Guidance on Giving

I believe that most Christians give to the church according to their understanding of God’s commands. Others may give depending on how they like the pastor, or if they have no gripes about the elders or deacons or the church budget at the time. Others may refuse to give to the church because they don’t recognize the Giver of all good gifts. Perhaps our study today will help each of us to look deep inside of our own hearts and determine if we are giving to the work of the Lord as commanded by our God.

DATE WRITTEN: Sunday, 2021-08-08
WRITTEN AT: Hattiesburg, MS

SCRIPTURE FROM: Deuteronomy 26:10-12
TRANSLATION: The Voice (VOICE)

BIBLE TEXT: 10 And now I’ve brought the very first produce from the ground that You, the Eternal, have given to me.” Then present the basket to the Eternal your God, and bow down before Him, 11 and celebrate all the good things He has given to you and your household. Be sure to invite the Levites and the foreigners who live in your town to the feast.
12 When you’ve gathered a tenth of your produce at the end of the third year, the year for local tithing, give it to the Levites, the foreigners, the orphans, and the widows who live in your town. Let them come and take as much as they want to eat for as long as these supplies last

APPLICATION: I have read many Scriptures in my day, but this particular chapter had a deep impression on my mind. Moses shared God’s commands with the Israelites as they were about to set out on living in freedom. In the first part of the chapter, the farmers are told to give their first fruits to God. They are to gather them in a basket then take them to the temple. Moses gave them guidance on a prayer they are to say before God; followed by a meal with their family and temple leaders while at the temple; culminating with a time of praise and thanksgiving before the Master. Perhaps farmers do this today and I am just unaware of their private actions, but I believe this would be a far reaching testimony to the church leadership, to farm laborers, and to the family members who join in. In fact, I believe that when God sees that He comes before the bank loan, before the utility companies and before equipment leasing companies, then He will know without a doubt where our heart is. I believe that each of us are well aware of the increasing number of widows, orphans, and church workers who receive little or no income who live in our communities, and we wish we could help them all. But notice in verse 12 that every 3rd year, the first fruits are to be made available to these individuals. Today churches are hesitant to help those in need because they have been ‘burned’ so often through abuse, but wouldn’t it be awesome if others were doing their part, like our local farmers? Now imagine for a moment how a widow would be blessed to hear about a farmer who has fruit that he’s giving away. They arrive at his place of business and just stammer in awe as they try to determine why he is GIVING freely to them. Imagine how they will tell the world how awesome that man of God is! Imagine how his business will flourish because of his obedience to God! Friends, I believe that Satan places so many excuses in our minds that we tend to assume we know better than to follow God at His word. Notice that there were no conditions for the farmer to use in who benefits on that third year, other than their class. We tend to place conditions on who we will tithe to, when our income has reach a level to which we could start tithing, when we will stop tithing, etc, etc. Friends, if not for the grace of God, would we even have an income? Since He blessed us first, shouldn’t we go on blessing Him? God said that we are to give of our first fruits, may I suggest that in obedience to God, that we give freely from our income before doing anything with the remaining 90%. Remember, you can’t out-give God!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Give, and it shall be given to you!

PRAYER: Lord, I’m sure the excuses that we give, must make You sick. To hear a child say ‘Not my hard-earned money’, must really confirm that your blessings have been unappreciated and received vainly. Lord, please remind us each day how You’ve blessed us so that that our hearts may always be filled with praise to our Maker. It’s You oh Lord who have blessed, and who has given everything for our benefit. May we give freely as You have given to us, and may our hearts be filled with praise continually. May our giving be so representative of You that others will see the heart of God as we give, and may they be drawn to You. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

Stop Giving

Imagine receiving a letter from your pastor telling you to stop giving, as the church already has more than enough to adequately perform its ministry needs plus its building fund? Hopefully someone will be nearby to pick you up off the floor after you faint from the news, right?!! But Moses did exactly what I just described. What’s the difference? Let’s examine what God may be saying to us through His Word today about our free will offerings.

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2021-04-20
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Exodus 36:5-7
TRANSLATION: The Message (MSG)

BIBLE TEXT: … “The people are bringing more than enough for doing this work that God has commanded us to do!”
6-7 So Moses sent out orders through the camp: “Men! Women! No more offerings for the building of the Sanctuary!”
The people were ordered to stop bringing offerings! There was plenty of material for all the work to be done. Enough and more than enough.

OBSERVATION: Imagine receiving a letter from your pastor telling you to stop giving, as the church already has more than enough to adequately perform its ministry needs plus its building fund? Hopefully someone will be nearby to pick you up off the floor after you faint from the news, right?!! But Moses did exactly what I just described. What’s the difference? Let’s examine what God may be saying to us through His Word today about our free will offerings.

