God’s Secret Service Agents

through faith in Jesus you will become His secret change agents in this world

Daily Spirit & Word: 791: Our Giving & Our Connection & Our Fasting

How to Give & How to Pray & How to Fast & Why?

God’s Secret Service Agents.

Core Values in Kingdom Living: As Jesus’ Disciples we’re constantly Learning, we experience many Challenges, we get Curiosity to discover more about Jesus and His Kingdom, we know God wants Excellence, He encourages us to show Love and Respect to Himself and Others, He’s promised to watch our backs and be with us always on the journey through this life that He’s called us into by His Spirit through faith in His Son Jesus Christ.

But How are we going to KNOW He’s with us?

And How can we KNOW we can do it?

Two Ways Today: Our Giving & Our Connection. When we get these two right, we’ll be following the Master’s way of Kingdom Living in Love and Security.

Intro: Secret Service: Like MI5 or the SAS and SBS. We’re to follow and serve the LORD from the HEART SECRETLY:

  • How we give: In SECRET
  • How we pray: In SECRET
  • How we fast: In SECRET

All are to be done secretly for Jesus and His Kingdom Glory. Then when we do these things in secret our Heavenly Father has PROMISED (God’s always faithful to all His promises) will REWARD you OPENLY (In public, in front of everyone). However, in Kingdom Living, we’ll see that our motivation won’t be because of His rewards, but because we LOVE Him. That is and will become even more our Kingdom motivation.

Today I want to see if we can come close to the CORE:

Getting to the CORE VALUES of Kingdom Living is essential for every follower of Jesus, you’ll soon see that when you put these into practice, Kingdom Living will become much easier.

 

True Christian Spirituality:

It can be found in some of the traditions of the Church.

However, if you want to fine PURE Christian Spirituality,

then we need to go to the SOURCE: To The Teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.

 

You’ll find Jesus’ teachings on the Kingdom in the Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

Most notably in Jesus Greatest Sermon:

The Sermon (Teaching) On the Mount. Matthew Chapters 5 to 7.

 

In those Chapters you’ll discover most of what Jesus was teaching:

Matthew 5:3-12 – The Beatitudes: Be Happy Attitudes.

Matthew 5:13-16 – Salt and Light: You are Salt & Light.

Matthew 5:17-20 – Jesus fulfilled the Law: God’s LAW (Revealed in Moses first five books of Old Testament (Ten Commandments).

Matthew 5:21-26 – Anger and Murder: Peace and Harmony.

Matthew 5:27-30 – Lust and Adultery: Love and Faithfulness.

Matthew 5:31-32 – Divorce and Remarriage: Staying together as husband and wife.

Matthew 5:33-37 – Oaths: Promises: Telling the Truth Always.

Matthew 5:38-42 – Eye for an Eye: Not getting even with people. Not taking personal revenge, but forgiving others.

Matthew 5:43-48 – Love your enemies: The opposite of what the world teaches. PEACE if we really LOVE our enemies.

Matthew 6:1-4 – Give to the Needy: Not turning you back on anyone. Always being ready to be GENEROUS.

Matthew 6:5-15 – How to Pray: When you pray, not if you pray.

Matthew 6:16-18 – How to Fast: Why do you fast?

Matthew 6:19-24 – Treasures in Heaven: Storing up for your Eternal Future. (Not just thinking of your life here on earth).

Matthew 6:25-34 – Do not worry: Trust in the Father who knows all your needs.

Matthew 7:1-6 – Do not judge hypocritically: Use right judgement of others.

Matthew 7:7-12 – Ask, Seek, Knock: If you want something, you’ve got to ask for it.

Matthew 7:13-14 – The Narrow Gate: Finding your way to Heaven: Jesus is the ONLY WAY to Heaven.

Matthew 7:15-23 – False Prophets: False messages about God, Religion, Faith. Watch Out!

Matthew 7:24-27 – The Wise Builder: Getting the foundations of our Faith right.

