Tag Archives: giving

I Chronicles 14-16; The Things We Do For God

David was a man of action. Through his story, we can see that when he was obedient to God his actions were blessed. When David got ahead of God, or disobeyed Him, we see God remove Himself from the situation. There are no blessings there.

I appreciated Warren Wiersbe’s insight on the subject. (With The Word; Thomas Nelson 1991) I’m using his outline from chapter 15 as I share what God has laid on my heart today.

David had gotten excited about returning the ark of God to Jerusalem. He planned a big celebration, including a parade. He got a brand new cart to act as a parade float, and placed the ark up there for all to see. He assembled the band, and headed out with great fanfare (chapter 13).

But David learned doing things his way, even though he meant well, ends in disaster.

So now in chapter 15, David is determined to let God call the shots. “No one but the Levites may carry the ark of God…” because those are God’s rules. There was still a joyful parade, but they had inquired of God first, and God blessed their work. Wiersbe reminds us to “Do God’s Work Biblically.” Sometimes it seems we in 2017 are more concerned about being politically correct than biblically correct. David would tell us that is a recipe for disaster.

Wiersbe also encourages us to “Do God’s Work Joyfully.” 15:16 says “David told the leaders of the Levites to appoint their brothers as singers to sing joyful songs, accompanied by musical instruments: lyres, harps, and cymbals.” Who doesn’t love a parade?

Does what you are doing in God’s name bring you joy? Or is it a burden, done with a hint of resentment? If we are privileged to do the work for our great God, shouldn’t there be joy in the doing? If there isn’t, perhaps you are undertaking  a job meant for someone else. Your joy in the doing might be found in a different task. God loves a cheerful giver, of our money and our time.

Wiersbe looks at verses 25-26 and tell us to “Do God’s Work Sacrificially.” Seven bulls and seven rams were sacrificed during the procession, which probably means the parade took a few steps, then stopped so a sacrifice could be offered. Not exactly convenient if you were a cymbal player wanting to get home in time to see the first pitch of the big game on TV.

Let’s face it, doing God’s work often takes sacrifice, and not just monetarily. I am reminded God’s work required the ultimate sacrifice for my Savior. I think I can afford to miss the first pitch or the whole game if there is something I can be doing for God, and do it without regret.

Dr. Wiersbe points out that we are to “Do God’s Will Fervently.” David and the people held nothing back, were not distracted, and did not care what others thought. They were focused on God, plus nothing. And they didn’t stop until that ark was safely home, work completed.

Ephesians 2:10 tells us “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” We’ve got things to do for God; to share the Gospel, to represent Him to lost souls, to care for the needy, to love our neighbors. The list goes on.

Let’s go about our tasks biblically, joyfully, sacrificially, and fervently for Jesus’ sake and for His glory!

November 5 – All She Had

Matthew 23; Luke 20-21

Years ago I was at a congregational meeting of the church where I was a member. Among other positions like trustees and Sunday School superintendent, we were going to vote on a new president of our women’s ministry. The dear lady who had held that position for years had felt it was time she stepped down.

We sat there and listened to her give her last yearly report, then read her resignation. It wasn’t a flowery speech. Concise and to the point, she ended with a verse taken from Jesus’ parable about the widow’s gift. I’ll never forget it.

“She gave all she had.”

Whether we are given much or little, God blesses those who give it all back it Him. Whether wealth or talent, compassion or intellect, Christians should hold nothing back in service to our Lord.

Makes me wonder if I’m holding anything back. Family? Health? My time?

At the end of my life, I would like to be able to look into Jesus’ eyes and tell Him honestly that I gave all I had, that I wore myself out serving Him.

Generous Father, You have blessed me so much. I can’t begin to thank You. Forgive me when I take any of it for granted, or hoard it, or squander it. God, I want to hold my hands out to You and ask You to empty me. Whatever I have, I give it to You. Show me those things that I’m holding on to, or misusing. I want to confess, to repent, to give it all back. Not because I want anything in return. You’ve already given me more than I deserve.

June 16 – Cabul

I Kings 9, II Chronicles 8

Hiram appears to be generous. The king of Tyre gave Solomon an abundance of wood and gold for the building of the Temple, and for Solomon’s own home. I Kings 9:11 says Hiram gave everything Solomon desired.

But when Solomon gave Hiram twenty cities in Galilee in return, Hiram was not pleased. In fact, he called the cities Cabul, which means “as good as nothing.”

I don’t know what the terms of the agreement were between the two kings. It sounds like Hiram didn’t think it was fair.

Hiram’s reaction has me thinking about my own life. Do I attend church so God will keep my healthy? Do I put money in the offering plate so God will give me that promotion at work?

I never want to look at the blessings God gives me every day and call it Cabul.

Lord, help me to remember that I deserve nothing from You. You owe me nothing! Help me to be grateful for every heart beat, every breath, every morning. I want to follow You because You are worthy, not because I want You to reward me. 

Feb 11 – Stop Giving

Exodus 36-38

I know of a fellowship of believers who took on an extensive building project. Lead by the Lord, they didn’t do a fund raiser. They didn’t take pledges. They didn’t hire a consultant. The pastor simply shared the plans with the congregation, and the money started rolling in.

People gave generously as their hearts were moved to give. In fact, the congregation was so generous with their gifts, that after a time with the building project’s expenses more than met, that pastor had to ask his church to stop giving.

True story.

