Thursday, May 21, 2015

Can you give.. or can you tell His Story when you don't really "feel His anointing" all? Sure you can. Are we to walk by feelings, by sight, or by faith?

Sometimes the Lord asks me to give what would appear to many something I don't feel I have to give. But then I think.. Wait, He can give me that so that I can give it away. Has he done that with you as well?

Believer, when you don't even feel like doin' it, you can share your story that leads to His Story and that's giving too. Yes, even when you might feel kinda down and out.. or like your body is totally out of it.. I mean energy or fuel so to speak.. God could ask you to speak. He can lead you to open your mouth in such a way that others will be led to God's living Word - Jesus! Other than worshiping Him, what beats that? Nothin'; null, zero does!

Is it really about how much you and I give and serve or is it more about how much love we put into both; about how directed we are by the God of selfless Love in what, how, and when we give and serve? 

There have been times before when He's asked me to serve when I've felt completely out of gas before, or to serve people when I've been sick. I even remember driving on the autobahn in Germany once to go preach near the Alps one night and then afterwards I could not find even one gas-station in the region that was still open in order to refuel for my drive home. The car was sputtering, it was actually 100% my fault for not reading up beforehand, but some friends and I there stopped to briefly pray about it. It wasn't super easy to get my car to start again, but that Audi actually made the entire 30 minute drive through falling the snow to my house in Augsburg. I was feelin' so relieved and grateful. Told Him so! Thank you Lord! 

Don't get me wrong on this.. I'm not at all telling you to serve when you are sick. Don't want to play Lord. I'd like to see you obey God first, and to be honest..also get to a pastor and a doctor that He leads you to. Not sure how it will go with you, how could I, but you can always trust the Lord. I'd say ask Him for wisdom and choose to apply.. to act wisely in obeying the Lord. Sure, daily obey Him more than you would any other human.

How cool that when we run out, we can by faith on any day of the week make a hefty love-withdrawal.  And the bank of God's perfect love up in heaven never ever goes bankrupt.

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”― Winston S. Churchill

Sure, God can ask me to help others when I'm feeling so weak inside though. Has done it before.. or He can also say go speak here or go there when I don't even know what to say.. at all ..or do that at a time when I didn't have any formal Bible education yet. Has happened before! He can tell me to tithe and give offerings at a time when I feel broke. He's done that and I was in need myself. Was blessed after I did cuz the Lord likes to show me and others that He is able. My problems have become His. Yes, I try to plan. I'm far from perfect but Jesus took full responsibility for me and my family's needs when I repented and asked Him in.  

Have you ever said, Lord, please forgive me for my unbelief, please regenerate, come in to be Lord of my life.. not just Savior or Lord in theory. I want You to my CEO to lead me daily, I really do. I choose to trust You even when the circumstances don't look so good.

“Happiness doesn't result from what we get, but from what we give.” ― Ben Carson

So what is God asking from me ..every single day of this year and of me for those following this year? What is God asking of me right now? He's asking for all of me now cuz He actually wants me more than what I can do for Him. And He loves me; has a predetermined plan for ALL of me body, soul, and spirit. Makes sense--Jesus Christ gave His life.. all of it for me.. now wants all of me. He wants all of you too!
“You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.” ― Amy Carmichael

“Do you not know that God entrusted you with that money (all above what buys necessities for your families) to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to help the stranger, the widow, the fatherless; and, indeed, as far as it will go, to relieve the wants of all mankind? How can you, how dare you, defraud the Lord, by applying it to any other purpose?” ― John Wesley

“For it is in giving that we receive.” ― Francis of Assisi

Those words challenge me to my core. Lord, in Jesus' mighty Name.. please help us now to have your persepctive, Your BIG and wise heart, Your trust in the Father, and to simply be more like You are. Need ya gobs. I want to depend on Your grace more!

I've seen and met my own fleshly nature before. Not handsome. I've seen my selfish ways before, and how much I lack spiritually, but I've also come to understand that God gives. He is the Giver of all givers. I wasn't born that way, but now want Him to give through me. And I cannot out-give him. Jesus gives and gives and gives some more. He will give me what I need when I need it. Even promised to do that for us and by faith we can claim that promise!

Does God lead you to give offerings when feeling needy at times? 

When we hear the Lord tell us to..  Try me.. Test Me in this.. it can feel like we're Him say Go jump over the moon! Lord, please forgive and help us believe even when the economy is really bad perhaps due to our nation's sinning as well as all the miss and under-informed voters who helped elect super lame leaders in our Land over us. 