 

Right in the MIDDLE of the Sermon on the Mount is the REAL MEAT (Just like a McDonald’s Burger has the meat in the middle, so does Jesus teaching on Kingdom Living in the Sermon on the Mount).

  • GIVING: The LORD’S GIVER (Matthew 6:1-4). Secret Service.
  • PRAYER: The LORD’S PRAYER (Matthew 6:1-15) Secret Prayer.
  • FASTING: Getting Even Closer (Matthew 6:16-18) Secret Devotion.

Our Giving & Our Connection & Our Devotion.

Today we’re going to FOCUS on just two, the most important two.

1) First, Our Giving

(Matthew 6:1-4)
1  “Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
2  “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honoured by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.
3  But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,
4  so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
NOTE: Can you ever give in such a way that your left hand won’t know what your right hand is doing? “No!” You’ll always know, but Jesus is telling us about our WILLINGNESS / READINESS to be GENEROUS (Kind hearted towards others in need).

 

When you see a NEED: Are you ready and willing to help?

When you see a PERSON: Who needs the LORD’S help are you ready to respond?

 

My friends, Jesus has no body on Earth today except your body.

  • He has no hands today, but your hands.
  • He has no feet today, but your feet.
  • He has no eyes today, but your eyes.
  • He has no mouth today, but your mouth.
  • He has no hands to help, but your hands.

He’s called you, lives in you, equips and provides for you and gives you EXTRA in your life so that you can use it to help others.

How’s your heart of GIVING today?

  • We’re collecting for FOODBANK: You can GIVE (Time, Food or and Money).
  • We’re collecting for ROUGH SLEEPERS : You can GIVE (Money, Meals and Time).
  • We’re collecting for St Luke’s Church.: You can GIVE (Service, Time, Money and Love).

Oh my friends, let’s all be Jesus SECRET SERVICE AGENTS in the world today; his body, his hands, his eyes, his ears, his mouth, his feet, his hands today. Spreading His light, His salt, His goodness, His kindness, His forgiveness, His generosity… Let’s do it starting afresh today. Amen!

2) Second, Our PRAYER CONNECTING WITH OUR FATHER:

HOWEVER: We’ll NEVER Get Jesus Heart for GIVING until we make and maintain our CONNECTION with God our Father through faith in His Son Jesus Christ.

Matthew 6:5-6. How We Shouldn’t and How we Should PRAY.
5  “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.
6  But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you (OPENLY).
7  And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.
8  Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

NOTE: Our prayer should not be like a performance for others. We’re not praying to impress people, but to connect with God.

HOW: How to MAKE & MAINTAIN your Connection with Father God.
9  “This, then, is how you should pray: ” ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, (Recognising / Acknowledging God’s HOLINESS and Fatherly nature: We come into His FAMILY, we’re members of His Kingdom Family when we’ve trusted Jesus for forgiveness and Salvation from Sin)…
10  Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. (Your desire to live in OBEDIENCE to God’s will: Living according to His revealed Kingdom Values).
11  Give us today our daily bread. (All your needs).
12  Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. (Forgiving us our sins as we forgive when others sin against us).
13  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’ (Keep us free from overwhelming temptations).
14  For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
15  But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

FORGIVENESS: Is Key to the Kingdom Living.

First you are forgiven when you come to Jesus.

Because you’ve been forgiven so much, you’ll be ready and willing to forgive others who’ve sinned against and hurt you. (One Christian said to me this week; “It’s amazing, because we become a bit like God when we actually get to the point of being able to really forgive others and let them off the hook or our revenge or punishment”… It really is amazing.

The LORD’s PRAYER: Song… Our Father…

(To the Jamaican Spiritual Tune)…

Get the folks into groups of four at front of Service, and point to them to say their line. (We did this yesterday, and got the congregation to join it. Old but AWESOME). <3 🙂

The Golden Nugget of Christian Kingdom Living: SECRET SERVICE for Jesus.

