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!

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!

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!

Committed to Give!

In preparing to build the temple, Moses shared with the people what God had commanded them to do as their contribution to the project. Their response was so overwhelming, that Moses had to soon stop them from bringing their gifts. Seems just the opposite to what the response Moses received when he commanded them to stop worshiping idols. Perhaps God got their attention when over 3,000 was killed after the last incidence of disobedience.

Post Date:

Wednesday, 2017-04-05
SCRIPTURE

From:

Exodus 35:4-5; 36:4-7 (NCV)

Text:

35:Moses said to all the Israelites, “This is what the LORD has commanded: 5 From what you have, take an offering for the LORD. Let everyone who is willing bring this offering to the LORD: gold, silver, bronze….
36:4 So all the skilled workers left the work they were doing on the Holy Tent, 5 and they said to Moses, “The people are bringing more than we need to do the work the LORD commanded.”
6 Then Moses sent this command throughout the camp: “No man or woman should make anything else as a gift for the Holy Tent.” So the people were kept from giving more, 7 because what they had was already more than enough to do all the work.
OBSERVATION:
In preparing to build the temple, Moses shared with the people what God had commanded them to do as their contribution to the project. Their response was so overwhelming, that Moses had to soon stop them from bringing their gifts. Seems just the opposite to what the response Moses received when he commanded them to stop worshiping idols. Perhaps God got their attention when over 3,000 was killed after the last incidence of disobedience.
APPLICATION:
I found this to be quite the contrast to the half hearted giving of God’s people today! Often when volunteers are needed, the able ones are the first to avoid eye contact and scoot out the back door of the church, because they just don’t have time. When teaching jobs are open, it is extremely challenging to find someone willing to commit the time to the job. Most would rather see the church pay for building repairs or yard work, as they simply don’t have time to do such things. If you read yesterday’s blog, you will remember that we were encouraged to always respond with the words “I just can’t make that a priority”, rather than “I just don’t have time”! I believe that it will be much closer to the truth and reflect more accurately that your priorities are elsewhere. Oooch! I know that hurts, but friends I want you to learn to be 100% honest with yourself, for God already knows your heart! This same attitude of commitment and priority also flows over to the act of giving financially to the Lord. To the able bodied brothers and sisters who may read this blog, may I suggest that you ask a handicapped person who is unable to work, “how much would they be prepared to give to the Lord, if He healed their body and gave them a job?” and I would assure you that they will probably respond 100%. My point is, friends, that in God’s Word He gives us a command to give at least 10% as a tithe to His work at our local church. In today’s peer pressure and wanting everything our neighbor has, how good are we doing with that command? Is it done before any other expenses are taken out of our income? God doesn’t give us the remains of a beautiful day, or half blessings in any way, but He gives us His very best, way more than we deserve. Giving more of self and even in our financial giving, are ways to express our gratitude to God for all that He does for us each and every day. The Bibles says that we will receive in accordance to how we have given. How are you doing friend?
PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, thank You for giving of Your very best so that we may have forgiveness of our sin and one day join You in glory! You’ve not asked us to give of our only son, like You did, so Lord may we learn to be in constant awe of all that You give to us each and every day, and may we give in return as You have commanded, or even more. As we express our appreciation through our giving, may it be obvious to You that our hearts are filled to overflowing. May this be reflected in all phases of our lives so that You may use this appreciation to open the eyes of unbelievers and draw them to Yourself. I ask these things in all humility and great appreciation for Your love and Your mercy to even me, oh Lord, 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!

The Purpose of Church

The Bible – Good News Translation

 Psalm 8:9-11

 9           Inside your Temple, O God, we think of your constant love.

10          You are praised by people everywhere, and your fame extends over all the earth.

You rule with justice; 11   let the people of Zion be glad!

 Thoughts:

Many people dress and head out to church on Saturday or Sunday. I wonder what some of the responses would be, if a news reporter stood on a street corner and interviewed folk as they were on their way to church! I bet there would be some interesting responses! In the Bible we read a lot about people going up to the temple to pray, or to offer up sacrifices. In our day, I believe the number one response would be that people go to church to worship God. The challenge is that most church goers feel like ‘worship’ is the worship and praise (singing) part of the service. What about the aspect of giving and Bible teaching and/or preaching? Also, is this ‘worship’ only once per week for no more than an hour? Is this commitment you have made to ‘worship’ strictly led by a praise and worship team for your entertainment, and a preacher who shouts at you for about 30 minutes to challenge you in your wrong doings? Friends, without the appearance of judging, I see these things that I questioned you on, as a description of our churches today. On the contrary, I love the description given by the Psalmist! Wouldn’t it be neat for us to awaken about an hour earlier before rushing out to weekend services, and instead of turning the television on, or getting on to Facebook to catch up on the gossip, if we gathered around the table over a cup of coffee and reflected back over the blessings of the week, brought back to reflection the highlights of our Bible studies (devotionals) from the week and said a prayer for the preacher and other worship leaders before we head out the door to go and worship God? Don’t you suppose that we would position ourselves for, and find reason to, truly worship God and to truly open our hearts to the spoken Word so that we might be filled with the Spirit and His reinforcing power for the week ahead? Can you see where we may then feel more like the Psalmist reflected on in vs 9, where we would then open our minds to think about God’s love and His wonderful power in our heart over the past week? I truly believe that we could then open our hearts in worship and be so filled with God’s wonder and His love that His fame would be evident in and through us wherever we went after that, in similar ways to what the Psalmist described in vs 10 & 11. We serve an awesome God, who is so good to us. Let’s not hold back the praises, and let’s be very open to instruction from His Word so that our lives might be guided accordingly.