Sometimes I think we strategize God right out of the picture. Sure the money is pledged and the buildings get built with the help of consultants and fund drives these days. But I’m not sure why we don’t trust God a bit more to move in the hearts of His people to fill a need instead.

The example I gave above can be found in the chapters we read today in Exodus. The children of Israel gave generously toward the building of the tabernacle. And God never once told anyone they had to. He simply laid the need on their hearts and they responded above and beyond.

And God is the same today as He was back then. Maybe its us who have changed.

 

 

Feb 10 – Let Me Do That

Exodus 33-35

Did you think of your church fellowship when you read these chapters in Exodus today? God moved people to action. And they obeyed. Some gave of their material possessions. Some gave of their time as they used their talents for sewing, building, carving, designing…

The Tabernacle would be made by hundreds of people, working together, following God’s leading. This is what being a church is all about.

There is a dear woman in my church who loves to sew. God laid on her heart to start a sewing ministry, not knowing how many women would even be interested. But she was faithful. Once a month from five to twenty five women gather in the fellowship hall. Some bring sewing machines, some have scissors, some bring irons. They have made Salvation Dolls and sent them to a missionary who uses them to introduce children in Africa to their Savior. They made draw string bags to put in the boxes for Operation Christmas Child. They’ve made walker bags for a nursing home in our neighborhood. They’ve made neck pillows, bookmarks, snuggle pillows for a children’s hospital, blankets, and they’ve only been meeting for about a year.

My sister feels led to minister to elderly women in her church who live alone. (Happy Birthday, Peggy. I love you!) Through her church’s visitation ministry, she visits about five women every month, takes them to the grocery if they need, takes them to lunch or the doctor, prays with them, or just sits with them. She sends them cards, and calls them just to say hi.

There is a church where a few retired men got together and formed a committee that will pick up used appliances, clean and repair them, then give them to needy people in the community. They fix furniture for the same reason.

I’ve shared that my church provides a free meal every month for the community. There are several people in this tiny fellowship who organize, cook, serve, and clean up month after month for about 100 people who enjoy a hot meal with all the fixins.

Some people are called by God to teach Sunday School, work in the nursery, mow the church lawn, cook, clean, sing, work with Youth groups, give financially.

And when these people follow God’s lead, great things can happen for our churches in Jesus’ name.

Do you feel God’s call to some ministry in your church? Don’t depend on someone else to obey your call. Step right up and say, “Let me do that!”

Feb 7 – 10% Blessing

Exodus 25-27

A while back I posted something concerning tithing. You know, the 10% of our earnings we’re supposed to give God. A blogger friend of mine , a man whose posts I might sometimes disagree with, but whose opinions I always respect, appreciate, and seek out, pointed out that the concept of tithing is not a New Testament Church thing. That church, he reminded me, gave everything they had, they took care of needs as needs arose without doing the math.

(nightlightblogdotcom.wordpress.com. I encourage you to check out his blog, especially today’s from Hebrews 10. It’s so good!)

Maybe that’s why Exodus 25:1-8 got my attention today. God told Moses to put together a tabernacle made of gold, silver, bronze, leather, oil, gemstones, and more. But God didn’t require anyone to give anything toward the construction. His instruction to Moses was to collect those things from “every man whose heart moves him.”

My church is starting a very needed building project, and we’ll need to raise some big bucks. How would God have me contribute? I want to be one whose heart has been moved, and I want to be obedient.

Let me ask you this: If church giving wasn’t tax deductible, would you still give what you give right now? Our government is talking a lot about a flat tax. Would your church survive?

Here’s what I hope. I hope our churches, my church’s building project, will all flourish because we Christians put down the calculator and give as God moves our hearts to give. Maybe He’s giving us 10% of His blessing because that’s what we’re giving Him.

Wonder what it would be like if we really did give Him everything.

God Loves A Cheerful Giver

Tithing is a touchy subject for many churchgoers. And woe to the preacher who feels led to speak on the subject during a Sunday morning service!

A lot of time we use our finances as means of control. “Don’t shop at that department store because they accept gay marriage”. “Don’t buy that soap because the company donates to Planned Parenthood”. “Don’t buy that brand because they advertise during that ungodly TV show.”

Money talks. And I don’t think it’s a bad thing in the above examples. As stewards of God’s provisions, we need to be intentional about where we spend our money. But does the same principle apply to the money we give to our churches?

Paul speaks about the giving record of the church in Corinth in the 9th chapter of his second letter to that church. He talks about their promised financial gift. He tells them about the importance of financial support of the ministry, and likens it to seed sown for a harvest.

Scripture tells us to bring our tithe to the storehouse and leave it there.

I remember, when I was a teenager, I was standing in the foyer of our church on a Saturday. A woman who lived in the neighborhood walked in and handed me an envelope. “This is my tithe,” she said. “But you tell the treasurer I don’t want a dime of this going to the preacher’s salary.”

I did what she asked. The treasurer said for me not to worry about it. He said she does this all the time.

Dear one, that’s not Scriptural. If you don’t like how money is spent at your church – tithe anyway. Go ahead and become an elder, or get on the governing board if you want. Voice your opinion. If you are convinced that God is not in the running of that church, and you’ve tried and failed to make a difference, find another church. But remember, God didn’t tell us to give 10% with strings attached.

It’s our responsibility – and privilege – to plant seeds for the kingdom. That’s what your tithing is intended to do.

And God loves a cheerful giver.