Giving, Prayer and Fasting (we’ve not touched on FASTING yet).

All are to be done in SECRET: Then your Heavenly Father, who sees what’s done in secret will reward you OPENLY.

Connecting with God our Father in Heaven.

Once that connection is made through Faith and Trust in your Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, we’re in His Kingdom Family Forever. God become our FATHER IN HEAVEN.

So now we maintain that CONNECTION and become his secret change agents in this world. Amen! Amen!

We’ll get His heart of love for others.

Our HEART will be changed and we’ll desire to serve HIM first in all things…

PRAYER: Oh my friends, my prayer this week is; Father God, help us to change to become more like You, like Your Son Jesus Christ; When I look at Jesus I see what You are like Father; Loving, Gentle, Kind, Patient, Forgiving, Good, Full of Joy, Full of Power, Overflowing with awesome FAITH to move any mountain. O Father, I want to be just like Your Son Jesus. So I pray in His Name and ask for the fullness of the Holy Spirit.

In Your KINGDOM LIVING:

Help me to be Giving in secret so that only You can see.
Help me in Praying in secret so that only You know.
Help me in Fasting in secret so that I can came closer to You for sustenance.
I want to be out of my depth in Your Love Lord.
I want to feel you close to me.
I want You to be in me.
I want to worship You Father in Spirit and Truth. Amen! Amen! Amen!

Through faith in Jesus, you will become God’s secret change agents in this world. You’ll be His hands, eyes, ears, head, feet and mouth. You’ll be all that the Sermon on the Mount says; Salt, Lite, Giving, Forgiving and Devoted. You’ll be connected with the POWER of Heaven and people are going to know, because your Father who sees you being His secret change agent will reward you openly. Amen!

Don.

 

How To Avoid Being A Shrewd Steward

How to avoid shrewd stewardship

Daily Spirit & Word: 778: How to AVOID Being Shrewd Steward.

Don’t Let Money Be Your Master.

Luke 16:8 (NIV) “The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light.”

Good morning my friends. You know the feeling you get when someone says something about you, behind your back, but somehow you get to hear about it? It feels horrible to think that people are thinking negatively about you. Well I had that a few years ago, and I didn’t realise that it had stuck with me. At the time I ignored it, but it got under my skin and into the core of my being. That’s the way RESENTMENTS build within us. What was it that someone said? They said, “Donald doesn’t understand money”… I can tell you now, honestly, that hurt. However, it’s not true. I do understand money, I just don’t want to be controlled by it. The LORD has set me FREE from care or worry about MONEY. Praise HIM for that. So I’m sure the LORD is right, the people of this world are more shrewd regarding worldly wealth than I am, but I don’t care, because the LORD owns the Universe and He’ll give me what I need, when I need it, right on time, every time. Trust the LORD with your finances and He’ll take care of the rest. Render to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God. When you do, He’ll OPEN the floodgates of Heaven into your life.

In Luke 16:10 right in the middle of the parable of the Shrewd Steward (Manager of the household).

Luke 16:10 (NIV) “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.”

As many of you know by now, I’m a bit of a wordsmith, I love looking into the meanings of words. Sometimes I’m surprised by my investigations, take the word ‘shrewd’ as an example. We probably all think we know what shrewd means, right? But when we think about it in light of this Parable in the Bible, we’ll see that being a ‘shrewd’ person is far from a praiseworthy accolade, because shrewdness is being totally self-serving rather than serving God or others.

Shrewd:  1. Marked by practical hardheaded intelligence. 2. Serving one’s own interests in an unemotional, analytical manner.

Other words that can be used (synonyms); astute, calculating, calculative, conniving, savvy, scheming, sharp, smart.

Shrewdness: Intelligence manifested by being astute (as in business dealings).

Here’s one I uncovered: perspicaciousness. Perspicacious: 1. Acutely insightful and wise. 2. Mentally acute or penetratingly discerning.