APPLICATION: Most growing churches looking to build a new sanctuary to meet their current, and projected future needs, will try to build a much larger building than they currently worship in. With today’s cost of living, and current building material costs, conservative estimates are in the millions of dollars to construct a nice church building with all the comfort and amenities congregations have come to demand. It’s just a fact of life in the 21st century! Many churches struggle to meet normal budget needs, so how should they possibly consider finding funds for a mega building? But let us consider what might be the difference between the Israelites Moses dealt with in his building plan, verses today’s church? The Israelites came from a life of slavery in Egypt, and followed a man led by God – Moses, towards an unknown land simply known as The Promised Land (a land promised by God). They were witness to miracle after miracle as God forced the Egyptian king to let the Israelites (slaves) go. Additionally, the Israelites saw additional miracles as God protected them, fed them, and lovingly cared for them during their journey through the Wilderness. God gave them everything they needed, so wouldn’t you assume that they too would give sacrificially now that they are given the opportunity of giving everything needed for the house of God? After all, He provided for their every need when they had no other choice, so wouldn’t He also now provide for their needs as they give sacrificially to His house of praise and worship? But friends, how is this different to what we face today? Can’t you see that the doubts that arise in our minds about committing to give for the work of God, and the excuses that we quickly come up with about giving even more than our tithe for a building fund, are simply Satan’s way of helping us change our priority in giving? After all, don’t we depend on God every day for our jobs, our health, our protection and our peace of mind about finding food for our families? So with that in mind, if we ask God to direct us in our giving towards the growth of His work in our community through our church, don’t you think that He will continue to be God and lead us through each day with all the provisions we need – even after committing to give more to His work? As a child, I remember working extra small jobs and helping my parents in filling our missionary offering box, for their annual Missionary fundraising. I could only imagine that the Israelites may have found innovative ways of raising extra money, such as growing one extra head of cattle, so the funds could go towards the construction of the sanctuary. Surely God could open our eyes to ways that we could also give more for His work/ministry that will ultimately help to reach more lost people in our communities. If we all do our part, perhaps our pastor might be able to do as Moses did, and let the congregants know that ‘we have enough, no need to continue giving the extra funds’! But friends, please continue giving until you receive that word from your church!

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for giving so much to us! You have blessed us with life itself; with jobs; with food enough, even in excess; with good health; money enough to help others in need; and above all, You have offered us salvation – at the expense of Your One and only Son, Jesus. Thank You Lord for Your mercies on me. Please help my readers and I to be mindful of all that You bless us with each day, especially when we try to evaluate what we might give to bless others. Help us to remember the church growth You have blessed us with when we see the need for a larger sanctuary, so that we might also give sacrificially, just as You did for us. Be magnified oh God because of our willingness to give, sacrificially if necessary, for Your ongoing work. May our giving be from a thankful heart filled with love for our Master! AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

Impacts of Giving/Not Giving

It is popular to remind Christians about the blessings that will flow from their giving, but seldom do we hear about the affects of not giving in return for the countless blessings that God bestows on us. However, God had such a conversation through His servant Haggai for his people at Jerusalem, and it was pointed enough to impact me, so I hope that it may also hit close to home for my readers.

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2020-12-22
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: Haggai 1:4-7
TRANSLATION: The Voice (VOICE)

BIBLE TEXT: Do you think the time is right for you to live in secure and lavishly covered homes when My house still lies in a heap of rubble? Think very carefully about your choices. You have planted a large crop, but your harvest is small. You have food to eat, but it is never enough to satisfy. You have something to drink, but you are never filled. You have clothes to wear, but they are not enough to keep you warm. You earn a salary, but the money runs out quickly, as if there are holes in your pocket. Think very carefully about your choices. 

OBSERVATION: It is popular to remind Christians about the blessings that will flow from their giving, but seldom do we hear about the affects of not giving in return for the countless blessings that God bestows on us. However, God had such a conversation through His servant Haggai for his people at Jerusalem, and it was pointed enough to impact me, so I hope that it may also hit close to home for my readers.

