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!

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!

God-Like Generosity

One of the things that Satan uses to turn people off from churches and church leaders is that they are always after their money! In fact, one church did such a fine job in teaching about tithing that community members warned others from going to that church because you had to ‘pay’ in order to attend!! Today I want to encourage you to search deep inside God’s Word as He speaks through His Son, when He taught His disciples on the edge of the mountain. It’s about generously giving to others.

DATE WRITTEN: Thursday, 2021-01-14
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

BIBLE REFERENCE: Matthew 5:42
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)

BIBLE TEXT: 42 Learn to generously share what you have with those who ask for help, and don’t close your heart to the one who comes to borrow from you.”[bd]

OBSERVATION: One of the things that Satan uses to turn people off from churches and church leaders is that they are always after their money! In fact, one church did such a fine job in teaching about tithing that community members warned others from going to that church because you had to ‘pay’ in order to attend!! Today I want to encourage you to search deep inside God’s Word as He speaks through His Son, when He taught His disciples on the edge of the mountain. It’s about generously giving to others.

APPLICATION: In the serenity of the mountain, Jesus spoke to His disciples, and I believe that it was on subjects that He knew they were struggling with. I wonder what our list might look like? I believe that if a pastor kept a list of Christian principles that he was questioned about, he would have a long list to sit down and expand on, as he teaches us. So what do you suppose God would have to say about your giving: Generous? Looks like something a child of the Kingdom would do? If he/she gave any more, they would probably starve their own family? While I believe that God gave us principles to follow on the subject of giving, I believe that He is speaking here about the heart principle behind our giving. Imagine someone growing up in an environment where they were given a quarter to throw in the offering plate. Can you imagine what they must think as an adult when taught in the Bible to give 10% of their income? I’m sure there would first be a sanity check, as Satan tries to distract the individual from giving to further the work of the Gospel in their community! Of course Satan wouldn’t like that, and of course Satan will immediately cause your eyes to be turned towards your net expenses and how this type of giving would totally destroy your budget. But do you recall the Gospel message where Jesus said that if we do His perfect will and obey His commands, that all these things will be given to you? In other words, I believe Jesus is reminding us that if we follow His commands and do what He tells us, that we wouldn’t have to worry about anything else financially. Now let me be quick to remind the child of God, that this doesn’t mean that the minute you start tithing, its ok to commit to purchasing that boat, or a nicer car, or a bigger house, because God said He would take care of us. A child of God should trust in the Master to help them properly budget the income He has blessed us with. If you have been blessed to earn $1,000 per week in gross income, you may be obligated to the government to pay taxes, and God said that we should honor those He has placed in charge of us. Let’s assume that after taxes you have $800 remaining (net). I believe that God directed us for the first fruits of our income, so 10% of your gross income would be $100. I believe that God is true to His word and will help you pay your budgeted expenses, purchase groceries and gas, and still have a few dollars left from the $700 that remains. I am living proof of it, and I could vouch to you that God is true to His word. Your prayer life will be enriched by asking God to help you control your spending so that you stay within budget. Now, where I believe generosity comes in, is that in addition to the above, you may be approached by an individual in need. Instead of instinctively saying that you have no extra income, that you look to God and have peace about trimming your expenses that week so that you could help that person, or asking God to please provide the money so that you could give a certain sum to that individual. Friends, I truly believe that when we let go and let God, He will let go and shower the blessings on us that may be more than we could handle. He is a giving God, remember He gave His only Son for us while we were yet sinners. If He said that He will provide our every need, then as His precious child, I could only trust Him at His word and ready myself to receive His gift. We must be willing to look beyond what our human eyes could see, for with God, all things are possible to him who believes and trusts in Him. So be generous dear friend, just like a child who knows that they are cared for by the God of the universe, who promised to care for our every need. Allow God to be praised by the recipient of any gifts you may give. You are just the messenger, God is the giver of all good things.

PRAYER: You gave us Your very best, Your only Son, even though we were undeserving of such love. Thankfully You have also given to us – perhaps way more than we deserve, but with those gifts of love, You have commanded that we share with those in need. Please help us to discern abuse and evil intentions when approached by the ‘needy’, and please open our hearts to give generously when the need is legitimate. I sincerely believe that You stand ready to help those in need, and You also placed us here on earth, exactly where we are for the purpose of working through us to meet the needs that exist. Lord, we wait on Your direction, and stand ready to be Your hand extended to the needy, so that You may be glorified by them. 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!

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!

Put God To The Test

Wednesday, 2016-07-13

Scripture

Bible Reference: Malachi 3:8–10

Bible Text:  8 “Should people cheat God? Yet you have cheated me!
“But you ask, ‘What do you mean? When did we ever cheat you?’
“You have cheated me of the tithes and offerings due to me. 9 You are under a curse, for your whole nation has been cheating me. 10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test!

Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

My Take

I would imagine that most of us would get highly upset, and probably angry, if someone accused us of cheating. But what if God accused you of cheating? I believe that we would be extremely saddened, because for those of us who study the Word; or attend church to learn more about the Word; we try desperately to adhere to the expectations of Jesus. We want to please Him, right? But wait a minute, this is the same example given in the verses above, so let’s examine the church today – ‘us’. In the Bible, God gives us guidance on what he refers to as a ‘Tithe’ – 10% of all that God has blessed us with. But there are also liberties taught around the idea of giving: from a cheerful heart; Giving from the abundance of the heart; and giving as the Lord impresses upon the individual; just to name a few. Therefore, some tend to give a tithe (10%) of their gross income and they make it the first check that they write, based on the teaching that the first fruits belong to God. I believe that You will notice some tend to think that the heart will hurt too much if they give so much to the work of the Lord, so they give 10% of some other figure – either of their net check or net after all expenses are paid for the period. God is our Judge, and I will not assume His exalted position on this subject, but a simple analysis of the facts that I have shared will indicate that God can still accuse us of cheating – either cheating Him, or cheating our families of extra income. I have heard of folk who count the pills received in their prescriptions, to make sure they were not ‘cheated’. When we find our own descriptions or explanations for something that God has declared, and wind up not giving God the full share of what He has ‘prescribed’ for us, could that be considered ‘cheating’? The work of the Lord through local churches is shutting down in many instances because folk are ‘cheating’ God of their time (to worship and fellowship together with other believers) and their money, through not bringing their tithe to the storehouse (the church) to help it meet the physical and spiritual needs of the body. God has promised to bless us by pouring out His blessing on us, if we obey His command to tithe. He has even offed somewhat of a guarantee to us by promising to fill our barns. He also dared us to test Him and see if He wouldn’t do what He has promised. From a personal testimony, I can assure you that if you are obedient, God will meet your every need, as if you had access to your full check to spend it any way you would like. There is never too little, or too much income. 10% may result in a $1 tithe, or perhaps a $1,000 tithe. The same principle applies friend. Take God at His word – Test Him!

Prayer

At a time when so many churches are closing their doors because of lack of income, we also find that many are closing because of lack of attendance. Father, please melt the hearts of Your precious children and help us all to draw closer to You. As this occurs, we will want to draw closer to other children of Yours – our Brothers and Sisters, and we will want to learn more about our awesome Savior. As we do this we will want to be obedient to You, and this will include being faithful in our giving, as instructed in Your Word. As You continue to bless us financially, please help us to also bless the work of our local church so that Your ministry might continue, especially to the end that more and more non-Christians will come to accept You as their Lord and Savior.  In Your name I pray, and with a heart filled with thanksgiving, AMEN!

Footnote

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. 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 www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org 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!

Attitude More Important Than Sacrifice

The Holy Bible

10 Here is my advice: It would be good for you to finish what you started a year ago. Last year you were the first who wanted to give, and you were the first to begin doing it. 11 Now you should finish what you started. Let the eagerness you showed in the beginning be matched now by your giving. Give in proportion to what you have. 12 Whatever you give is acceptable if you give it eagerly. And give according to what you have, not what you don’t have.

(Bible Translation and Location: New Living Translation – 2 Corinthians 8:10-12)

Thoughts:

In my previous devotional I addressed the idea of giving to God, as we are blessed. In today’s scripture I am reminded of the New Testament story of the ‘Widow’s Mite’ where Jesus highlighted the penny offering dropped in by a widow. Because it was given from the heart and represented everything the widow had to give, Jesus was overjoyed with her gift. Personally in growing up, a quarter was a frequent offering given to me to place in the offering plate. Later while still at home, I remember that increased to a dollar. When I started working and was taught about the biblical standards for giving, it almost killed me to know that I was actually giving one hundred dollars to the church at one time! It wasn’t until I recognized that God was blessing me beyond measure with the 90% I had left to meet my bills with, and spend recreationally, that I understood that I had no reason to judge what the church might do with all this extra money I was giving. Rather, I learned to praise God for all His many riches that He blessed me with each day, and in return, for allowing me to give a portion back to Him for His continued work here on earth. I am a firm believer in church members giving freely of their tithes and offering to the Lord. I am also a firm believer that, based on my personal experience, God will open the doors of heaven and bless you with more than enough to still meet your earthly financial obligations. Let me encourage you to look at your income in this way: If you earn $1,000 gross pay, $200 of that may be taken out in taxes – so you can’t bank on the $1,000 as your spendable income, you can only count on $800. If you are a follower of Christ, then you can’t bank on the $800, because $100 of that gross income belongs to God as your tithe, so you can only bank on actual spendable income of $700. Now for those who are new to this principle, there is no economic class that will teach you how God can help you meet $800 worth of bills with only $700, but friend let me be quick to remind you that no professor can tell you how the Red Sea was parted for God’s chosen people to cross safely across to the other side either. Nor how Lazarus, who had already begun to decompose in his grave, yet he was brought back to life by Jesus! Remember, if we could figure the acts of Jesus out in our minds, then it is, or was not an act of Jesus. The one thing I can encourage you with this morning, based on personal experiences, is that when you place your faith and trust in Jesus, then you must do what He says, in expectation and assurance that He will do what He said He would do for you! His love never changes, and He’s still God, friend!

Prayer:

When I consider the beauty around me today: the ocean and all that it brings forth for us to survive on and enjoy; the plants and all the vegetables and fruit that plays such a vital part in my health; the wonderful family, friends and even strangers that I meet who enrich my life; who am I to question You oh God about working out Your will and way in my life? I just celebrated my 44th year at work, when some stay only a very short time before moving on to ‘greener grasses’. I will be celebrating my 39th wedding anniversary tomorrow (God willing) to the same lovely lady, while I look at statistics that more than 50% of marriages end in divorce. I can thank my God from the bottom of my heart that He’s still God in every way, especially in my life. With all that reassurance Lord, I humbly ask that You will continue to bless me, and Your other servants who has Your heart to give in support of Your work here on earth. May our hearts always be appreciative of Your many gifts that You provide for us, as incentive to continue giving from hearts of love. May Your work flourish in our churches and in our communities. May we continue to willingly and gladly serve You in and through everything we do and say everyday, so that those who may not have accepted You as Lord yet, will see Your hand at work in us and have a stronger desire and intent to know You more today than ever considered before in their life.

FOOTNOTE: 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. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each days 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, Sebring, FL!