Shrewd Steward:

You’ll know the Parable and what Jesus said about the Steward (Manager of the Master’s Household).

Luke 16:8 (NIV) “The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light.”

The Manager (Steward) was about to loose his job because he was not a good manager (Steward) of the Master’s household. Instead of working harder to serve the Master better, he began to serve himself (shrewdness), he made friends of the people who owed his master money by letting them off the hook and taking only a fraction of what they owed and giving it to the master. He cooked the books in order to feather a nest for himself when he eventually lost his job.

Each transaction amounted to very little, but when all calculated together, the Master would have a massive shortfall. However, the SHREWD STEWARD would be seen to be a ‘nice’ man in the eyes of those who’d been helped out of debt.

We also know that the STEWARDS Jesus was aiming this Parable at, like a bolt in a crossbow, were the Pharisees. They were the Stewards in charge of God’s Household (The Temple and the People of Israel), but they were NOT being good stewards. They valued wealth, riches, rich people were given preference, they showed favouritism to the rich, they were feathering their own nests, rather than leading all of the people back to God and to Godly ways of living. Jesus had very stern words for them at the end of this Parable.

Luke 16:13-15 (NIV)
13  “No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”
14  The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus.
15  He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God’s sight.

The Pharisees were being very SHREWD: calculating, cunning and crafty in their dealings with men. However, they didn’t give the Master (God) a second of thought. So Jesus is warning them at this point, they are the SHREWD STEWARDS (Household Managers) who are about to loose their positions of trust.

My friends, money is not evil, but your money, what you own and possess is a TEST or a GAUGE of your FAITHFULNESS to God.

When I served on a submarine, we’d have gauges for all kinds of things, some to measure pressure, some to indicate levels in tanks. The water tanks and fuel tanks needed to be monitored and kept watch over at all times.  Just one glance at a gauge and you’d know the level of the liquid inside the tanks.

In your life God uses the wealth and MONEY He’s given to you to GAUGE your level of faithfulness, commitment or spirituality.

You might declare “I’m not interested in money” (So God can’t accuse me of being an unjust Steward or a Shrewd Manager).

Well here’s a shocker for you, God IS INTERESTED in how you use your money.

You cannot SERVE BOTH: God and Money.

Why? Because your are going to LOVE the one and hate the other.

  • If you love money, then it’s like hatred towards God.
  • If you love God, then it’s like hatred towards Money.

So your Heavenly Father God will use whatever MONEY you’ve been entrusted with as a GAUGE to monitor your faithfulness to HIM (The Master).

When God looks at how you’ve used your money, will He see a FULL or EMPTY indicator?

Remember you cannot serve BOTH… i.e. there’s no in-between measurement. It’s either FULL ON for God or Empty.

If your trusting in God with your finances, then you are going to LOVE God’s ways of dealing with money and you’ll hate the worlds ways. You’ll be set free from worry about money. You’ll use money to serve God’s purposes in your life and wait for it, God Himself has promised to OPEN up the floodgates of Heaven into your life. If you bring into His storehouse what belongs to Him.

What’s God asking for?

It all belongs to HIM anyway, but He’s trusting you with it all: 100% Trust. Now He asks for you to give back to Him a portion of what He’s given you. That’s the TRUST element. He asks for a starting proportion of only 10%, then He’ll also move you to give generously to others and bring even more gifts to offer to Him. This is KINGDOM FINANCES and when you trust God with all your money, He’s going to set your completely FREE from worry, fears, temptations etc.

So, my advice would be:

  • STOP trusting in MONEY,
  • START trusting in God.

You know when you begin to really trust in God financially, you are going to be so on fire with LOVE for Him and for all His Kingdom priorities and values. God reveals His secrets to those who love HIM. You finances are God’s GAUGE to measure how much you really love and trust Him.

