The Results Of Giving

I pray that one more discussion on ‘giving’ will not provoke you to avoid today’s blog and move on to something more joyful and self-gratifying. For I found this reminder more rewarding in being reminded of the results of my giving. I believe that in sharing this with you today, we will all reaffirm our reason for giving to God’s work and purposes. Seek God’s direction on this as you meditate with me. Let Him direct you for any changes that need to occur in your life as it regards giving.

DATE POSTED Wednesday, 2022-08-10
WRITTEN AT: O’Brien, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: 2 Corinthians 9:7-8; 11-13;
TRANSLATION: Good News Translation (GNT)

BIBLE TEXT: You should each give, then, as you have decided, not with regret or out of a sense of duty; for God loves the one who gives gladly. And God is able to give you more than you need, so that you will always have all you need for yourselves and more than enough for every good cause. 
11 He will always make you rich enough to be generous at all times, so that many will thank God for your gifts …. 12 For this service you perform not only meets the needs of God’s people, but also produces an outpouring of gratitude to God. 13 And because of the proof which this service of yours brings, many will give glory to God for your loyalty to the gospel of Christ, which you profess, and for your generosity in sharing with them and everyone else. 

APPLICATION: There are many negative ideas out there about giving to the church. So, let’s remind ourselves that ‘the church’ is considered ‘the Bride of Christ’, as referred to in Scripture. Churches are made up of sinners saved by grace, just like you, if you claim Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Just as you find yourself doing or saying things that may not be pleasing to God, you will also find that church members, and even church leaders, sometimes fall into that same trap as well. So, remember to look at the four fingers pointing back at you when you cast judgment on the unfortunate actions or words of your fellow church members or leaders. Satan will tempt you to find excuses on why you shouldn’t give to the local church, because his job is to kill, steal and destroy the work of our Lord, especially through the local church. Be reminded that in our Scripture verses today, there were no filters offered by God on why, when or how you should refuse to give to His work. But there is a promise – if you do your part and give freely to the work of God in His church, He will bless you in your earnings and He will pour out even more blessings for you to share! Know that God has a promised accountability for His children. Scripture records how: He will crown those who have accepted Him and live according to Word; He will judge us all and will give us what we deserve; etc. He will judge those who: have disobeyed His Word; stole from His treasury; been a stumbling block to those seeking to Know Jesus; gave to His church as instructed by God; grudgingly give to the church; refuse to give to the church; meet the needs of those who need a hand up. etc. So, let’s try to get away from trying to do God’s work for Him, for He is more than adequate to be our Judge, Jury and Sentencer. We have more than enough to worry about in our own lives, much more than trying to be God in sentencing our pastor, elders, deacons, church, etc. Dear friends, each of us will appear before God to give an account of our own lives, not as a witness or tell-tale of those we’ve been watching here on earth. In giving a gift, we often prefer to have guidance on how much to give. This is also covered in the Bible – 10% of your income, is our guide. Some may ask: ‘Of my gross or net salary?’. Notice that the Bible to specifically check our conscience. This is where the Holy Spirit resides, and He will guide us to the Scriptures for our answers. The Bible tells us make our gift to God from the ‘first fruits’. In farming, that equates to the first 10% of your harvest. In a paycheck, I can only share with you what I felt God nudging me to do – 10% of the first fruits – the amount before anyone else gets anything from my income, or the gross amount of my check. Let me challenge you dear friend in reminding you that we cannot outgive God. If He said that He will multiply our harvest so that we could give even more, then He will do that, whether we give 10, 20, 30% or even more. In the Scriptures, we are told to try Him and see if He won’t bless us with more than we could handle! If my suggestion sounds outrageous, let me suggest that you have a little talk with Jesus and share with Him what your reservations are in obeying any of my above guidance. A heart dedicated to God, caring about His work in our lives and in the lives of those around us, will give willingly, freely and exceedingly. Where do you stand if you had to explain to God what’s impacting Your heart to give freely in return for all He has blessed you with? I believe that’s where our giving originates, is from a heart filled with love for God and appreciation for all He has blessed us with. As covered already, the excuses and reasons that interfere with our giving is prompted by Satan – as it opposes what is taught in God’s Word.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: God will always make you rich enough to be generous at all times, so that many will thank God for your gifts! What an awesome inducement to give even more to God’s work, including to His children in need! Praise and thanksgiving will go up for us as others are blessed! Wow, no wonder we get unexpected raises!