APPLICATION: This is a challenging subject to write on, because it hits very close to home long before I could share my thoughts with you and allow it to impact you. You see, I was brought up taking a quarter to place in the offering plate at church. After a few years, I remember that amount increasing to a dollar bill, but never any greater. I won’t dare question whether my parents had more to give us and chose to give less, because their finances were never discussed with the kids. However, by the time I started attending high school, I went to a church that taught tithing a minimum of 10% of my income! After I started working, I remember writing that first tithe check and comparing it to the one dollar bill that I gave prior to that. Wow, what a discussion Satan had with me on that subject! Later in my life, I remember sitting in revival services and being asked to take my wallet out and hold it. The speaker then reminded us that God gave us everything contained in that wallet, so why would we hold back His future blessings by being stingy with the amount we give. I remember looking at my budget, which was already strained, and questioning God as to how would I possibly make this work if I gave 10% of my gross salary. God convinced me that He would bless me as I chose to give freely and happily to Him and His work. I remember times where Satan really used very tight budgeting constraints to try and have me change my tithing, but as soon as I drew closer to God, He convinced me that He was more than able. I apologize for the long personal experiences, but when I read this passage today, I believe that God drew those memories to mind, and I hope they may help you in your spiritual and financial journey. In the Scripture today God acted upon a people that had their priorities wrong. They had money for everything else, except their giving for the ongoing work of the Kingdom. Friends, I can tell you from a church perspective how challenging it becomes for a church to accomplish all they feel God placing before them to do, when the income is just not there. And this sounds much like the situation God recognized with the Israelites and their priority for maintaining His church. I am also aware that many families are struggling, and it sounds an awful lot like what the Israelites faced in the examples given by God in verse 6 of our Scripture. Unfortunately, I could also tell you of many who take care of their personal pleasures first and then, possibly give to God a small portion of what’s left over. Please Brothers and Sisters, know that our Scripture today is showing us that God’s work suffers when: we withhold giving of tithes from our income; when we do not acknowledge that it’s God that we are holding out on when we choose not to give biblically; when we look for excuses why we can’t give a percentage of our income – no matter what that income might be. Friends, I pray that God will forgive me if I walked over the line in judging, but I sincerely pray that He will touch the hearts of His children today and help them see how their mediocracy in giving, results in mediocracy in His blessings. May He never have to discipline us like detailed in verse 6 above, in order to get our attention on giving of the income that He blessed us with. I believe that the God who loves us unconditionally, desires to bless His children beyond anything we could understand or imagine. May we be careful not to place any stumbling blocks that would cause Him to withhold His wondrous blessings.

PRAYER: Lord You are so good to me, and I’m sure You are especially good to many who claim You as Lord and Master. Thank You for getting our attention about the impact of not giving, and reminding us of the blessings You bestow every day on us so that we might give. Lord I pray that You will get the attention of all who might read this devotional. I pray that You will get the attention of those who have chosen not to give generously and willingly to Your work. Please show them Your mighty works and remind them of Your love for them. May each one search deeply inside and put away the excuses they have developed, if they are not giving in line with Your wishes. Praise God we can’t out-give You, for Your awesome love is shown in so many ways. Thank You Heavenly Father for loving and blessing in so many wonderful and surprising ways. Please teach us to love You enough in return that we will give without hesitation to Your work. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog at https://NuggetsFromGodsWord.org that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading or listening to this devotional, please go to the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and see all of my posts, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

At Least 2 Benefits of Your Giving

As a child you may have been given a quarter to through in the offering plate, and that may have increased as time went along, depending on the financial success of your parents. Hopefully as you matured, this idea of giving became more of a partnership with God, and obedience to God. For His Word gives adequate guidance on tithes and offerings. But as we meditate on the Scriptures today, I want us to be reminded that God has promised that He will be even more generous to us, so that we might be more generous to the needs of His ministry here on earth. Let’s anticipate catching on to the generosity of our awesome God, and consequently imitate our God by giving even more through our tithes and offerings.

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2020-06-24
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: 2 Corinthians 9:11-14
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: 11 Yes, God will give you much so that you can give away much, and when we take your gifts to those who need them they will break out into thanksgiving and praise to God for your help. 12 So two good things happen as a result of your gifts—those in need are helped, and they overflow with thanks to God. 13 Those you help will be glad not only because of your generous gifts to themselves and to others, but they will praise God for this proof that your deeds are as good as your doctrine. 14 And they will pray for you with deep fervor and feeling because of the wonderful grace of God shown through you.

OBSERVATION: As a child you may have been given a quarter to through in the offering plate, and that may have increased as time went along, depending on the financial success of your parents. Hopefully as you matured, this idea of giving became more of a partnership with God, and obedience to God. For His Word gives adequate guidance on tithes and offerings. But as we meditate on the Scriptures today, I want us to be reminded that God has promised that He will be even more generous to us, so that we might be more generous to the needs of His ministry here on earth. Let’s anticipate catching on to the generosity of our awesome God, and consequently imitate our God by giving even more through our tithes and offerings.

APPLICATION: Perhaps we should dispel a few myths that Christians in our generation tend to hang on to in their giving: a). I disagree with church leaders about supporting a certain cause, and since I never attend a business meeting to have my say on the matter, I will just stop giving. Perhaps then they will not have enough money to continue supporting that cause; b). The church is sitting on way more money than I have in the bank, so I will ease up on my giving and force them to use some of their own funds to fund the operating account for a while; c). I have found a needy friend that I will give my tithes to, until further notice. It’s a godly purpose, for God wants us to care for the needy; d). Unfortunately, I have run up a lot of debt and don’t have enough free cash remaining to support my church – tithes and offering; e). I have never given the church more than $99.99 at one time, so there is no way that I will fork over a check for $1,000 for that recent gift left in my dad’s will for me. I may give $100, but no more. Friends, I have a few questions for us to consider: 1). Is there anything in the Scriptures about any of the above examples? 2). Might we be ok doing any of the above and find a good explanation for God to support our actions? And 3). Do you suppose that God will still give you more for you to do more of the same that you’ve been doing? A great reminder for us every day is that we can’t out-give God! However, to know that two great blessings result from our giving, is super exciting: 1). Those in need are helped, and 2). Those who receive will sing great praises to their King for His goodness. You see, God never expects us to give because of the praise we might receive from our giving. Instead, recipients will sing praises to the King of glory! So let me encourage you today dear friend, to give from a heart that has been blessed already by the bountiful gifts of our Maker. Know that you are giving to the work of the Lord, not for the use, or abuse of church leaders. Your church leaders are answerable to God, because they were put in place by Him (according to Scripture). You do your part, and allow them to do theirs, for you both will answer to God for your faithfulness to the tasks assigned to you here on earth. Lastly, let me suggest that you place priority on things that you will use your income for. God is my priority, so I choose daily to give Him the first fruits of my income, knowing that He will meet my needs in the other areas of my budget as I place my faith and trust in Him. If you are not already doing something similar, please consider making God first in all aspects of your life, especially in your finances. Others who are blessed will praise God for all that you gave!