Jesus said so much about money, He spoke much more about money than He did; Heaven, Healing or Hell. Why? Because Jesus knew how this world ticks over every single day. He knows you think you need money to survive, but He’s got all the resources you’ll ever need, much more than you can even imagine, if you’ll just trust in HIM.

When GIVING is Tough: Kingdom Freedom Finances.

Mark 12:41-44 (NIV)
41  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.
42  But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny.
43  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.
44  They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”

If you are feeling strapped for cash at this moment in your life, believe me I’ve been there. It’s really, really hard to trust the LORD when you’ve got five kids to look after and you’ve just taken a pay cut from £25,000 a year to less than £12,000 and still try to give every week to God. For the first few years of ministry, serving the LORD, I struggled financially too. Then one day, through tears and crying out to the LORD a little miracle happened in my life. I’d started resenting the LORD, but He’s just so good, so kind, so generous and faithful. It took me to my knees to really cry out to Him.

If it looks bleak for you at this moment in time, financially, know this my friends, TRUST the LORD financially, keep giving to Him and He will suddenly open the floodgates into your life in ways you can’t imagine. Think about how much the poor widow really trusted the LORD with her finances, she put into the offering all she had to live on. ALL SHE HAD! That’s 100% giving to the LORD. That’s TRUST. However, the LORD isn’t asking for 100% from you to start with, not 50%, not 20%, but He’s only asking for just 10%… That’s awesome! That’s Kingdom Freedom Finances. All I can say is try it! You’ll see! He’ll set you free.

HOW TO GIVE TO THE LORD!

Bring in your 10% to start with into your local church to which you belong and you are a committed member. It’s not the church you are giving to, it’s God. Don’t give it to charity outside the church (this kind of charitable giving (offerings) is in addition to your Christian committed giving to the LORD’S family in the local church).

Some people say, “Oh I don’t give 10% to my church because I give to charities as well”… Well my friends, you are robbing God. You don’t get your shopping at ASDA and pay TESCO do you? You don’t go to Morrisons and pay in Sainsburry’s do you? No! You pay where you get your shopping. My friends, your local church is where the LORD feeds you with God’s Word, Worship, Fellowship, Teaching, Evangelism, Kingdom Family Friendships and Ministry: Bring in the whole TITHE into the storehouse of God’s Kingdom Family. You giving to your local church is a TEST (Gauge) of your trust and commitment to the LORD. How much do you love the LORD? It will be shown by how much you give to your church.

Malachi 3:6-12 (NIV) KINGDOM GIVING (Tithes and Offerings).
6  “I the LORD do not change. So you, O descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed.
7  Ever since the time of your forefathers you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the LORD Almighty. “But you ask, ‘How are we to return?’
8  “Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How do we rob you?’ “In tithes and offerings.
9  You are under a curse—the whole nation of you—because you are robbing me.
10  Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.
11  I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit,” says the LORD Almighty.
12  “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the LORD Almighty.

YOUR MONEY: From God, is His GAUGE of your LOVE, TRUST and FAITHFULNESS to HIM.

Don’t be a Shrewd Steward of what the LORD has trusted you with.

Are you feeling a bit dry ‘Spiritually’, then how’s your giving going? Are you holding back on God? Review your GIVING to the LORD today! Get on fire for Jesus.

Be one who LOVES and SERVES ONLY the LORD!

Jesus is the TRUTH: Know the Truth and the Truth will set you FREE.

Have an awesome week with Jesus,

Don.

 

Getting God’s Direction In Life

How to get the LORD'S Direction in LIFE. Knowing God's Will.

Daily Spirit & Word: 749: How to GET The LORD’S Direction in Life.

How the LORD Directs Our Paths.

There are FOUR CONDITIONS (at least) that must be followed.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (ESV)
5  Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
6  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
Good morning my friends, everybody loves Proverbs 3:5-6 don’t they? Especially if you’ve been a Christian and seen how true the LORD’S promises are. However, there’s so much more that most Christians are missing out on, if only we’d read these verses in CONTEXT.

