The Gift That Keeps On Giving

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.– Ephesians 2:8-9 NKJV 

Ephesians 2:4-10 NKJV

Our salvation is a gift from God, we didn’t earn it by works and we didn’t purchase it with favor or money.  It was God’s plan before the foundations of the earth were laid.  As Paul said, if we boast, we must boast in Christ Jesus alone.  Does this negate works?  Not at all, we are saved to work, not by our works.  Just as it was God’s plan to send Jesus to purchase our redemption with His blood, it was always God’s plan that we would have a part in His kingdom work here on earth.  God has gifted each of us with a spiritual gift to be used in His work.  Some of us are preachers, others are teachers, others encourage, others have gifts of helps.  The list of gifts is lengthy, because we all have a part in God’s plan and purpose.  Make a commitment today to ask God about your gift and how to use it in His plan.

1 Peter 4:7-11 NKJV

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 07-09-2016

“The Generous Will Prosper”

25 The generous will prosper;  those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed. — Proverbs 11:25 NLT

Proverbs 11:25-31 NLT

From the Old Testament to the New Testament, we are encouraged (if not commanded) to help those around us who are in need.  In the Old Testament, the harvesters of the crops were to leave any of the grain that was dropped for the poor and needy.  They were also instructed not to glean the corners of the fields. They were also supposed to leave clusters of the fruit on the vine for the poor to pick.  In the New Testament, Jesus tells us that those who help the poor and needy, visit the sick and in prison in His Name will be blessed.  If a needy person comes to our door and asks for food and we have food in the house, we are never to send that person away hungry.  Whatever we give up for Jesus and the sake of the Gospel brings hundred-fold blessing here on earth and eternal life in the age to come. It is truly the win-win situation of all times.

Mark 10:29,30 NLT

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 05-03-2019

What Was Jesus Thinking?

5 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.— Phil. 2:5 NLT

Phil. 2:1-11 NLT

What was the attitude of Jesus while he was here clothed in human form?  He came first as a servant, giving up all of His glory.  He came to earth just as an ambassador to a foreign country.  He had access to all of the power and the angels of heaven yet He limited Himself to live as a mere human.  He never used His powers to advance Himself as humans see advancement. The instances we read about of Jesus using His powers are actions that advanced the Kingdom of God here on earth.  He could have called on legions of angels to protect Him at any time yet He chose to suffer and die for our sins.  He ate with sinners.  He showed mercy to the poor and to the needy.  He could have allowed Himself to be crowned king by His followers.  Instead, He chose to live a life serving others.  He was a giver and He gave up everything to die on a cross for our sins.  He gave His lifetime and His life for us.  How much of our time are we willing to give up for Him?  We are all familiar with the saying “time is money”, perhaps we should consider tithing our time as well as our money. 

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 04-22-2019

“The Gift That Keeps On Giving”

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6 For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom. He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onward and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this. – Isaiah 9:6-7 NSRV


This prophecy was fulfilled in Luke 2 when the virgin Mary gave birth to the baby Jesus. God would keep His covenant with David that a member of David’s household would always occupy the throne of Israel. Jesus would not establish His earthly kingdom at that time, but it will be completely fulfilled when the new Jerusalem is established. It will be an eternal kingdom with Jesus as the last king. Jesus is the Prince of Peace, Mighty God, and the everlasting Father. We can celebrate the birth of Jesus because it is another assurance that God never fails to keep His covenants and His promises. He is an awesome, amazing God who holds us in the palm of His hand and we can never be separated from Him. He inhabits the praises of His people, so praise Him continually and “forget not all His benefits”.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 12-25-2018

Give It All Up For Jesus

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28 Then Peter began to say to him, “See, we have left everything and followed you.” 29 Jesus said, “I tell all of you[a] with certainty, there is no one who has left his home, brothers, sisters, mother, father, children, or fields because of me and the gospel 30 who will not receive a hundred times as much here in this world—homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and fields, along with persecution—as well as eternal life in the age to come. – Mark 10:28-30
God has nothing against rich people or people that are successful from a worldly viewpoint.  Riches, power and position are neutral and can be used for good or for evil. It is the misuse of these things that causes our issues with God.  He allows us to have those things for His honor and His glory.  We are to use whatever we have, be it little or be it much, as a means to an end, not the end itself.  We should use those things for His glory here and now and be ready to give them up completely, if necessary.  Any good thing that we have now comes from God and belongs to God.  When properly used, it will bring glory to God now.  If it is necessary for us to give it up to bring glory and honor to the Father, we will receive a return now and rewards in eternity.  It is not about the amount we give, it is about the sacrifice we make in giving to God.  The poor widow put in two small coins, others gave much more, but only she received praise from Jesus.  She gave her grocery money, they gave from their surplus. When we have the heart of the widow and give like she gave, then the blessings will come. Not because we gave a lot, but because we gave sacrificially, trusting God to meet our every need.  Don’t be concerned about the amount or the percentage, don’t quit giving when it hurts, just keep giving until it feels good.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 10-28-2018

Give Generously and Joyfully

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10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.  — 2 Cor. 9:1​0, 11 N​IV
 
When it comes to giving and receiving, God turns our worldly mathematics upside down. Worldly increase comes when we add or multiply. But God gives us increase when we subtract by giving and by dividing when we share with others. He is our source and our supplier.  We need to empty out our storehouses so He can refill them with fresh seed and food. As Jesus told the rich young ruler when the young man asked Jesus; “what do I still lack?”
 

20 “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?” 21 Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 22 When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. — Matt. 19:20-22 NIV ​ 

God’s supply never runs out. He allows us to be stewards over a portion of His riches fully expecting us to use those for His glory. As we learn to be good stewards over a little, He will give us increase so that our generosity will result in others giving thanks to God.

 

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 06-18-2018

Give Gladly and Graciously

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12 Whatever you give is acceptable if you give it eagerly. And give according to what you have, not what you don’t have. – 2 Cor. 8:12 NLT


2 Cor. 8:8-12 NLT

God is not impressed by the amount of money that we give.  He is impressed by the attitude that we have toward giving into His work.  We see this from the story of the widow who gave her mite. A mite is thought to be equal to about one half of one of our pennies.  Regardless of what the world thought about it’s worth, because of the attitude and the sacrifice the woman made, Jesus thought it was much more valuable than the gifts of those who gave out of their abundance.  God doesn’t need us to return a portion of the money He has allowed us to be stewards over.  He wants us to give out of love and a grateful heart.  He wants us to give with joy and hilarity because of our relationship with Him. Just as we give gifts of time and money to those around us that we love, we should offer up the best of both to Him. Would we invite a special guest to dinner and give him/her leftovers? We have the most special guest that lives with us all the time. Why do think that He is happy with our leftovers? He gave His life, we must make every effort to give Him the best of what we have simply because we love Him.


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 06-17-2018