Tag: cheerful giver

Receiving an offering!

Scripture reading for January 31st: Exodus 35-40

Exodus 25:1 “The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the people of Israel, that they take for Me a contribution. From every man whose heart moves him you shall receive the contribution for Me.””

The Lord told Moses to have the Israelites bring Him an offering.  He wanted those who were willing to give as their heart prompted them.  Moses’ job was to receive the offering from the people and use it for God’s intended purpose, the tabernacle.

Some people feel that when they give, they give to the pastor or to the church.  They feel that money is mundane.  At other times they don’t understand why the church needs money and find ways to justify not giving any themselves.  God’s heart is that we become willing givers.  He is the original Giver and sets an example for us that is hard to beat.  Everything we have has come from His hand!  He sends rain for the earth and crops.   His gracious giving is hard to understand, considering how unfaithful and wasteful we can be.

Jesus taught that our giving was a prerequisite for determining God’s measure back to us.  “Give and it shall be given to you.  A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap.  For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Luke 6:38)  When we are stingy with our giving, we set limits on how much God can give back to us.  We open God’s hand when we open our hand and pocketbook.  These people in Exodus willingly gave a huge amount of gold, silver, bronze, oil and cloth.  They also freely gave of their time and talents to make what was needed for God’s house!  They gave so willingly and freely that Moses had to tell them to stop! (Exodus 36:6)

Has God ever asked you to give resources to Him? What is your heart-attitude towards giving in general? Have you ever heard of a pastor asking the people to stop giving?

Exodus 36:6-8 “So Moses gave command, and word was proclaimed throughout the camp, “Let no man or woman do anything more for the contribution for the sanctuary.” So the people were restrained from bringing, for the material they had was sufficient to do all the work, and more.”

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Integrity in giving!

Scripture reading for August 22nd: 1st Corinthians 16, Psalm 17, Proverbs 12

1st Corinthians 16: 1-4 “Now concerning the collection for the saints: as I directed the churches of Galatia, so you also are to do. On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come. And when I arrive, I will send those whom you accredit by letter to carry your gift to Jerusalem. If it seems advisable that I should go also, they will accompany me.”

God is a God of order and peace. A lack of integrity in handling of offerings can be a source of division and strife among believers. In his closing remarks to this church family, Paul gives instructions for an offering taken for hurting believers in Jerusalem. First, each person is to willingly, as God prospers them, set aside weekly an offering to be given when Paul arrives. Paul did not want to pressure them to give or coerce them in any way. God loves cheerful givers! Second, the church should select trustworthy individuals to send with the offering to insure it gets to the place and people intended. Paul would only go himself it it seemed advisable. The utmost integrity and accountability was to be given to God’s offerings in accordance with established practices laid out by church leaders. Amen!

Psalm 17:4-5 “With regard to the works of man, by the Word of Your lips I have avoided the ways of the violent. My steps have held fast to Your paths; my feet have not slipped.”

Prayer: Father God, thank You that You are a just God Who cares about truth and integrity in Your people. How we handle money is a test of our faithfulness and character. Help us to follow Your simple instructions and to be accountable with all offerings. Bless those who give with joy and freedom and those who act in integrity in using all finances to Your intended benefit. Keep our feet from slipping.

Proverbs 12:20-21 “Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil, but those who plan peace have joy. No ill befalls the righteous, but the wicked are filled with trouble.”

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The cheerful giver!

Scripture reading for June 11th: Philemon

Key Scriptures: Philemon 8-14 “Accordingly, though I am bold enough in Christ to command you to do what is required, yet for love’s sake I prefer to appeal to you–I. Paul, an old man and now a prisoner also for Christ Jesus–I appeal to you for my child, Onesimus, whose father I became in my imprisonment. (Formerly he was useless to you, but now he is indeed useful to you and to me.) I am sending him back to you, sending my very heart. I would have been glad to keep him with me, in order that he might serve me on your behalf during my imprisonment for the Gospel but I preferred to do nothing without your consent in order that your goodness might not be by compulsion but of your own accord.”

Paul was not into authoritarian leadership. He was a servant leader who acted in respect towards others in the Church. He had the opportunity while in jail in Rome to lead Onesimus, Philemon’s run-away slave, to Christ. Under Roman law, slaves who ran away could be put to death. But Paul appealed to Philemon to treat him now as a brother in Christ. As a run-away slave, Onesimus would have not been at all profitable to Philemon, but now as a brother, he would serve him as a brother and was also valuable in the Church as a member of Christ’s body. Paul could have ordered the proper treatment, but he knew that allowing Philemon to choose freely to do the right thing was by far the best for all involved.

Philemon 15-16 “For this perhaps is why he was parted from you for a while, that you might have him back forever, no longer as a bondservant but more than a bondservant, as a beloved brother--especially to me, but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord.