For me the key verses in the first half of chapter 3 of Proverbs are verses 5-6, because this is a promise that the LORD’S people have often claimed as they have sought His direction for their lives. It’s one that I’ve used often and found it to be TRUE. And this promise has never failed me, but only I discovered that it’s only really true if all of the LORD’S conditions for success have been followed.

He sets out these conditions in the other 10 verses.  Because when we learn obedience to His precepts and commands we’ll see Him move with POWER in our lives. Not just once but all the time. It’s because our loving obedience in response to His LOVE prepares us to receive and enjoy all that He has planned and prepared for us.

Some people say “God’s LOVE is UN-CONDITIONAL” well that’s only partially true. It’s TRUE in one sense, because God is LOVE and He’s always loving, but it’s NOT true if we want to EXPERIENCE that love down here upon the Earth. To experience God’s LOVE then we’ve got to exercise FAITH, because without FAITH it is impossible to please God or experience His LOVE for us.

Let’s look at these FOUR Conditions (Proverbs 3:1-12).

1) Get God’s Guidance From His WORD:

The first condition for receiving God’s guidance is that we learn God’s truth (vv. 1-4).

Proverbs 3:1-4 (ESV)
1  My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments,
2  for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you.
3  Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart.
4  So you will find favour and good success in the sight of God and man.

Look at what we get when we don’t forget God’s Commandments: length of days, years of life, favour and good success. BUT the conditions are keeping them, loving them, being faithful to them and yielding to them.

The will of God is revealed in the Word of God (Col. 1:9-10), and the only way to know His will is to study His Word and obey it. By receiving the Word within our hearts, we experience growth in godly character so that mercy and truth (“love and faithfulness,” niv) become beautiful ornaments in our lives (Prov. 3:3; 1:9). It isn’t enough for believers to carry the Bible in their hands; they must let the Holy Spirit write it on their hearts (Proverbs 3:3; 7:3; 2 Cor. 3:1-3). Obedience to the Word of God can add years to your life and life to your years. Notice in verse 2: It tells us it can add LENGTH OF DAYS: Do you ever feel there are not enough hours in the day? I do, but when I’m living God’s way, there just seems to be so much more time available to us. It’s amazing this TRUTH, He’ll add hours to our day, we’ll HAVE more time.

I’m not boasting, but I get up extra early to be with the LORD in His Word, and the sacrifice of pillow-time, means I can add hours to my day. I do get tired half-way through the day, but I’ve always got tired half-way through the day 🙂 It’s not because I’m getting up to be in the Word with the LORD. Suddenly, you’ll find you can get so much more done with Jesus, when you spend time with Him. But you’ll only experience all these promises when you begin to be obedient to what He’s telling you as you read and study His Word. That leads me onto the second of God’s conditions for direction in life.

2) OBEDIENCE TO GOD’S WILL:

Proverbs 3:5-8 (ESV)
5  Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
6  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
7  Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil.
8  It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.

It’s so easy to miss out on God’s promises in verses 5 and 6 above, but we must remember the CONTEXT. Because a verse or two, taken out of context, become a pre-text or pretense. We’ll pretend the LORD is directing our path, we’ll fool ourselves that God is directing our path. But we must remember: Word First, TRUST second and Obedience third.

Learning NOT to DEPEND on your own understanding is so HARD. It goes against human logic, but yields much better results.

Turn AWAY from EVIL: It’s like saying NO to your flesh. We’re all tempted in many ways, but it’s when we finally say “NO” to our flesh that we’ll begin to see God’s POWER breaking through, but we can’t do it in our own strength. Turning away from EVIL is real repentance. Evil is anything that goes against God’s revealed will.

