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 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. 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 you 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 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. 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 you 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!

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. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would highly recommend to you Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

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!

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. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would highly recommend to you Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

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!

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. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

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!

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. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

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!

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. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Kingdom Giving

I find it fascinating that the Bible gives us direction from our Father on every aspect of life. However, we often hear people say that they don’t want to be told about their giving, because what they give ‘is their business alone’. God is very thorough in His Word though, for he tells us what we should do, even in our giving. Let’s meditate today on this very sensitive aspect of every person’s life.

Monday, 2019-01-14

Bible Reference: Matthew 6:3-4
Translation: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Bible Text:  So when you give to the poor, don’t let anyone know what you are doing.[a Your giving should be done in private. Your Father can see what is done in private, and he will reward you.

OBSERVATION: I find it fascinating that the Bible gives us direction from our Father on every aspect of life. However, we often hear people say that they don’t want to be told about their giving, because what they give ‘is their business alone’. God is very thorough in His Word though, for he tells us what we should do, even in our giving. Let’s meditate today on this very sensitive aspect of every person’s life.

APPLICATION: This is probably one of the most sensitive matters that a pastor can preach on, as parishioners often allow this subject to not only challenge their hearts, but they tend to start comparing what they give to what they believe others are giving, with hopes that they could feel better about themselves. In the business world, giving to any need in the community is a marketing opportunity, because the business owner wants you to know that they are giving back to the community from all that they make off you, in profits. Of course, this is done to help you feel good about such a company, and therefore spend even more money with them! For individuals, we might often see a case of public display, because some feel good about the public praise they receive wherever they go. So what about the Christian, for that’s what most readers of this blog will look for. I believe there are two aspects that we need to seek God’s guidance on. First of all, how much do we give to the church? I believe it is clear in God’s Word that we should joyously give at least 10% of our gross earthly income, and that it should be given to your local church, with no strings attached. I was once told by an attorney that in my will, I was trying to control well beyond the grave!!! Unfortunately, we tend to think a lot like that when it comes to church finances, for we find fault with how the offerings/funds are being used and, of course, since we have all the right answers (from a distance), we feel like we should designate our giving to make sure it is spent in an area that we feel good about. Friends, giving unconditionally, or to undesignated funds, is the 10% tithe that’s directed in God’s Word. Secondly, we may want to give to a ‘Designated Fund’ such as missions, or any other fund, but that’s over and above your tithe. But why can’t I give my tithe so that ‘Suzi’ could put a roof on her house, you might ask? Why, is there a trust issue with your church’s financial team? Please don’t forget who that team answers to – the same God that you will answer to on Judgment Day. These types of designated giving, or to any other special need that God may place on your heart, these are freewill offerings that you are free to do at will. However, our Scripture today warns us about giving for personal gain, or personal recognition/praise/glory. As a child of God, the only glory that should really matter to us, is the reward mentioned in verse 4 today. No one on earth may ever know what you may have given to various needy people or projects, but to hear the Master tell us how He saw all that we gave, and how proud He was, and is of us, will be worth it all. So when we give my friend, let’s learn to give as unto the Lord. Sure, it may help an earthly need, but only God needs to know that it was us who gave as a result of all that He blessed us with.

PRAYER: For the awesome gifts that You have blessed us with oh Lord, we say thank You. Often we feel so undeserving Oh Lord, but to be able to share those gifts with others in need, is so rewarding. Please speak to my readers, and reemphasize in my life, the importance of helping the needy and giving a committed amount back to You, in return for the 100% earnings that You made possible for me/us. Please continue to bless in the same amazing ways that we can already attest to from past experience. You are our good, good God, to whom we owe our total selves and every blessing that You send our way. Lord, may we follow in Your example and bless others beyond all measure. 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. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Share More When You Make More!

Paul gets right to the point about a controversial item in his day. No doubt Paul was faced with envy by some of his church members, one towards another, because of the varying amounts that each could afford to give. Paul addressed this, and because this is still such a hot topic in today’s church, I want us to look deeper into this today.

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   2 Corinthians 9:6-8 (Voice)

TEXT:  But I will say this to encourage your generosity: the one who plants little harvests little, and the one who plants plenty harvests plenty. Giving grows out of the heart—otherwise, you’ve reluctantly grumbled “yes” because you felt you had to or because you couldn’t say “no,” but this isn’t the way God wants it. For we know that “God loves a cheerful giver.” God is ready to overwhelm you with more blessings than you could ever imagine so that you’ll always be taken care of in every way and you’ll have more than enough to share.

OBSERVATION:   Paul gets right to the point about a controversial item in his day. No doubt Paul was faced with envy by some of his church members, one towards another, because of the varying amounts that each could afford to give. Paul addressed this, and because this is still such a hot topic in today’s church, I want us to look deeper into this today.

