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Posts Tagged ‘offering’

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.- Matt. 6:21

I am trying to get some things in order as I continue my walk in Christ.  That’s a given for most of us who profess to believe in Christ.  Money is somewhere near the top of the list of things to get straight and in line with God’s standard.  I know and I read it, too.  Yes, money is “what is least” according to the Word.  I do agree with that.  Yet, money has a stranglehold on many of us for many different reasons.  Whether it be debt, saving, cost of living, or simply making ends meet, many people have trouble when it comes to money.  We need to ask for forgiveness, pleading with the Father for both grace and mercy, but we also need to take a realistic look at what we do with the money we do make.  It’s time for a check-up on our checkbook.

Jesus simply shared that you can tell a lot about us by what we spend our money.  Look at where you spend your money and you’ll discover what matters most to you.  People with family budgets that have “miscellaneous” and “emergency fund” listed are doing a slight shift by playing with words if miscellaneous is seeing something that I like and getting it, and if the emergency fund is for tires, brakes and other “incidentals.”  I think many of the materials published by Ron Blue, Larry Burkett, and Dave Ramsey speak to the need for people, especially Christians, to live within their means.  John Wesley’s sermon has often been paraphrased: “Make all you can,Save all you can,Give all you can.”  Money really does matter in a Christian’s life.

Try this on for size: Does what you do with your money honor God? Review your checkbook (or, if you’re like many folks, review your online check register) and see who you give most of your money to monthly.  Are supporting worthy causes or are you simply spending? Is your money going to support the ministry of the church? Are you saving anything? If there were a call for a special offering to help with Haiti or Chile, would you be in the financial position to help out or just pray? Here goes the big one.  Looking at what you have done with what you have, would you trust yourself with more? Better yet, should God trust you with more?  It’s a matter of stewardship.  Let God lead you, even with your money matters.

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In order to truly contribute to a community, one has to be willing to share what he or she has to offer with the offering s of others.  I put my tribute with your tribute, making a contribution. Truly, it is about sharing the load.  When communitiy members support the work by lending a hand and offering their expertise and experience towards accomplishing a goal, contributions are being made in a wide variety of ways.  It has to start somewhere and with someone, so start here and start with yourself.  by simply making the first move, you may inspire others to do the same rather than waiting in the wings.

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Have you ever read Malachi? No, I mean have you really taken the time to read and understand the issues that came up and went down during this last Old Testament book of the Bible? What you see is the people’s frustration with the church officials and the church’s corruption along with the people’s resolution, and then God has to step in between them both to settle the matter.  God puts it down and states His case, and that’s that.  That’s final.  No need to question it or ask about it.  God said it and it’s over and done with for real.  Then, all of a sudden, God stops speaking.  It’s hundreds of years before we get another word from God.  Prophets no longer prophesise of coming events and the man of God doesn’t seem to carry that special quality of the Word of God.  All of a sudden it is chic to quote the Scriptures since nothing new is being said.  Suddenly, there is birthed a new reliance upon the prophet’s word about the Messiah.  Almost overnight, Moses, Joel, David, Isaiah, and Jonah become biblical superstars in the darkest of times because God is no longer speaking to His chosen people.  It is as if the people had to move beyond the silence in order to discover what God had really meant for them to hear and understand all of those prior generations.  It’s a shame what we do that causes God to use extreme meausres, even silence for hundreds of years.

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Some will say the devil tested Jesus and that took a lot out of the Lord.  I agree that the Lord was at a weak point by human standards, but He is the God-man.  He is fully man and fully God.  He withstood and endured the testing by Satan in the wilderness.

I find what  Abraham endured to be a true test of the human heart by the best- God Himself.  Abraham had a different kind of walk with God.  He was considered “a friend of God.” He talked intimately with God and saw his future revealed in majestic and astounding terms pronounced by God.  Yet, God tested him with the sacrifice of  his only son.  Similarly, God only wants the best for us and from us, and for Abraham, Issac represented the promise to be kept by God.  However, I didn’t see any hesitation with Abraham.  I didn’t notice any personal appeal by him to God.  He simply did as God ordered and kept at it until God proved Himself as a strong deliverer.  Amen!  We truly come out refined when we’ve been tested by the best.

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Reading Andrew Murray’s God’s Plans for You changed my entire perspective on life, ministry and honoring God with what we put into others as well as ourselves.   I have read andre-read this book by Murray countless times.  It’s a great resource.  I honestly would have approached ministry from a totally different perspective if I had been exposed to it when I first started with Bible teaching and evangelism.  Murray offers insight into how we can “work” for the Lord with a heart full of commitment and compassion.  I truly believe that Murray shares from his personal ministry experience to strengthen the church in its role in building up the believer and the believer’s role as a servant of the kingdom of God.

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Commitment

Businesses need it from their employees.  Spouses need it from their signifigant other.  Children need it from their parents.  The elderly need it from their caregivers.  The Lord expects it of us as we enter into service in his name, answering a personal calling from Him.  It is commitment.

When you commit, you offer your entire being to the accomplishment and achievement of goals and objectives that allow the vision to come to life.  Whether it is through the service rendered by your hands or the thoughts and knowledge that you commit to planning and projecting, you are to offer your full commitment to the endeavor. Otherwise, it really isn’t commitment. 

Commit your works unto the Lord…

Look at that for a moment and let it sink in.  The Word says we should commit our works unto Him.  Devote them.  Apply and offer our best to Him.  Our works should serve as a form of sacrifice to the Lord.  He has assured us that He will handle the results.  We just have to get real and make a genuine commitment in faith.

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I dropped some coins in the Salvation Army pot but it didn’t make a sound (probably hit somebody’s bills instead of the bottom of the buclet).  I kept on and passed the person ringing that bell and he just looked at me.  No pleasantries.  No thank you. Just a look.  I was instantly reminded of how we should do our charitable deeds with the Father in mind.  No one else has to see it or even hear it.  God saw and knew what I did.  It just served as a healthy reminder to do it for the right reasons.  Matthew 6:1-4

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Our work is part of our worship.  As we serve the Lord with gladness, we should experience joy in service.   We should find joy and fulfillment in what we do for the Lord.  Our experience should allow us to express ourselves to the Lord in a special way.  The Lord should be able to see our praise within our participation.  Joy should come flowing out of our work.  The magic of expression comes to life as we offer ourselves as a sacrifice of service.  The choices of believers are not limited to KJV versus NIV.  There are some real decisions that we need to make regarding how we will live for Christ.  Let us be found working as apart of our worship, living in faith until we see Christ upon the sounding of the trumpet.   It is when we work for the Lord with our hearts full of compassion and conviction that we truly give God the glory.

In everything we give God the glory.– John Wesley

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God wants your best.  He wants you to give it your best at all times.  Part of what God expects of us is our faithful and obedient effort.  In giving our best, we are not to expect any more of God than what He has already provided.  After all, God has already offered His best when He offered the world salvation through Jesus Christ.  For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.– Hebrews 10:14 (KJV).  As His dear children, anything that we receive beyond His redemption will be considered a blessing indeed.  Thus, we must continually keep God as the focal point of both our words and our works.  Trust God with full faith as you offer your best to God in true Christian service.  We offer our best because He offered His best through the perfect sacrifice in Jesus Christ.100_1219

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