“He shall direct your paths” (v. 6, nkjv) is the promise, but the fulfillment of that promise is implied in our obedience to the Lord. We must trust Him with all our heart and obey Him in all our ways. That means total commitment to Him (Rom. 12:1-2). The word translated “trust” in verse 5 means “to lie helpless, face-down.” (i.e. to Prostrate oneself). It pictures a servant waiting for the master’s command in readiness to obey, or a defeated soldier yielding himself to the conquering general, or the way people often prostrated themselves before an visitation from an Angel from Heaven.

So we could say, “Lie face-down in the dirt before the LORD (Trust) and do not lean (depend) upon your own understanding.”

The danger, of course, is that we lean on our own understanding or experience and by doing so, we will miss God’s will and direction. I’ve done that so many times. We get PRESUMPTUOUS, because something has worked in the past we assume that it’s always going to work, but you can’t get God in a box, He’s not a genie that you rub a certain way, like Aladin’s Lamp, and He performs for you. No, God’s a real person, with feelings and desires. He’s revealed His strongest desire to us and that is that we LIVE in an ongoing relationship and dialogue with Himself.

What causes most problems in Marriage? Presumption, because we think we know what our partner wants. Instead of talking things through together we just assume that we know, but watch out, when you get it wrong, which I’ve done so many times in our 37 years of marriage and bear the scars. LOL. I’ve learned the hard way, both in marriage and with the LORD.

NOTE: We’re NOT ROBOTS: This warning doesn’t suggest the LORD’S chosen people turn off their brains or ignore their own inbuilt intelligence and common sense. It simply cautions us not to depend on our own worldly wisdom and experience or the wisdom and experience of others. God treats each one of us as individuals, what’s right for one person may not be right for everyone. God has a plan for you as an individual. Just because your friend jumped out of a plane, doesn’t mean God wants you to do it.  Abraham relied on his own wisdom and past experience when he went to Egypt (Gen. 12:10-20) and so did Joshua when he attacked the little town of Ai (Josh. 7). When we become “wise in [our] own eyes” (Prov. 3:7), then we’re heading for trouble. We become presumptuous and run ahead of the LORD.

3) GIVING TO THE LORD

The third condition to getting God’s Direction (Prov 3:5-6) is that we Share God’s blessings (Prov 3:9-10)

Proverbs 3:9-10 (ESV)
9  Honour the LORD with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce;
10  then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.

WOWzer! Look at these amazing promises: Barns filled with plenty; Vats bursting with wine… i.e. full bank accounts, more than enough to share with others.

Giving then, is the third condition we must meet if we want God to direct our paths.

You’ve heard the expression, “There’s no such thing as a FREE lunch”… Well it’s true in some ways with God. It’s going to be costly to see God’s direction, but be warned, you cannot PURCHASE God’s will or direction. It’s simply a loving and trusting response to God’s goodness towards you, but when you become like HIM: i.e. Generous! The floodgates of Heaven really are opened up to you.

In the Christian life, there’s no such thing as “spiritual” and “physical”, because we KNOW that everything comes from God and belongs to God.

When you come to Jesus EVERYTHING comes under His Kingdom reign.

In the Old Covenant Jews brought the Lord the firstlings of their flocks (Ex. 13:1-2) and the firstfruits of their fields (Lev. 23:9-14), and in this way they acknowledged His goodness, provision, grace and mercy and His Sovereignty. The New Testament parallel is seen in Matthew 6:33.

Read it in CONTEXT though;

Matthew 6:25-34 (ESV)
25  “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?
26  Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
27  And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?
28  And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin,
29  yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
30  But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
31  Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’
32  For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.
33  But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
34  “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Be assured of this my friends, if we don’t faithfully give to the Lord, then we don’t really trust in the Lord. It took me years before I finally SAW THIS TRUTH in God’s Word. I was definitely one of the most sceptical givers in God’s Kingdom Family 🙂 I hated the thought of parting with my hard-earned cash and just giving it away. After all, I could easily spend it on family things or make my own life better. However, the LORD has shown me over many years of walking with Him, that it’s MUCH, MUCH better to be like He is: Generous and FREE with all that He’s given to me. The more I give, the more I receive. Not just in monetary return, but in blessings from Heaven.

