spoke through Malachi to a cynical, argumentative, self-justifying people when He asked the question: “Will a man rob God?” The answer was that they were doing so by not paying their tithes, what we might view as their just rent on God’s beautiful earth. As a result, He said there in Malachi 3:

“You are cursed with a curse, for you have robbed Me, even this whole nation. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this,” says the LORD of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it” (Malachi 3:9–10).

Is it any wonder why our nations struggle financially? Is it any wonder why so many individuals struggle financially? Do we really think we can rob from God and not suffer the consequences? Now I know some think they cannot afford to tithe, but can they afford not to tithe? Remember what Jesus said were the weightier matters of the law?

Justice and mercy and faith (Matthew 23:23).

The Bible refers to Abraham as the father of the faithful in Romans 4:16. In addition to other acts of faith, we are first introduced to tithing in Genesis 14:19–20, when Abraham sets the example of giving a tithe to “God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth.”

And he blessed him and said: “Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; and blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.” And he [Abraham] gave him [Melchizedek] a tithe of all.

Do you have the faith of Abraham? One who did was a widow in the days of Elisha. She was down to her last meal when she chose to put God first. But notice also how Jesus praised her for her faith [Luke 4:25–26]:

But I tell you truly, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a great famine throughout all the land; but to none of them was Elijah sent except to Zarephath, in the region of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow (Luke 4:25–26).

You can read this inspiring story of faith in 1 Kings 17. I hope you’ll do that, 1 Kings 17.

If you found it helpful and want to learn more, be sure to get your free copy of our study guide God’s People Tithe. Just click the link in the description or go to TWTV.ORG/Tithe.

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Thanks for watching! See you next time.

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