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for giving to me, thy great salvation so rich and free! Thank You also for blessing me financially! I am far from rich in the eyes of mankind, but You have given me more than enough to meet my daily obligations and to give of my tithes and offerings for the work of Your church and the needs of our community. Thank You for being such a generous God. Please touch the hearts of my readers as they evaluate their status on giving, and their true relationship with You. May we all place You first in all aspects of our lives, especially in the area of our finances, so that You may be lifted up by all mankind as they seek to know You personally and receive the free gift of eternal life. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog at https://NuggetsFromGodsWord.org that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading or listening to this devotional, please go to the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and see all of my posts, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

The Miracle of Giving From Fully Surrendered Saints

I believe that bank lenders may tend look at proposals from churches to build a multi-million dollar sanctuary, and they may wonder if the leaders have lost all sense of smart thinking and accountability. I believe the world looks at a congregation moving into a new building complex and they begin to evaluate internally if there are some drug runners attending that church, because they just can’t believe their own eyes that the congregation could afford such an elaborate building. Meditate with me on these verses from 2 Corinthians and let’s be reminded of how our Mighty God works in scenarios where His saints look to Him as the all-powerful, awesome God that He is!

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2020-06-23
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: 2 Corinthians 8:1-5
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: Now I want you to know, dear brothers and sisters,[a] what God in his kindness has done through the churches in Macedonia. They are being tested by many troubles, and they are very poor. But they are also filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed in rich generosity. For I can testify that they gave not only what they could afford, but far more. And they did it of their own free will. They begged us again and again for the privilege of sharing in the gift for the believers in Jerusalem.[b] They even did more than we had hoped, for their first action was to give themselves to the Lord and to us, just as God wanted them to do.

OBSERVATION: I believe that bank lenders may tend look at proposals from churches to build a multi-million dollar sanctuary, and they may wonder if the leaders have lost all sense of smart thinking and accountability. I believe the world looks at a congregation moving into a new building complex and they begin to evaluate internally if there are some drug runners attending that church, because they just can’t believe their own eyes that the congregation could afford such an elaborate building. Meditate with me on these verses from 2 Corinthians and let’s be reminded of how our Mighty God works in scenarios where His saints look to Him as the all-powerful, awesome God that He is!

APPLICATION: Notice a few very interesting points in these verses. While reviewing the facts surrounding the unexpected gifts from these churches in Macedonia, Paul immediately pointed out these were very poor churches, with various troubles going on at the time. Now, if we were to have God bless these hurting people, we would probably tell God to please settle their troubles for them so that their burdens might become lighter. We might also tell God to give them sufficient money to meet their needs so that they may not have an added financial strain on them. But how many of us would ever think of asking God to encourage them to give more. Never in a million years would we think of something so extraordinary. But fellow believers, let’s be reminded today of the awesome God that we serve. When people who are blessed beyond measure financially give, we tend to praise God for them. However, when the poorest congregations out give the churches in a community, we could only praise God for miraculously using them as His agents of hope, and to richly bless them in giving. It becomes very evident that it is only God, and nothing, or no one else who could be lifted up for the gifts that result. I believe that the most significant words in these verses come from verse 5, where Paul explains how the saints gained the attention of their Master – they gave themselves to God first, then they gave themselves to the leaders God had chosen to lead them through this special time in their lives, and the life of His church. In various denominations today churches are ruled in various ways. Some are Pastor led; some are Elder led; and some are directed and led by the church body. Regardless, the churches gave themselves to their leaders. I believe this means that they committed to God that because they were praying so consistently, persistently and regularly for His representatives/leaders at their church, they would be comfortable following God’s direction or theirs. It seems evident to me that God saw the humility of His saints in these churches; He knew the needs that existed in their community; and He knew their hearts cry to give generously for the work of the Lord, even if they had no idea where the money was coming from. God knew that His blessings would not be overlooked or abused by these congregations, and that they would be humble in allowing Him to give generously through them to this important cause. So where do we go wrong in our churches today? Of course, the church is made up of people, so we must ponder what has gone south, or wrong, with God’s people today? I would dare say that we struggle in getting over ourselves. I’m not sure if we truly know what it means to fully surrender to God, much less to each other. Friends, our Father is the giver of all good and faithful gifts from above, but He’s not a robot for which we turn on a switch for gifts to flow in certain areas of our lives. Through a one-on-one relationship with Jesus our Savior, He knows our every need and He knows when we need something, and how much we need. He needs no directing from us. He simply needs our dedication to Him and our total trust in Him. He will supply all our needs, and it will be obvious to the world that our giving is far greater than anything we could possibly come up with. Let’s look for the opportunities to lift up our God and sing His praises. As He is lifted up, He will draw all men unto Himself. May I encourage you today dear friend, to surrender your all to Jesus, and allow Him to be God in every way. He will be praised for His awesome works!