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, You made us so that we may worship you. I’m sorry for the poor excuses we give for not attending worship services, and even when we do – the little input that You receive from us. Our minds wonder, and we depend so heavily on the Praise and Worship team, that it is probably very obvious to You that we enjoy the entertainment more than the opportunity to lift up our praises and words of affirmation to You. We listen to Your Word read and expounded on, and it is often the only time that week that our Bibles have been opened. Oh how You must shake Your head in dismay and question why You ever made us. Thankfully, I know You are a God of love, and in looking at our hearts You know what we really are and what we would really like to be. I pray for mercy and Your continued grace dear Lord, because although You know our inward beings, how will the world know about You if they can’t see You reflected in and through our lives? Please don’t give up on me, and on us – Your servants. We need You more today than we ever did before. We need Your power and the extreme boldness to be Your witnesses. Touch me Lord and work with my friends and I so that we may be more like You in every way. My humble prayer I am asking in the Your holy name, dear Jesus, AMEN

 

NOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will 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.

As You Give, So Will You Receive!

Scripture: Mark 12.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

Mark 12:41-44 (NLT)

41 Jesus sat down near the collection box in the Temple and watched as the crowds dropped in their money. Many rich people put in large amounts. 42 Then a poor widow came and dropped in two small coins.

43 Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has given more than all the others who are making contributions. 44 For they gave a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she had to live on.”

APPLICATION
(How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

God freely gave to us; the ultimate unselfish gift being when He gave His only Son to suffer and die for us so that we might enjoy eternal life with Him in heaven. Why do we then, give so selfishly of our money, time and talent. God gave it all to us, who are we to say that He only deserves a little portion of it? I am reminded of another scripture that says, “as a man gives, so shall he receive”. Especially during these tight economic times we may tend to think that we can’t afford to give financially, because we need every dime to survive. I can only say to you friend, that God can do so much more with the 90% that we may be left with after tithing, than we could ever do with the 100% that we may think that we earned and need to spend on our own selves. When we consider our time and/or our talent, can we possibly think that we could be selfish with something that was given to us by God to use for His glory? That just makes no sense to a smart, right thinking person. Whenever we feel like we are poor, whenever we feel like someone has more than us and we are not being blessed, let’s always remember to evaluate our giving at that point, for it is through our giving that we will receive. It is through the generosity and freedom that we give, that we will also receive.

PRAYER
(With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

Father, I am always in awe about how much You love me and all that you do for me and give to me every day of my life. You truly are awesome, and I so desperately need to be more like You in every way, so that others may know the joy of serving the Master of this universe. As I am reminded of this important principle in giving and receiving, may I always be one to give freely in consideration of all that You give to me. Thank You for blessing me in so many ways. Thank You for giving so much to me each and every day. Thank You for always loving me, and showing it in so many wonderful ways.

 

àWords underlined may be a hyperlink to a song that God laid on my heart while sharing this devotional this morning. Click it and be blessed by the song, like I was when I listened to it! …… I would be overjoyed to have the opportunity to pray with you about a need in your life that may, or may not have been highlighted by this Nugget today. Why not drop me a note and tell me about it? You may email me at:
nuggetsfromgodsword@yahoo.com.
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Those with a vested interest, Give!

Scripture: Exodus 35-36.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

Exodus 35:29 (NLT)

29 So the people of Israel—every man and woman who was eager to help in the work the Lord had given them through Moses—brought their gifts and gave them freely to the Lord.

APPLICATION
(How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

I know that anytime there is a sermon on ‘giving’ someone will leave disgruntled, because they don’t appreciate anyone telling, or reminding them about their giving, or lack thereof. But before I talk about the verse above, let me just remind us that if we are to be imitators of Christ, we should never choose which attributes to imitate, otherwise we will miss imitating Him in all things! Let’s remind ourselves about how much God gave, and quickly remember that He gave it all – His one and only Son, Jesus, so that we may have life eternal. Now, can we really qualify why we shouldn’t give at least 10% of the money that God has blessed us with the health, knowledge and wisdom to earn in the first place? Can we disqualify God’s teaching about giving at least 10% for the ongoing work of the church? I thought it was extremely eye-opening to read the above verse this morning and note that for those with a vested interest, in other words they were anxious to help in the work of the Lord, and so they gave freely! Wow, does that speak to us today? You bet it does. When we become interested enough to give back to God in thanksgiving for all that He gave to us, then we will not only give of our talent and hard work, but we will freely bring our gifts to further His work. This is the method and teaching in 2 Corinthians 9:7, that we give cheerfully to the work of the Lord, not from a guilty conscience. If you are vested in the work of the Lord, you will give!