PRAYER: Lord, we realize that there is no way that we could repay You for the many wonderful gifts that You make available to us, especially the gift of Your precious Son given for our eternal salvation. Please help us to always give thanks for the ways that You bless us, and to always share of those gifts with others in our circle of friends and family. What a joy to be reminded by Your servant, Paul, that recipients of our earthly gifts find reason to praise You, and to ask for Your continued gifts to the giver. Praise You Father, Son and Holy Spirit for invoking in us a heart of giving, in recognition of, and in celebration of the many ways that You bless us. As vessels of Your love, please teach us to be open to the ways we can give to bless your children in need, and the ongoing work of Your church. 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!

A Safe Place For Your Treasure

Having worked in the financial industry most of my life, I can tell you that there is nothing more mind-soothing, or satisfying, to a person than to know that their money is safe and secure. Perhaps you are not blessed with a fortune in money, but wondering what will happen to your physical net worth when you cease to be here with us. Jesus knew that this would be a concern for many, while also acknowledging the importance of a real, active, ongoing relationship with our Maker, so He offered great advise for us in this Scripture today. Meditate with me so you could put your mind at ease today!

DATE POSTED Wednesday, 2022-01-26
WRITTEN AT: Gainsville, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Matthew 6:19-21
TRANSLATION: The Message (MSG)

BIBLE TEXT: 19-21 “Don’t hoard treasure down here where it gets eaten by moths and corroded by rust or—worse!—stolen by burglars. Stockpile treasure in heaven, where it’s safe from moth and rust and burglars. It’s obvious, isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.

APPLICATION: Some people keep their money in a bag under their bed, or somewhere in their home, while some may just bury it nearby, because they know it will be safe if it’s near enough for them to personally protect it! Some people would rather seek help from neighbors, family, friends or the government, instead of spending their own hard-earned money, as they want to have something to pass along to their children who may remain after their passing! All of the above exists, plus a whole lot more that we would not have time to expand on, while all the while many churches are having to close their doors as attendance is low, and finances are almost nonexistent. It seems that many have found new excuses for not attending church – they claim that they are present in the virtual environment. Perhaps many are truthful in their choice of staying safe from Covid infections, but I wonder what excuse others will find to make when questioned by Jesus about their place and time of worship as commanded by God in His Word. Don’t forsake the assembling of yourselves together, is what God commanded us, for the Creator knew how necessary it is for His children to encourage and bless each other in a physical environment. But in the teaching by Jesus today, He ordered us to be very mindful of our eternal life, not just the moment in which we live. I believe Jesus wants us to remember our Creator, and to bless Him daily with our praises for all that He continues to bless us with. Many of us have been blessed with good jobs that have paid us enough to not only meet our daily needs, but also allowed us to save a few dollars for future needs. I believe that Jesus will bless us every day for being good stewards, but I believe that He is teaching us today that there are other things in life that should also be a vital part of our plan. We are taught in the Bible that we should tithe a portion of our income consistently to the local church. While I realize that many don’t attend church regular enough to understand the financial needs and uses of church funds, we must always remember that God didn’t order us to audit the church before giving to it. He is in charge of church leadership and will hold them accountable for their use and abuse of funds placed at their disposal for the ongoing spread of the gospel message. I believe that Jesus is also teaching us that our obedience to His command to tithe, is dependent on our mindset. If we have our hearts and minds fixed on the coming of the Lord Jesus, and reflect frequently on the eternal destiny of our family, friends and coworkers, then we will be more apt to obey His command to give freely to the work of the local church. If, however, we are more determined to grow our bank account, see our business thrive above all others in the business world; and if we must give to the work of the church, it will have to be a very minor part of profits, as no obvious return is seen from that type of spending; then it becomes obvious where our focus is and where we will place our emphasis when it comes to charitable giving. In the middle of revival services, an evangelist touched on the importance of Jesus’ command here in this Scripture. He asked that we take our wallets or checkbooks out, and that we offer our finances up to the God who helps us earn each dollar. It was suggested that we ask for God’s direction on our giving to His work. I walked away from that time of prayer convinced that God ordered me to start giving based on my gross income and not my net income, like I had used previously. This was at a time when my wife and I struggled to comfortably meet all of our general expenses. But if I expected God to help me with my budget, I had to make sure that I was obedient to what He ordered me to do. Friends, God has always taken exceptional care of my needs as I obediently followed His commands. May I suggest that you have a little talk with Jesus and see if He has any changes that might help you fully trust Him and obey His commands? Remember, God blesses us with the jobs we have, and He gives us the strength and stamina to do a great job for our employer. Shouldn’t we be willing to follow His commands so that He might continue to bless us, use us, and provide for us? Seek first the kingdom of God, and all these other things will be given to you!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Recently we studied how God will forgive us, if we are obedient and willing to forgive others. In our Scripture today, I believe that God is saying that He will provide for our needs, if we are faithful and just to pass along those blessings to others in need around us, and especially seek after growing His kingdom.