PRAYER: Dearest Lord Jesus, we stand humbly before You acknowledging that we are nothing without You. In spite of the many needs that we feel like we have, yet You are so very capable of doing it again – giving generously through a people that have no means to give. Make it obvious Lord that You are in control, and that You alone can fulfill our every need. There is so much that we want to do in the name of ministry, but You alone know what and when something is needed so that Your mighty works might be accomplished. In Your time; in Your space and through Your awesome power, please have Your will and way in our lives, so that we may meet the needs of our community – especially their need for a Savior. Bless as only You can, in Your perfect timing! AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog at https://NuggetsFromGodsWord.org that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading or listening to this devotional, please go to the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and see all of my posts, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

Giving In Response to God’s Instructions

Perhaps one of the most controversial matters in a church is discussions around the subject of giving. Whether it’s how much we should give, or the ways that the church leadership spends the money, or how much the pastor is paid. But unless we miss the whole point of whether Christians should give, or the point of how much we should freely give, let us seek guidance from the Word of God. Our Scripture today is a good example of an individual not giving in a way pleasing to God. Perhaps this is something that God had planned to deal with you on today, so ask Him to help you place self aside while you meditate on His Word for a few minutes.

Friday, 2019-12-27

Bible Reference: Acts 5:3
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text: God revealed their secret to Peter,[b] so he said to him, “Ananias, why did you let Satan fill your heart and make you think you could lie to the Holy Spirit? You only pretended to give it all, yet you hid back part of the proceeds from the sale of your property to keep for yourselves.

OBSERVATION: Perhaps one of the most controversial matters in a church is discussions around the subject of giving. Whether it’s how much we should give, or the ways that the church leadership spends the money, or how much the pastor is paid. But unless we miss the whole point of whether Christians should give, or the point of how much we should freely give, let us seek guidance from the Word of God. Our Scripture today is a good example of an individual not giving in a way pleasing to God. Perhaps this is something that God had planned to deal with you on today, so ask Him to help you place self aside while you meditate on His Word for a few minutes.

APPLICATION: Isn’t it interesting how……When we pray in times of trouble we seem convinced that God hears our cry, that He knows all about our troubles, and that He will take care of us and see us through our difficulty? Praise God He is such an awesome God, and He Cares for us in that way. But isn’t it strange how we pick and choose what we will share with our loving God? When it comes to tithing, I am convinced that our churches will never have another budget shortage, if God’s children would be diligent in their tithing/giving, as instructed in God’s Word. So what do you suppose might be the problem, child of God? Are we really putting the Lord’s Spirit to the test like Ananias and Sapphira did? Are we trying to pull one off on God, like we try to do with our government when we file our taxes or pay our import duties? Please allow me to simply clarify what I feel like God instructs us in His Word about giving, from the earnings that He has blessed us to receive. A guide is given to us of at least 10% of the first fruits of our income. In other words, 10% of our gross income, or before anything else is taken out. The discussion around this will often arise from individuals who feel like taxes should come out before calculating the tithe, or their house mortgage or other bills should come out first. But then God could also come back to us and show where He gave to us right from the very best that He had – His one and only Son. Friends, please allow me to assure you, that we could never out-give God, also, that God will care for His kids who makes every effort to be obedient to His commands and His calling. We may give and not have a clue where the money will come from to meet all the bills that are due, but when we are obedient to God, He will provide a way even when there appears to be no way. God will never ask us to give, then turn His back on us when it comes to meeting the remaining needs that we have. Ananias and Sapphira got into trouble when they thought that they were hiding something from God, and that their lie would never be detected. Of course God knew what was happening and He shared that with His servant (Peter). Are you also testing God, by keeping your income a secret? Remember, God knows all things. There is no hiding from Him. Also remember that you will never be disappointed with the blessings from God when you’re honest before Him and obedient to His commands. When He owns all of you, He will never fail you. Testing Him, is allowing Satan to interfere and have a ‘piece of the pie’. God never blesses you halfheartedly, He blesses you abundantly more that you can ever imagine! That’s our loving God my friend!