APPLICATION:   I believe that we must first look at the example of God to derive our understanding of giving, then perhaps we could understand why we should give, how much we should give, and with what attitude we should give. Bible scholars will know that throughout the Old Testament, people found the need to sacrifice something to God, hoping that in return He would bless them. God saw many flaws with this, so in the New Testament, in John 3:16 God declared that He gave His very own Son (Jesus) as a sacrifice for our sin once and for all. Like any gift ever given to us, our part is to take delivery, or accept that gift, in an attitude of thanksgiving, and make it ours. Of course, we approach the throne, filled with the stains of this world, so we beg for forgiveness and ask Jesus to come into our heart and make us more like Him every day. Once the Holy Spirit enters the heart of a believer, I believe that our conscience becomes very sensitive to the gifts of the Master.  For example, already today I can thank God for the ability to ‘rise and shine’; the opportunity to share the Word with you guys; a job that I could give of myself to my employer so that, in turn, I could earn income to support my family, and give to the needs of God’s children and His church. As shared above, the Christian will normally desire to be more like Jesus every day. So when the subject of giving arises, how much should we give, compared to what Jesus gave? Jesus was willing to give right on up to life itself, as He did on the cross. In today’s society, we know that we could give of our finances and we could give of ourselves in service. God gives us an example of how much we could give financially, but as seen in our verses today, He wants us to give in an attitude of thankfulness and happiness. But how much should I give Brother Ed, because none of us could really give it all like Jesus did for us. I’m so glad you asked, because the Bible suggests that we give 10%. OK, is that 10% of our spendable money – in other words, after paying all of our bills? Friends, that is something you will decide between you and the Lord, but I give based on my gross salary. After all, God blessed me with it all and while I have obligation to our government for taxes and to repay my loans, none of that would would have been possible had God not blessed me with my job and the good health to do things, like work. There was nothing that was discounted when Jesus went to the cross, He actually gave it all. He has promised to meet all of our needs, if we trust Him, so don’t let Satan tell you otherwise.

PRAYER:   To my all giving, all generous, blessed Savior, thank You for giving, so that I may live eternally with You and the Father. Thankfully You’ve blessed my readers and I with so much, that we want to follow Your example in giving back to Your work here on earth and, in turn, bless those in our community that are much more challenged than we are. Please teach us to follow You faithfully; to give generously; to love unconditionally; and to bless Your work financially; just as You have blessed us in earning the money. May we be obedient in all things, even as you were obedient right up to and including Your cruel death on the cross. May we shine as a Christ-follower, especially in our generosity and obedience to Your Word. 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 could 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 to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

 

Show How Blessed You Are

The Israelites received guidance from Moses on where they should worship, when, how and why. Other than the sacrifices, where Jesus offered Himself as a living sacrifice for us, I believe the other guidance that Moses felt led of God to share with his people are still very much in line with what we should still be doing today. The point today of giving in return for the blessings you receive, is one that we will look closer at and attempt to apply to our lives today.

Post Date:

Saturday, 2017-07-15
SCRIPTURE

From:

Deuteronomy 16:16-17 (NCV)

Text:

 16 ….No man should come before the Lord without a gift. 17 Each of you must bring a gift that will show how much the Lord your God has blessed you.
OBSERVATION:
The Israelites received guidance from Moses on where they should worship, when, how and why. Other than the sacrifices, where Jesus offered Himself as a living sacrifice for us, I believe the other guidance that Moses felt led of God to share with his people are still very much in line with what we should still be doing today. The point today of giving in return for the blessings you receive, is one that we will look closer at and attempt to apply to our lives today.
APPLICATION:
I would imagine that there are some out there that give to the work of the Lord for various reasons, like giving because of promises by preachers that you would be healed, or that you will get rich. Some to avoid shame when the offering plate is passed, so that you will not be looked at strangely if you put nothing at all in it. Some may not give because they feel like churches or pastors are out to get rich quick from the gifts of even the poorest members. Or because you never have enough money for yourself each paycheck after paying your bills, so why should you short yourself to give to the church? These are probably just the ‘tip of the iceberg’ on excuses you have either heard or used before, but friends, our direction comes from God’s Word. Throughout His Word He teaches that those who love Him, or know Him, or who are His, are those who obey His commands. The guide given in verse 17 above, is that we give in line with how we’ve been blessed. Notice that there is no other calculation used? Here’s a personal testimony: When I became a tither, the biggest hurdle for me was to switch from a $1 offering in the plate as it passed, to actually giving 10% of my paycheck. There were times when funds got so tight that old Satan would make me question why am I doing this crazy giving thing? But God always saw me through, and He blessed me day after day. No He didn’t make me rich in money, but rather rich in blessings. Later in my Christian walk, an evangelist spoke on giving to God from our financial resources. In his closing prayer, he had us take our wallets out of our pocket, hold them in our hands before God, as we prayed for direction on our giving in relation to our blessings. God clearly reminded me that He had blessed me with my whole paycheck, and not just the net amount after taxes, loan payments, etc. At a time when funds were already challenging, I trusted God to see me through this change in the amount that I surrendered to Him. In no way is this bragging on anything special about this old born again sinner, but I would like you to know that God has held my hand and helped me through every financial challenge, AND blessed me enormously in my everyday life. Is God proud of the way you recognize His blessings to you? If He went strictly by the percentage you gave to Him unreservedly, and out of total obedience to His Word, would He consider you to be a totally appreciative person? If God blessed you strictly based on the amount you give to Him, do you suppose your blessings would increase, or decrease? Friends, let me assure you, our God is a very giving God. You can’t out-give Him, and I strongly believe that He will bless you even more as He recognizes that you are giving honestly and in response to His matchless blessings to you!
PRAYER:
Lord, how could we ever give enough to show our appreciation for all that You willingly and generously give to us? Lord, please help us to always give back to You out of love and in proportion to all that You have blessed us with, and never in response to what we feel that our church leaders may fail at. We want to be blessed by You, so we give to You. As You direct us to elect Your leaders to lead Your church, I have no doubt that You will place trusted leaders to mind Your flock and provide for the spiritual welfare of Your flock and our community. Thank You for giving so overwhelmingly to us Lord. May we give in proportion to all that You give to us. 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 could 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 to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!