May I ask you.. Have you heard God in Malachi 3:10 tell you to obey Him? I have. (No worries, I'm not asking or even wanting you to give to me. That's not the point of this. Prayer is. I simply want you to talk to, come to trust more, and obey Jesus regarding this area of giving). 

I know this mentioned verse needs to be looked at contextually and with all the other Bible verses dealing with giving. I know it is talkin' about giving financially and that is needed for so many local Christian churches these days. God is very practical. 

But God by His Spirit can also speak to our hearts if we let Him and He can give us wisdom for all kinds of different giving. He can show us step by step how to pull off what seems very impossible ..and He can give grace on a moment by moment regular basis. I'm an ordinary dude, but He's spoken to my heart before.. to give all of me to Him.. to give when it costs a lot and when it's not even convenient. But it's instead a big sacrifice for me. But listen.. you know that Jesus has of course sacrificed far more than me or you. I admit I haven't always obeyed Him, but I sure want to now. I believe that we are living in the last days when it's so crucial to obey God's Word. 

I so want to love Jesus more than I did yesterday.. love Him extravagantly, just like that poor widow in the Bible did when she didn't even have much at all to offer to God financially. How beautiful that she had a heart that was willing to obey Him at that time, yes a mind willing to sacrifice to Him.

Remember God's promise to us: Just be ready and see "if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows. Then I will rebuke the devourer for you.."  

Sometimes not giving to someone is obedience as well. Thinking of a certain drug abuser. They love to lie and get you feeling guilty (with false guilt) in order to manipulate your mercy and use your loan or gift to go sin more. Sure, watch Cops. All kinds of addicts seek to decieve and try to work-us Christians for their own wicked purposes. Be wise as a serpent and gentle as a dove. I say.. always let the Spirit lead you regarding the giving or not giving of anything, even when your bank account seems so empty to you. 

Don't even let the weird scam-tactics or pressure from money-grubbing televangelists (I mean the false teachers) presumptuously lead you to give with your credit card etc. That also would be sin. Jesus is your Lord who cares about you, not them. 

Study and remember how God used Corrie Ten Boom. She kept ministering and serving the Lord with joy inside that lice-ridden Ravensbrück Nazi concentration camp. Listen, these ideas and gentle warnings didn't originate with me, no no, but you and I can still be involved in sharing as Corrie did.. yes, in this kinda Spirit-led giving or wise non-giving even while we're perhaps still feeling pretty needy. And I pray that God will indeed bless and specifically meet your needs real soon, so you too can continue on with JOY! The Bible says... 

"Sitting across from the offering box, he (Jesus) was observing how the crowd tossed money in for the collection. Many of the rich were making large contributions. One poor widow came up and put in two small coins—a measly two cents. Jesus called his disciples over and said, 'The truth is that this poor widow gave more to the collection than all the others put together. All the others gave what they’ll never miss; she gave extravagantly what she couldn’t afford—she gave her all.'" Mark 12:41-44 msg

Here's more fodder for prayerful meditation and application:
*Deuteronomy 16:17 Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which he has given you.
*Deuteronomy 15:10 You shall surely give him, and your heart shall not be grieved when you give to him: because that for this thing the LORD your God shall bless you in all your works, and in all that you put your hand to.
*1 Chronicles 29:9 Then the people rejoiced, for that they offered willingly, because with perfect heart they offered willingly to the LORD: and David the king also rejoiced with great joy.
*Proverbs 3:27 Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do it.
*Proverbs 28:27 He that gives to the poor shall not lack: but he that hides his eyes shall have many a curse.
*Proverbs 21:26 He covets greedily all the day long: but the righteous gives and spares not.
*Malachi 3:7 Even from the days of your fathers you are gone away from my ordinances, and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you, said the LORD of hosts. But you said, Wherein shall we return?
*Malachi 3:10 Bring you all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in my house, and prove me now herewith, said the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
*Matthew 6:1 Take heed that you do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise you have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.
*Luke 3:11 He answers and said to them, He that has two coats, let him impart to him that has none; and he that has meat, let him do likewise.
*Luke 6:30 Give to every man that asks of you; and of him that takes away your goods ask them not again.
*John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
*Acts 20:35 I have showed you all things, how that so laboring you ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
*2 Corinthians 9:6 But this I say, He which sows sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which sows bountifully shall reap also bountifully.
*2 Corinthians 9:10 Now he that ministers seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness..
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