PRAYER: Thank You loving Lord for giving Your ultimate sacrifice just for me – Your precious Son, Jesus. Thank you for giving guidance to us on what we should give in return to You. Please help Your children to stay true to You, regardless of what our worldly eyes might see as impossibilities in our limited view as mere humans. Lord, we honestly want to please You in every way possible, but the temptations of this world are so great that we need Your help to keep our eyes fixed on You, and our hearts determined to honor and love You in every way possible. Oh that our hearts may be moved in such a way, that our wallets will be opened to giving as You direct us to. Thank You Lord for first giving to us. As we give back to You, may we never regret giving towards Your will and Your work here on earth, that results in kingdom benefits for You. AMEN!

We Have Enough!

In your minds, I would like for you to imagine that you are looking at your neighbor in church when the pastor announces that he wants the congregation to STOP GIVING, because the building fund is fully funded and there is no need for additional funds! Can you imagine the shock? Yet in our time together today we will see where Moses did exactly that – he told the people that there was no need of additional gifts, for there was enough given already! Let’s dig in to learn more about this strange idea!!

Tuesday, 2019-10-22

Bible Reference: Exodus 36:4-7
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text:  4 Finally the craftsmen who were working on the sanctuary left their work. 5 They went to Moses and reported, “The people have given more than enough materials to complete the job the Lord has commanded us to do!” 6 So Moses gave the command, and this message was sent throughout the camp: “Men and women, don’t prepare any more gifts for the sanctuary. We have enough!” So the people stopped bringing their sacred offerings. 7 Their contributions were more than enough to complete the whole project.

OBSERVATION: In your minds, I would like for you to imagine that you are looking at your neighbor in church when the pastor announces that he wants the congregation to STOP GIVING, because the building fund is fully funded and there is no need for additional funds! Can you imagine the shock? Yet in our time together today we will see where Moses did exactly that – he told the people that there was no need of additional gifts, for there was enough given already! Let’s dig in to learn more about this strange idea!!

APPLICATION:  I wonder why things may have changed? Whether we talk to an individual or a well established church, there always seems to be a cry for help in their financial needs. First of all in our Scripture today, it is clear that not all of the people freely gave to the cause. In 2:21 we are told that those whose hearts were stirred by the message from God through Moses, responded to the plea for help in providing material for the building project. This sounds pretty much like our churches today, don’t you think? As a result of surveys, we are told that less than 20% of the people do more than 80% of the giving! So why have the others ignored the plea? Friends, I believe that the Word of God is clear on this. Just as the Word tells us that if we humble ourselves and pray, then God would save our nation, I believe that many of us need to humble ourselves to recognize that we have nothing personally to brag about. It is because of God’s grace that we have the health to work, the job to go to, and the income to survive. If we truly acknowledge that fact, why would we withhold giving to God in proportion to what He has blessed us with? The Word gives us guidance – at least 10%. Because there are other biblical references to ‘first fruits’, I believe that the guidance actually refers to 10% of your gross income. Now because our relationship is one built around love, I don’t believe that we would dare use this as a legalistic demand. People ‘in love’ will generally give freely, and way more than might be expected of them. In a love relationship, there is no such thing as excuses why we can’t give 110% of ourselves to our mate. Should there be an excuse, or a reason, when it comes to giving to our Lord and His earthly work? Don’t you know that if each person in our congregations gave like this, that our pastors would frequently be faced with an overflow of income, where pastors and church leaders could decide to expand the ministry after meeting all the needs that they are aware of? We are told that more than 70% of our county have no church affiliation, or relationship with Jesus Christ, so is there a need to to expand our ministries? God may hold us accountable for not giving as we should to reach the lost. Furthermore, I believe that the stress level on our pastors will be drastically reduced, when they don’t have to worry about funding the projects that God has shown them might be necessary to grow the ministry. When we receive our paycheck, there is no negotiating on amounts taken out for government taxes, why should there be constant decision making on how much to give towards God’s work? Determine in your own heart how much you will give and stick to the plan Brother and Sister. We are promised that we will receive more than we could ever imagine or expect. Furthermore, we will receive in proportion to what we have given. May I encourage you to always expect more from God, knowing that you have given in abundance towards His work? Furthermore, rejoice, knowing your loving and all powerful God will abundantly bless you and meet your needs!

PRAYER: Father, it is exciting to see how You work. We give to bless others, yet You wind up also blessing us in return! There just isn’t a way that we can out-give You! Thank You for being so generous, loving and kind to us! I would say that we are so undeserving, but then I am reminded that even while we were undeserving, You sent Your only Son as a sacrifice for us, so that we might have a chance at eternal life in heaven with You. Thank You Father! Thank You Jesus, Son of God! Lord may we learn to give in similar fashion – regardless of whether we feel the receiver or the project is worthy of our love, may we react in obedience to Your will for us. Please bless us as we give, so that our own needs may be met each and every day. May souls be touched for You because of our obedience in giving. I ask these things humbly, although undeserving, but in the powerful name of our all-giving Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, AMEN!

Why Discipline?