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for this amazing story of a run-away slave who was saved and restored to his master. Thank You that we are all like this slave, running from You. Thank You that You received us back and made us profitable again! Help me to never forget! Give me opportunity to share Your great mercy today!

1st Corinthians 9:7 “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

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The joy of sowing!

Scripture reading for July 5th:  Psalm 126-129

Key Scriptures:  Psalm 126:3-6 “The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.  Restore our fortunes, O Lord, like the streams in the Negev.  Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.  He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him.”

As the pilgrims ascended the climb to Mt. Zion and the temple mount, they were surrounded by harsh desert and rocky soil.  That reminded them of the difficult times that they had experience and where they sowed, often in tears, because of war, captivity, or their own disobedience.  As they returned to God’s dwelling place, they sowed songs of joy.  They knew God would not disappoint them and His presence would bring joy and fruitfulness!

The joy of sowing:  “Remember this:  Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.  Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.  And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all time, having all you need, you will abound in every good work.”  (2nd Corinthians 9:6-8

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Sufficiency in all things, always!

Scripture reading for August 9th:  2nd Corinthians 9

Key Scriptures for over-comers:  2nd Corinthians 9:6-8  “Remember this:  Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.  Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.  Ans God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times having all you need, you will abound in every good work.”  

Being a farmer, I am well aware of the law of sowing and reaping.  You must sow before you reap.  You have to use enough seed to reap the maximum benefit.  The sower must also sow in faith, with a cheerful disposition and expectation of harvest.  You harvest more than you sowed because seed multiplies because of God’s amazing grace of design and His blessing for provision.   These principles also apply in giving of tithes and offerings to God for His work.  If we sow cheerfully and generously, we will reap abundantly!  God will shower His grace on us to enable us to continue giving and doing His work!

Observations for over-comers:  Believers are cheerful and generous people who give freely and enjoy sufficiency in all things at all times enabling good works to God’s glory!  “Praise the Lord.  Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who finds great delight in His commands. . . .He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor, his righteousness endures forever; his horn will be lifted high in honor.”  (Psalm 112:1,9)

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His Indescribable Gift!

Scripture reading for August 10th:  2nd Corinthians 9

Paul was encouraging the church at Corinth to cultivate the ‘grace of giving’!  He went on to instruct them in planned giving for missions work.  He was coming to receive their promised offering and they should prepare it by making the need known to the brothers and preparing the gift ahead of time.

“Remember this:  Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.  Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”  (2nd Corinthians 9:6-7)  Paul encouraged these brothers with an agricultural example.  Sowing seed brought harvests.  If seed was sown sparingly, a small crop would result.  Enough seed must be turned loose and allowed to go into the soil to produce an abundant harvest.  Giving is like sowing seed.  We must not be reluctant to turn loose of our offerings!  We must give cheerfully, knowing that God will bring back our seed with an abundant return.  It takes faith to sow as well as to give!

“And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. . . .Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.”  (2nd Corinthians 9:8,10)   This is God’s way of supplying the needs of His church and also the needs of His people!  As they learn the grace of giving, God multiplies their harvest!  “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!”  (2nd Corinthians 9:15)

 

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Connecting with generosity!

Scripture reading for April 22nd: 1st Chronicles 28-29

“Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion,  for God loves a cheerful giver.  And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things, at all times, having all you that you need, you will abound in every good work.” 2nd Corinthians 9:7-8

Preachers are sometimes pushy or manipulative in asking the people to give.  There are so many needs and money is often a limiting factor in the work of the church, at least in our minds.    The love of money keeps many from giving and holds back God’s blessing in the people as well.  This area is a touchy area for many because of the various abuses and the strongholds of idolatry to money and materialism in this land.

King David set forth his personal giving to fund the vision of building the temple of the Lord.   A good leader will always lead the way for those he is calling to help.  David gave of his personal treasure 188 tons of gold, 375 tons of silver, 675 tons of bronze and 3,750 tons of iron.  This was  a fortune by today’s values!  From this position of personal dedication, he challenged his other leaders to willingly too.

The leaders caught the spirit of generosity that King David had modeled.  They also contributed “willingly and wholeheartedly” to the Lord.  (1st Chronicles 29:6-9)  David rejoiced with a psalm of praise to the Lord!  He attributed everything that he had to God’s grace! (1st Chronicles 29:11-12)  We can boast about nothing!  He alone is to be praised!

David prayed for the people: “And now I have seen with joy how willingly your people who are here have given to you.  O, Lord, God of our fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, keep this desire in the hearts of your people forever and keep their hearts loyal to you.” (1st Chronicles 29:17-18)  That is my prayer for each of us today!  May you have a willing heart to give!  If you are a leader, may you set an example of extravagant giving.  May your heart remain loyal to the Lord and open to be generous forever!