PRAYER: Lord, if we were to analyze our monthly budget, I believe it will amaze us to see where our income is going. Our attention and our focus seem to rest in the area where we spend our money. If the largest part of our budget goes to a car payment, then we will clearly see that our car is always protected, clean and admired because it’s our ‘earthly baby’! If we give consistently and sufficiently to your work, then we will align our lives around all that You would seek of us. It will become evident to everyone who knows us that we belong to Jesus and He owns our finances. Thank You Father, for providing food on our tables, when so many go to bed hungry; light in our homes, while many are in darkness; a warm and comfortable church building where we could meet to worship and witness new birth to those we invite to church with us each week. Yes, it matters a lot to us what happens in our business and that we have finances to do what we want to do, but may it always be a priority to see Your kingdom come, and that it is blessed through mature growth each week. May we always give to the cause of Your work, and may our giving be a pleasing aroma in Your nostrils as You see Your work being accomplished. 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!

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!

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!

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!

 

Means + Motive = True Generosity

Although Jesus had the advantage of knowing the heart and the intent of each person that gave that day, yet He saw a very obvious lesson in all this for His disciples, and consequently for you and I. Jesus was not dependent on the money that was given, for He proved over and over that He could do a lot with very little, or with nothing at all. He was more concerned about the heart of the giver.

Post Date:

Friday, 2017-05-26
SCRIPTURE

From:

Mark 12:41-44 (ERV)

Text:

41 Jesus sat near the Temple collection box and watched as people put money into it. Many rich people put in a lot of money. 42 Then a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth less than a penny.

43 Jesus called his followers to him and said, “This poor widow put in only two small coins. But the truth is, she gave more than all those rich people. 44 They have plenty, and they gave only what they did not need. This woman is very poor, but she gave all she had. It was money she needed to live on.”

OBSERVATION:
Although Jesus had the advantage of knowing the heart and the intent of each person that gave that day, yet He saw a very obvious lesson in all this for His disciples, and consequently for you and I. Jesus was not dependent on the money that was given, for He proved over and over that He could do a lot with very little, or with nothing at all. He was more concerned about the heart of the giver.
APPLICATION:
I believe that one of the excuses most often used by those who don’t attend church, is that all the church or pastor is looking for is your money. It is very obvious that people find it very challenging, at best, to give charitably from their hard earned money, so let’s look closer at this in our study today. When you stop to consider the unemployed neighbor, or the hospitalized friend who has been out of work for six months, why do you suppose God saw, in His great mercy, to allow you the good health, and the job opportunity to earn a living for your family? So how much of that income can you give Him thanks for? So why again do you feel 100% of it belongs to you, with your choice about where to spend it? And why again do you feel like it is so unfair of God to even suggest that you give 10% of that income to His work? Friends, God has a plan for your life, and for His church. I am convinced that His work will be accomplished with, or without you or I, however I am also convinced that God would rather see nothing more than His children participate in His work and celebrate the blessings as He pours them on us. Don’t let Satan mess with your mind and try to convince you that $100 of that $1,000 bonus you just got is too much to put into the hands of your local church. Don’t believe Satan’s lies that the church is just greedy for your money, more than anything else. When you start looking at that, you have lost sight of the reason you are giving. If you withhold from, or lose the joy of giving, because of all the lies Satan will try to convince you of, will you also look to Satan in your time of need? May I suggest that you consider giving God ALL of you, then you will appreciate the 90% of your income that He allows you to manage your earthly affairs with. It’s all about your relationship with God, friend, and what God will do for you, and absolutely nothing at all about what you feel He wants to rob you of. God’s in the business of blessing His children, not robbing them. Give Him yourself, and watch His blessings flow into each area of your life, even in your finances. 
PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, You gave it all for us, even to Your very own life. Please open our eyes and remind us once again that it takes all of us to get all of You in return. Most of us really don’t like to do things half heartedly, so with Your help may we recommit ourselves to You in totality, especially in the one area of our life that seems to bug us most, our finances. Lord, we desire more of You in our lives and in our family and in our church. Please begin with us, even now. 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!