I’m sure that the Israelites must have thought, and no doubt complained about the necessity for discipline by God, if He (supposedly) loved them so much. Isn’t it interesting that we still hear that happening today? let’s meditate on this today and consider the qualities we have gained because of discipline.

Wednesday, 2019-07-10

Bible Reference: Deuteronomy 8:2-3
Translation: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Bible Text: And you must remember the entire trip that the Lord your God has led you through these 40 years in the desert. He was testing you. He wanted to make you humble. He wanted to know what is in your heart. He wanted to know if you would obey his commands. He humbled you and let you be hungry. Then he fed you with manna—something you did not know about before. It was something your ancestors had never seen. Why did the Lord do this? Because he wanted you to know that it is not just bread that keeps people alive. People’s lives depend on what the Lord says.

OBSERVATION: I’m sure that the Israelites must have thought, and no doubt complained about the necessity for discipline by God, if He (supposedly) loved them so much. Isn’t it interesting that we still hear that happening today? let’s meditate on this today and consider the qualities we have gained because of discipline.

APPLICATION: Surely you’re no different to me, in that you hated to hear your mom and/or dad say how it pained them to discipline you! For we always thought ‘then why do it?’!! As adults we now know that to discipline shows love, caring and concern for the individual you are disciplining. The easy thing to do, is to ignore the issue and hope that things will get better. But to care enough about the individual to correct them and possibly discipline them, shows that you love them enough to want them to succeed in life, and to be the best individual they could possibly be. When disciplined at home, it becomes easier for our children to respect and understand the need for discipline by an employer. None of us like to be disciplined, but let’s look at why God thought it was necessary for the Israelites. As His chosen people, God couldn’t stand it that they were being mistreated in Egypt, so in cooperation with their leaders, God decided to get them out of there and into a very chosen place that He had prepared for them. Because of their ungratefulness and disrespect during their journey, God disciplined His children in a few serious ways – food, water, obstacles in the path they traveled, etc. And time and time again, God showed love and deliverance for His people. In our verses today, the Israelites are being reminded of what they should have gained from those challenging times of discipline. And I believe that God wants to use these words to remind us of the same thing today. Like the Israelites, we are a spoiled and rotten people. We want, we want, and we want, but oh how seldom do we ever stop to recognize all that God has provided, and how He has taught us along this path called ‘life’. Do we have time to visit the sick or help the poor, or are we too busy tending shop? In other words, are we so caught up in the many material things of life, that we have no time, love, or respect for God, to seek out the needs of others? God disciplined the Israelites because He wanted them to know that there were more important things in life than their stomachs, their material things, and their selfish desires. He wanted them to see, and I believe that He wants us to also learn, that it is the very words of God that teaches us about LIFE, and not at all about what we have, what we see, or what we want. So what’s important in this life to you my friend? Would it require a good dose of discipline by the Almighty God to help us refocus on the really important things in this life? Why not stop, listen and obey today, for there’s no other way, but to trust in our Lord, and obey His commands!

PRAYER: Thank You precious Lord for the many gifts that You shower on us each and every day. Thank You for those times that You stop us in our tracks and, through loving discipline, You redirect us to the things of Christ. May we have that same kind of love for our brethren, for there are so many in need all around us today. We are often so caught up in protecting all that we have gained, that often we lose track of praise, honor and glory that is so deserving of the One who has blessed us. Thank You dear Lord. Please touch our hearts today. Draw us close to You and help us to use all that You have blessed us with, to bless others in return.. AMEN!

How To Give Your Two Cents Worth

No doubt you have always given your ‘two cents worth’ in every conversation you overheard! But in today’s Scripture we can see where two cents was everything that this poor widow had, yet she gave it for the work of the Lord in the temple. Still today people give from their abundance, while others give out of deep gratitude to all they have been blessed with, no matter how small that may seem to some. Let us meditate on this one little illustration that made it into the Gospel. Let us truly understand all about how we may apply this illustration to our lives today.

Saturday, 2019-05-25

Bible Reference: Mark 12:41-44
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text: 41 Then he sat down near the offering box, watching all the people dropping in their coins. Many of the rich would put in very large sums, 42 but a destitute widow walked up and dropped in two small copper coins, worth less than a penny. 43 Jesus called his disciples to gather around and then said to them, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has given a larger offering than any of the wealthy. 44 For the rich only gave out of their surplus, but she sacrificed out of her poverty and gave to God all that she had to live on, which was everything she had.”

OBSERVATION: No doubt you have always given your ‘two cents worth’ in every conversation you overheard! But in today’s Scripture we can see where two cents was everything that this poor widow had, yet she gave it for the work of the Lord in the temple. Still today people give from their abundance, while others give out of deep gratitude to all they have been blessed with, no matter how small that may seem to some. Let us meditate on this one little illustration that made it into the Gospel. Let us truly understand all about how we may apply this illustration to our lives today.

