My question concerns the second paragraph in your answer to “The Best of Our Best”. How does your answer deal with the concept of “without blemish” as depicted in Exodus 13, Leviticus 21-22, Deuteronomy 15 and 17, Malachi 1, Hebrews 9 and 1 Peter 1?
My question is how do I know if my motives for giving tithes and offerings are pure? I want them to be, but it seems that whenever I give I can’t help thinking of Malachi and other places where it talks about the blessings of giving. I want God to bless me, but I don’t want that to be my only motive for giving. I usually just try to commend it to God and then forget about it, but the thoughts still creep in. Do you have any suggestions?
I would like to know … can we embarrass God? Several times in Nehemiah’s prayer to God he refers to the fact that the Jews are God’s special people. They’re His “children,” His “servants,” and those for whom God made a dwelling place with His name on it. Yet these children of God acted corruptly and totally disregarded God’s commands and promises. Was God embarrassed about giving them His name? And likewise, can we embarrass God?
Re: Aren’t Trials for Growth and Proving? Yes, God sees us as perfect, whole and healthy. But are we? Are we all as loving as we should be? Are we all in perfect health? No, God’s facts in the Bible (you have been perfected, you have been healed) must become a reality in our experience. This process is known as sanctification, because God’s purpose with our lives is to change us to become like Jesus in every way (Rom 8:29; Eph 1:4-5, 2:10).
For this reason James could write: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete (perfect), not lacking anything” (1:2-4).
I’m a bit confused by Acts 16:31 when the jailer went to Paul and Silas asking what must he do to be saved. They responded by saying “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved-you and your household.” This appears as if Paul and Silas were saying if this Jailer believes then he will be saved with his house. If that is the case then how can I be saved and my house be saved through my believing, what if they do not accept the Lord on their own?
Re: If You Do What Is Right You’ll Be Accepted. I’ve read another interpretation in a Children’s Bible guide that seems to make more sense to me. It says, “Cain’s offering was unacceptable because it wasn’t the best of his crop that he brought forward to God. His heart was in the wrong place. He wasn’t truly offering God anything except lousy crops. Whereas Abel was giving God the best of his best.” What do you think?
Concerning the reference to Job in your study on Union and Fellowship. Doesn’t God allow things to happen to good people to continue their growth? Not that God is arbitrary, but trials are for growth and proving aren’t they? Job was tested, Abraham was tested, things like that go on all the time. What do you say?
Re: Genesis 4:3-5.
In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD. But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.
Why did God not have respect for Cain’s offering ?