Posts Tagged ‘Giving’


Leviticus2:1-2,11-13 (NIV, @2011) “‘When anyone brings a grain offering to the LORD, their offering is to be of the finest flour. They are to pour olive oil on it, put incense on it and take it to Aaron’s sons the priests. The priest shall take a handful of the flour and oil, together with all the incense, and burn this as a memorial portion on the altar, a food offering, an aroma pleasing to the LORD… “‘Every grain offering you bring to the LORD must be made without yeast, for you are not to burn any yeast or honey in a food offering presented to the LORD. You may bring them to the LORD as an offering of the firstfruits, but they are not to be offered on the altar as a pleasing aroma. Season all your grain offerings with salt. Do not leave the salt of the covenant of your God out of your grain offerings; add salt to all your offerings.

From the looks of it, it seems like all the sacrifices and offerings demanded by God are to do with food and the priests get their fill from the many offerings brought in by the sinful Israelites.

Why is God so caught up about what is offered, how it is prepared and about aromas? (more…)


2 Corinthians 8:7-9, 12
But just as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us—see that you also excel in this grace of giving. I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich… For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have.

I have always been uncomfortable about messages on giving because I fear it takes away from the essence of Jesus. In my head, I separate finances from the spiritual realm as they don’t seem to fit together well or so I thought. This morning, as I read Paul’s recommendation on giving, I saw new meaning to it. That added with our present situation of trying to buy a home with the limited resources we have plus our non-existent credit history has opened my eyes to a new facet in our walk with the Lord. When I first started putting money in the offertory as a little boy, my understanding of giving was that it was a fee we paid, and as I grew up, it felt like buying favors with God. After I was saved, it became a joyous offering of what God gave me.

However, my understanding of giving was limited to finances. As I progressed in my walk with the Lord, I learnt that giving was in all areas of our lives and what we gave was the first fruits of what we had, whether it be our time, our love, our service, our efforts, our participation, etc. When we note that our Lord Jesus was rich, our minds construe it as wealth and we feel sad for what he sacrificed in terms of wealth. What Jesus actually sacrificed was much more and that includes being in the presence of God, something He valued so much that He wanted us to have. The riches Jesus wanted us to have were not simply material comforts but the abounding grace of God. To the blind, the greatest gift is not a lottery but the gift of sight. To the dying, the greatest gift is life. To the materially unsatisfied dying soul, the greatest gift they can have is a fullness of joy that no money can buy, a lifetime of guilt free living, an eternity in the presence of God to enjoy His glory and grace and many more such things that we can never buy. Jesus became poor so that through his poverty and sacrifice, we may become rich in a way no man can be through their own efforts. Are you rich and if so, is that going to satisfy your soul’s cravings?

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

Philippians 2:5-7 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness…


Mark 12:41-44
Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins,j worth only a fraction of a penny. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”

As the threats to Jesus increase and the attacks of the Pharisees and Sadducees get worse, Jesus continues to patiently teach his disciples rather than being stressed about the terrible things that are to come. What’s most amazing is that Jesus knew exactly what would happen and rather than avoiding the horrid betrayal and crucifixion, he is focussed on sharing the gospel, saving as many souls and clarifying the reality of what God wants for man. This observation he makes of the poor widow is again such a wonderful reminder about the fact that God looks at our hearts not the outward appearances we make.

We are often reminded by Jesus that he doesn’t want us to speak “Churchinese” or “Act holy” or make gestures that show we are Christian in Church specially when we don’t mean it. When we are faced with the world, what’s in our hearts shows in our way of dealing with non-Christians and our lives are a reflection of our hearts. The old widow gave all she had to tell God that her trust was completely on God whereas we will count our pennies and give what we think is right. If that’s our attitude, it will be so even when we serve God and show our love to the lost. What God wants of us is our everything, not just measured portions. If we truly understand the sacrifice God made for us, we will know that our everything will not add up to a fraction of what the Lord has done for us. Lets not count the pennies and count the cost but consider it pure joy to submit our lives to our Lord and Savior and glorify him shamelessly. He will reward us in his time and take care of our every need.

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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Nature's Perfect Mirror


Mark 5:2,3,12,13a,25,27,29,41,42a
When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an evil spirit came from the tombs to meet him. This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him any more, not even with a chain… The demons begged Jesus, “Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them.” He gave them permission, and the evil spirits came out and went into the pigs… a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years… When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak… Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering… He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!”. Immediately the girl stood up and walked around.

Every morning before I read the word, I spend time in prayer and I often reflect on the word as not just God’s word for me and you today but as words that are life giving, life altering and life transforming. Chance and luck are words often used to give hope to people because there are things outside of our control and we know we cannot exercise control over those things. Like when someone is going for an exam, they are told best of luck as if they would only do better by luck and not effort. I am guilty of this too because these are common statements that are part of our vocabulary and we need to get rid of it.

In today’s passage (a mish-mash of verses from Chapter 5) it is evident how Jesus was not only a miracle worker but that his dominion was over the forces of evil and even over death, something only God can do. You might wonder what faith it is that these people exercised to have Jesus work such miracles in their lives but there is no special something they did which we cannot do. All of the seekers were genuine in their need and they all went to Jesus knowing he is able. For Jesus, being the Son of God, all things are possible and when we completely submit our pains, needs and problems to him, he choses to bless us in ways he sees fit. Sometimes with healing, sometimes with patience, sometimes with silence but every time in ways that are his and not ours. Next time you want to wish someone, wish them God’s blessing and then pray for their need. Lets be prayer warriors to permit God to continue to work miraculously in our broken world. Are you up to the challenge?

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

Light at the End of the Tunnel