The Journey Thoughts

August 15, 2016

One of the stories of the Bible that I love to continue to read, is the
story of the widow's gift. For this story was worth Jesus gathering His
disciples, and giving them an object lesson at the time it was happening.
Here is the story: "Sitting across from the temple treasury, He watched how
the crowd dropped money into the treasury. Many rich people were putting in
large sums.  And a poor widow came and dropped in two tiny coins worth very
little. Summoning His disciples, He said to them, 'I assure you: This poor
widow has put in more than all those giving to the temple treasury. For they
all gave out of their surplus, but she out of her poverty has put in
everything she possessed - all she had to live on.'" Mark 12:41-44  Jesus
was not condemning the rich, but he was drawing a comparison of the heart of
giving, and once again it becomes an object lesson for us as well.  Do we
give out of our surplus, or is it done from a heart of desire to surrender
our all to Jesus?  We all have been brought up as baby Christians learning
how to give, and that we should be giving at least a tenth, for that is what
"tithes "means.  Malachi 3 reveals to us: "Bring the full tenth into the
storehouse so that there may be food in My house. Test Me in this way, says
the Lord of Hosts. See  if I will not open the floodgates of heaven and pour
out a blessing for you without measure." Malachi 3:10  I am not suggesting
you give, so that you can get, but to understand the reason behind the
giving.  What does this support go for?  Well, it was designed for the
Priests, Levites, and the poor.  And today, it still goes for the keeping of
the building, the costs and air conditioning, electricity and water,
salaries, missionaries, and the poor.  Is your church a giving church? Do
they take care of each other when times fall  hard on one or the other.
Your church should be tithing for the benefit of missionaries, who labor as
a part of the congregation in lands where they cannot work for pay.  Often
living on very little, and this is how we become missionaries ourselves, by
sharing in the burden that missionaries pay for their calling.  It is a
blessing to be able to give to insure that the message of hope continues to
go out.  The contributions also ensure that the family of God, when some
find themselves in a tough spot, can get some relief for a short time, to
help them through the hard times.  It is for the workers who labor daily for
the benefit of the church, and the cause of Christ that He has called them
for.  So every time you give, remember that you share in the mission of
another, who is far away.  It's like you were working to enable them to
minister.  You are part of the mission. You are also part of the care of
those both within the church and outside the church, who need a hand on
occasion because of circumstances of life.  You share in that!  You also
share in the labor of the ministry, and you become an extremely necessary
part of that ministry.  So remember why you give.  Remember that God calls
us to share in our increase that we may continue the work He has called us
to.  I know that at times giving can become a routine, in which our giving
just becomes another "thing" that we do without thinking, because it is
expected of us.  But my brother and sister, it is so much more.  It is the
opportunity to be involved in the local ministry, and to be a part of
whatever ministry touches.   Your giving, no matter how big or how small, is
still viewed by God, as "where your treasure is, your heart will be also."
He loves a cheerful giver because a cheerful giver loves the opportunity to
share in all they have for the glory of God, and the benefit of others.
That's a heart that has it's priority on the desires of the Lord, and not
the cares of the world.  I want to have a heart like the widow, who
surrenders all to the Lord, for His glory.  How about you?

Pastor Andy

Heavenly Father, Thank You for the object lesson of giving.  Give us a
giving heart, that loves to share, not from our surplus, but from our
poverty.  I pray that You will bless the giver, and Lord, You will relieve
the burden of the one who depends on the ministry of giving for their
survival.  I pray Father, that our hearts reveal a treasure of love and
giving, instead of storing.  I pray for those who need, not only our giving,
but our time, our prayers, our love, because of their own circumstances.  So
I lift them up to You today:  For Puly, who has a lesion on the brain, for
Tyson, a baby with a heart issue, Wendy, for a right heart; Montella, Joyce,
for this one who has bone cancer, for our police, and our first responder,
and military, who find themselves in harm's way often. I pray for Don,
Dwight, Sammi, Betty, David, Phyllis, Devon, the Thibodeau family, Cindy,
Terry, Barbara, Marliana, Loren, Cynthia, Bill, Carolyn, Tracy, Abraham,
Elijah, Japheth, Agnes, Mike, Megan, Jeff, Laura, Matt, Liz, Matt, Bethany,
BJ, Ida, Isabel, Angie, Terry, Kristena, Shane, Choya, Alex, Ken, Eric,
Sandy, JV, Nada, Andrea, Alan, Lydia, Alan, Fisher, Shannon, Robert, Pat,
Ryan, Barry, Johnny, Annette, Kim, Gary, Gavin, Shawn, Ben and family, Tim's
mother, Shelly's mother, Julissa and her friend, Robbie, Laurie, Gary,
Heather, Codi, Jana's mother, Ron, Sam, Ada, Deane, Bill, Pam and her son,
Kelly and her son, Richard and his father, Dan, Rheba, Pam, Mike, Austin,
Sammi, Gus, Lisa, Alice, Dotty, Fred, Mike S., James, Scott, April, Craig,
Ben, Ramona, Betty, Danny, Hunter, Asher, Lynette, Kristen, Kathy, Jennifer,
Patrick, Candace, Abe, Trent, Garret, Mayeaux, Ben, Jason, Ashley, Marc,
Macy, Jake, Bob, Lisa.  I praise You Father, for answered prayer and
Shiree's healing.  Lord, give us a heart like You, for I ask for it in Jesus
name. Amen.

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