PRAYER
(With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

Thank You Father for giving so much to me. Especially I want to say thank You for giving Your only Son upon the cross so that I might accept that free gift and live eternally with You in heaven when You see fit to end my time here on this earth. Thank You for giving me health and strength each day to be able to work and earn a living. Thank You for blessing me with a job, especially during these days when I look around and see so many who are jobless. Thank You for doing such an awesome job in helping me budget the 90% of my salary that I am left with to meet my expenses. Thank You that I have always been able to honor my financial commitments. I realize that there are many times that I wish I had 150% of my salary, but those are times when my ‘wants’ are in overdrive, however as long as I stick with my ‘needs’ then I have no trouble. Thank You for being God and for being so very special in my life, especially in my financial affairs.

Be One Who Gives Sacrificially

A Quality of a Mature, Reproducing Disciple of Jesus Christ

 

How am I handling the resources God has entrusted to me?

 

SCRIPTURE

Studied: 2 Cor. 9:6–9, Prov. 11:24–25

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

  1. 2 Corinthians 9:6-9 ~ [Remember] this: he who sows sparingly and grudgingly will also reap sparingly and grudgingly, and he who sows generously [that blessings may come to someone] will also reap generously and with blessings. Let each one [give] as he has made up his own mind and purposed in his heart, not reluctantly or sorrowfully or under compulsion, for God loves (He takes pleasure in, prizes above other things, and is unwilling to abandon or to do without) a cheerful (joyous, “prompt to do it”) giver [whose heart is in his giving]. And God is able to make all grace (every favor and earthly blessing) come to you in abundance, so that you may always and under all circumstances and whatever the need be self-sufficient [possessing enough to require no aid or support and furnished in abundance for every good work and charitable donation]. As it is written, He [the benevolent person] scatters abroad; He gives to the poor; His deeds of justice and goodness and kindness and benevolence will go on and endure forever!
  2. Proverbs 11:24-25 ~ Sometimes you can become rich by being generous or poor by being greedy. Generosity will be rewarded: Give a cup of water, and you will receive a cup of water in return.

APPLICATION (How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

I believe that God expects us to be a giving people; after all, He has blessed us with a lot so we should then turn around and bless others also. I can see from this passage also that when we decide in our minds to give, we should do so in all happiness and with joy – in other words: out of appreciation for what we have, who gave it to us, and who will provide the next dollar to help us meet our financial needs. Unfortunately, this is quite opposite to what our carnal minds would convince us to do, for of ourselves we are convinced that we can only give out of the excess, after all our bills are met (which often include many of our unnecessary wants). We often fill our minds with many arguments to help us feel good about not giving our first gifts to God – well who knows what the church will waste that money on that I give, or surely God expects me to be a good manager of my funds and not give more than I can afford after meeting all my concrete, worldly, frivolous bills. I am convinced that when we give at least 10%, as taught scripturally, off our gross income then pay our bills and give to the poor, etc, I believe that God will honor our heart way more than if we depend solely on what it appears that we have left that we can give to the work of the Lord. Furthermore, I believe that this teaches me that I must give freely and happily to God, for He gave freely and happily to me, His child, out of love. One method that I have talked about here is seeing through our eyes of faith and out of thanksgiving, the other is our seeing based on the numbers in front of us. When God is in charge of our giving, He will help us take care of the numbers. He gives us the health and abilities to hold a job and earn the income, all the more should we listen to Him about how we should spend that money that He has blessed us with.

PRAYER (With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

Lord Jesus, I believe that if I was asked what I believe is one of the most important things that the Bible says to me, it would probably be that God gave so that I may: have eternal life; have a beautiful earth to enjoy; have a beautiful family to help me in my daily physical and mental needs; have enough finances to meet my needs and many of my wants. Bottom line is that You gave, and gave and gave, even to the extent of giving Your one and only Son so that I may have eternal life. If I am determined to be Your disciple, and to be more like You in every walk of my life, then I have to give, and give, and give with a generous, sacrificial, happy and thankful heart. Please help me to always be of the mindset that what I have is all Yours, and that I should carefully follow Your commands in using what You have allowed me to have. I want to be known as a great example of You, because I want others to see You in my actions, words, and yes – in my giving. Thank You for blessing me with all that You have given for me to partake of, may I freely give to Your work and others in return.