APPLICATION: I believe that all of us could look in on this story and conclude that God wants our very best, and He wants us to give willingly and freely. Imagine for a moment that someone blesses you with enough money to pay all of your expenses for the rest of the year. Would you be forever thankful? I bet you would be besides yourself with gratitude, right? But wait a moment, this gracious person who blessed you has asked for your help on Saturday afternoon while the game is on, plus you have already invited friends over to party with you during the game broadcast on television. So what will you do? How will you respond? There’s no right or wrong answers, this was intended to help you examine your heart for its level of gratefulness. After you have pondered those few questions, now stop to ponder your feelings when you’re paid for your hard work and for the stress you’ve encountered at work. How willing are you to commit to God a portion of what He has blessed you with financially? Remember, He opened all the doors for you to get that job, and He has truly touched the heart of your boss to give you good increases each year. Because of your good health, you have been able to handle your work each and every day. So do you suppose that it was more than anything you could personally have achieved, that made you succeed at work and earn a good income? Since God partnered with you, don’t you feel like you should return thanks to Him by sharing generously from all that your boss paid to you? Friends, we serve an awesome God. He blesses us in ways that we could only imagine; He loves us, in spite of our selfish and conceited attitudes; He provides for us when we wonder where the next dime is coming from. He’s our Almighty; All-powerful; All-loving; awesome God, that sacrificed even His own Son for our eternal benefit. What is it that we would withhold from Him and/or His mission in our family, our church and our community? His Word is specific of where we should give financially, and His Word also gives us a good guide for the amount we should give. In His Word God tells us that we will be blessed in return for our willingness to give. Be blessed today my friend, and give to God’s work freely, lovingly, and with a happy heart. We could never outgive God. And we know that God is pleased when He sees His children show their gratitude in giving freely to His earthly cause. With our hearts in the right place, we will not only give financially to the work of our Master, but we will be much more apt to give of ourselves in His service. So let’s imitate the widow in our story today, by giving of our ‘two cents’, even if it is our last two cents.

PRAYER: Thank you Lord Jesus for giving everything to us. There is nothing that You withheld, and we are forever grateful for Your precious love in blessing us each and every day. May this lesson of the poor widow invoke a new sense of release inside all of us, so that we may give freely from our financial resources and of our time that has become such a precious commodity anymore. It’s all Yours dear Lord, please help us to be open in responding in ways that will please You. Please continue to bless us, and make us channels of blessings; ones that will give and give, back to Your mission here on earth. AMEN!

More Than Enough

Moses obviously had the secret for encouraging his people to give towards projects ordained by God. Think about the difference between the challenges we face today, and the overflow that Moses experienced. What’s the difference? Let us meditate on that today!

Thursday, 2019-04-04

Bible Reference: Exodus 36:3-5
Translation: GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

Bible Text: Moses turned over to them all the contributions the Israelites had brought for the work of constructing the holy place. But the people still kept bringing him freewill offerings every morning. Finally, all the skilled craftsmen who were working on the holy place stopped what they were doing. They all came to Moses. They said, “The people are bringing much more than we need for doing the work the Lord commanded us to do.”

OBSERVATION: Moses obviously had the secret for encouraging his people to give towards projects ordained by God. Think about the difference between the challenges we face today, and the overflow that Moses experienced. What’s the difference? Let us meditate on that today!

APPLICATION: What are you finding are the greatest financial challenges at your church, and in your own life? Are you and your church convinced that God has you on a mission for Him? Are you just as convinced when you feel collectively that He is wanting to see you continue expanding your ministry for the purpose of ministering to more in your community who need to know Him as Lord? What are some of the first obstacles that you think of? Provisions are probably right at the top of the list, because I believe that we take our eyes off the ministry needs that God prompted us towards, and we begin looking inward towards how will we provide the buildings and people to accomplish the associated growth that God calls us to. For you see, when God calls us to a mission that He ordains, He knows exactly what we will need to pull that ministry off. We suddenly see certain people showing up, that may later become helpers, and we may even see giving increase. We may see miracles increase, as God draws us closer to the Miracle Worker, and grows our faith to lean on Him rather than the limited resources that we often see through the limitations of mere man. Friends, wouldn’t it be awesome to hear your pastor say one morning at church, that it’s OK that you limit your giving, as the church has been extremely blessed financially and currently not only meeting its own budget, but have been helping many other needs that it is aware of! I believe that Moses showed us that if we believe in the Lord, our God, to direct our path, reach the lost in our community, and grow the church for His glory, then let’s not think for a moment that He will call us to increased ministry without having a well defined plan on how we will accomplish the housing of that ministry and the workers to accomplish the work. Is it not a simple act of faith, in knowing that if He calls us to it, He will see us through it? How’s your faith my friend? Do you have to see it to believe, or do you actually have faith to believe in our awesome God?

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for Your blessings on me. Thank You Lord for blessing the ministries of Your local churches in my area. Oh that we would always keep our eyes fixed on You, and not allow the distractions of this world to hold us back in accomplishing all that You call us to do. Lord, we are Yours, and we want You to accomplish Your work in our midst. We humble ourselves before You and ask that You use even us in Your ministry to reach the lost in our communities. AMEN!