Thursday, May 28, 2009

A Few Sayings I Like

First: It is none of your business what people think of you. I really like this one and have to often remind myself of it.

Second: Always speak the truth, speak it lovingly and always truthfully. That one can be hard at times.

Third: When one is a Christian and has dedicated his/her life to Christ, they are not perfect. However they can reflect on three things:
1} I am not what I should be.
2} I am not what I could be.
3} But I am not what I used to be.

I heard this on the radio to a pastor I try to catch every now and again when hes on. It's a truth that is both humbling and uplifting. I also heard the always speak the truth from his radio show. His name is Josh McDowell and here is his site if anyone's interested.


Monday, May 4, 2009


It doesn't take a genius to look around and see that we as a state, country and world have gotten ourselves into some financially trying times. Many people are losing their savings, their retirement, their jobs on a daily basis. It is really sad, yet I am going to look into the topic of giving. Yes I know, what in the world am I doing, bringing up the subject of giving in times like this? Well, you probably think I'm going to break out the old saying, you have to sow seeds to reap a harvest, and I agree this is true, but I don't and won't present it like all the "health and wealth" preaching going on out there.

First off, if you are a tither (give 10% religiously to your church) that's great, but if it offends to hear that I don't believe a tithe is required then I would stop reading now.

I will not go to much into why I feel the Bible does not require a tithe, that is a topic I could spend many words and hours on. A church, as many establishments and organizations, need funds to operate, that's just a fact of life. I am all for a person supporting their church, and feel strongly that members of a church should indeed do all they can to support their church financially.

1 Corinthians 16:1,2 "Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also; On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come."

In this verse Paul is instructing the Corinthians to give, but he is instructing them to give as they prosper. He is not giving them a fixed amount, such as 10%. No required amount or percentage of giving to the Lord's work is specified in the New Testament. All giving to the Lord should be free will giving and discretionary.

Let's touch on free will giving first. Look at Romans 15:26. "For it pleased those from Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor among the saints who are in Jerusalem." This was a free will offering given out of the heart and not because it was required or demanded. We love our children and our children love us because we want to, because of the relationship between us. Right? Not because we are required or demanded to love one another. With that being said, I want to make this statement so no one gets the wrong idea when giving. It has to be a sacrifice. True giving from the heart is a sacrifice. For what kind of giving is it if you give out of your abundance?

Mark 12:44 "For they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had, her whole livelihood."

Now lets look at giving in a discretionary way. Jesus says in Matthew 6:3-4. "But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in a secret, and your Father who sees in secret will of himself reward you openly."

How many times have we seen or even have done this? Give for all to see, see how great we are for our big hearts and gracious motives. That's all fine and dandy, the problem is when we do this we are seeking the praise of men rather than the praise of God. We should always keep in our minds that it does not matter what people think of us. For the only opinion that matters is how God sees us. Does he look upon us the wretched sinner we are, full of hypocrisy, or does He see us washed in the blood of His son and as faithful servants? IT IS NOT YOUR BUSINESS WHAT OTHERS THINK OF YOU.

Malachi 3 8-10 "Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed me! But you say, in what way have we robbed you? In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse, for you have robbed Me. Even this whole nation bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food n my house, and try me now in this, says the Lord of Hosts. If I will not open for you the windows of Heaven, and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it."

I bring this verse into this blog to point out that I did not skim over this part of the Old Testament when reading my Bible. So many people have thrown the "do not rob God" verse in my face every time I bring up that I feel a person should give out of their hearts freely, and not a certain amount under obligation. Many never take into consideration that the Levites were to be servers and priests in the temple full time (doing nothing else) and they completely depended on the ten percent of the crops, animals and money to survive on. When the tithes were unpaid, the priests were deprived and had to give up their ministry to farm for food to eat.

Let me finish with a verse that I believe wraps up giving in a nut shell for Christians today. 2 Corinthians 9:7 "So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity: for God loves a cheerful giver."

I love that verse. God loves a cheerful giver, and I think this goes beyond just momentary and material giving. but also giving of your time and your talents, the ways God has so richly blessed you to help others. The Greek word for "cheerful" is the word from which we get "hilarious" which suggests that God loves a heart that is enthusiastically thrilled with the pleasure of giving. Should we be giving then in such troublesome times, well I believe we should be giving more of all we have now because there are so many more out there in need of help.

My prayer for us all is that we develop a true passion for giving our all in all ways to the kingdom of God. That we build up "treasures in Heaven" as Jesus told us in the sermon on the mount. That we be the cheerful givers God loves and may we go forth in an attitude of cheerfulness in all things.

With love and prayers,