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Connecting through cheerful giving!

Scripture reading for January 31st: Exodus 35-40

The Lord told Moses to have the Israelites bring Him an offering. (Exodus 25:1-2)  He wanted those who were willing to give as their heart prompted them.  His job was to receive the offering from the people and use it for God’s intended purpose to build the Tabernacle.

God’s desire was that His people learn to be willing givers and experience blessing.  He was the original giver and set an example for us.  Everything we have has come from His hand!  He sends rain for the earth and crops.  He gives strength and ability to work.  His gracious giving is hard to understand, considering how unfaithful and wasteful we sometimes are.

Jesus taught that our giving was a prerequisite for determining God’s measure back to us.  “Give and it shall be given to you.  A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap.  For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Luke 6:38)  The people in Exodus willingly gave a huge amount of gold, silver, bronze, oil and cloth.  They also freely gave of their time and talents to make what was needed for God’s house!  They gave so generously that Moses had to tell them to stop! (Exodus 36:6-7)

Giving is the one place in Scripture that God says you can test Him!  Malachi 3:8-12 instructs us test God by bringing the whole tithe into the storehouse (where you are fed).   God will then open the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing you cannot contain.  May the Lord open the windows of heaven on you as you cheerfully “bring him an offering”!

“Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.  And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound to every good work.” 2nd Corinthians 9:7-8

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God loves willing givers!

Scripture reading for April 21st: 1st Chronicles 28-29

“Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion,  for God loves a cheerful giver.  And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things, at all times, having all you that you need, you will abound in every good work.” 2nd Corinthians 9:7-8

Preachers are sometimes pushy or manipulative in asking the people to give.  There are so many needs and money is often a limiting factor in the work of the church, at least in our minds.    The love of money keeps many from giving and holds back God’s blessing in the people as well.  This area is a touchy area for many because of the various abuses and the strongholds of idolatry to money and materialism in this land.

I love the 29th chapter of 1st Chronicles.  In this chapter, King David sets forth what he is personally giving to fund the vision he has been given of building the temple of the Lord.  He sets the example of personal dedication by first giving sacrificially himself.  A good leader will always lead the way for those he is calling to help.  David gives of his personal treasure 188 tons of gold, 375 tons of silver, 675 tons of bronze and 3,750 tons of iron!   From this position of personal dedication, he challenged his other leaders to give as well.

His leaders caught the spirit of generosity that King David had modeled.  They contributed “willingly and wholeheartedly” to the Lord.  (1st Chronicles 29:6-9)  David rejoiced with a psalm of praise to the Lord for His greatness and power.  He attributed everything that he had to God’s grace! (1st Chronicles 29:11-12)  We can boast about nothing because all things come from God’s hand to us!

David prayed for the people: “And now I have seen with joy how willingly your people who are here have given to you.  O, Lord, God of our fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, keep this desire in the hearts of your people forever and keep their hearts loyal to you.” (1st Chronicles 29:17-18)

May God give each of us a heart to give!  If you are a leader, may you set an example of extravagant giving.  May your heart remain loyal to the Lord and open to be generous forever!  God loves a cheerful giver!

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God loves the cheerful giver!

Scripture reading for September 7th: 2nd Corinthians 9:1-15

How do you respond when the preacher calls for the offering?  What is you feeling when he asks for a second offering to help with missions or benevolence?  Do you find yourself groaning or speaking negatively to yourself?  If you have trouble with these questions, the Lord wants to help you with a new attitude!

Paul was preparing the Corinthians for his own coming to receive an offering for the saints at Jerusalem and did not want to come and find them unprepared.  “So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to visit you in advance and finish arrangements for the generous gift you had promised.  Then it will be ready as a generous gift, not as one grudgingly given.  Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.  Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2nd Corinthians 9:5-7)

Notice how Paul encouraged them to give.  They were to plan ahead what they should give.  Each person should decide in his heart what to give.  No one should put pressure on them or force them, because this would make them reluctant or grudging givers.  They should be like farmers sowing seeds for a harvest.  The more seed they sowed, the bigger would be their harvest.  They should plant this giving seed with a cheerful heart of faith because God would bring a harvest.  God loves cheerful givers because that is how He gives to us!  “God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all you need, you will abound in every good work.” (2nd Corinthians 9:8)

God supplies the needs of His people through faithful giving.  This brings praise to His Name and a supply of blessing to those who give!  “This service that you perform (generous, cheerful giving) is not only supplying the needs of God’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.  Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies you confession of the Gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and everyone else.” (2nd Corinthians 9:12-13) Let’s cause an overflow of thanksgiving by giving!

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