If we don’t give to the LORD, then we’re NOT really TRUSTING in Him

Of course, our tithes and offerings aren’t “payment” for His blessings; rather, they’re evidence of our love, faith, obedience and trust in Him. He’s been prompting all of us to become like Himself since we started following Jesus. To be open-handed and generous, just like Jesus. To be open-hearted and kind, just like Jesus.

Christian industrialist R. G. LeTourneau used to say, “If you give because it pays, it won’t pay.”

So Christians don’t give to the LORD to get things out of Him, we give because it’s what He’s like. The closer we come to Jesus, the more like Jesus we become.

Giving is just a way of preparing our hearts for what God wants to say to us and do for us. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt. 6:21).

4) God Disciplines The ONES He LOVES.

Our fourth responsibility is to submit to God’s Discipline (Prov. 3:11-12).

Responsibility = Response and Ability: He’ll give the ability once we decide in our hearts to respond.

God’s Discipline of His Chosen People is just a part of God’s plan to help His sons and daughters grow to be mature and godly (like Himself) in character (Heb. 12:1-11). God disciplines us, not as a judge punishes a criminal, but as a parent disciplines a child. Be assured that when the LORD disciplines you, He’s doing it because He LOVES YOU! He acts in love and His purpose is that we might become “partakers of His holiness” (Heb. 12:10). Sometimes He disciplines because we have rebelled and need to repent; other times He disciplines us to keep us from sinning and to prepare us for His special blessing. No matter how much the experience hurts us, it will never harm us, because God always disciplines us in love (Deut. 8:2-5).

One of my most bitter regrets as a parent are the times I’ve shouted at my kids in anger. I’ve not disciplined them as I should have done, I left it too long before telling them, then got too angry and lashed out with my tongue. Instead, I could have directed them with loving, gentle and kind discipline, like the LORD has done with me countless times. Even though we love our children, God loves all His chosen children even more than we do; so He disciplines those He loves. (read John 15: He is the Gardener who prunes).

We learn from our mistakes don’t we, I hope we do, because I know the LORD has changed my character so much from what it used to be. Some would say, “That’s just the mellowing of age”… I don’t think so, because, it’s when we REASON together with the LORD, He gently shows us our weaknesses and give us the grace and power to overcome them. He really does discipline the ones He loves.

Conclusion:

If you want to go God’s way, take Proverbs 3:5-6 to heart, but always bear in mind the context in which the verses come from and you’ll never go wrong in life. Fulfill all of God’s conditions for His direction;

1) Get into God’s Word: Know it and do it.

2) Obey God’s Word: Trust and Obey. There’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to TRUST and OBEY.

3) GIVE LIKE JESUS: Being generous and obedient in your giving. Not just 10%, it’s ALL His.

4) LOVE God’s Discipline: He’s just loving you like a good parent would. He’s your loving Heavenly Father.

When we do all that, then we can be completely assured that God will direct our paths. He’ll show or reveal the SECRETS of the KINGDOM.

Prayer: Lord, I can see so clearly now from Your Word that there are clear and simple conditions for blessings and success in Your Kingdom Family. Today I pray that you’ll help me to listen to Your Word, Obey what I know and submit to Your direction. Give me the will to obey and the Heart to become more like You. Amen.

Be blessed in following, loving and serving Jesus today,

Don.

 

CHALLENGE: “Is your FAITH Dead or Alive?”

Refugee, Asylum Seekers, Syrian Crisis, UK, Response, LOVE,

Daily Spirit & Word, 595:

TEST Question: “Is Your FAITH: Dead or Alive?”

The Migrant / Asylum Seeker Crisis:

It’s NOT going to be over for a long time to come.

Good morning my friends, heart check-up time. How do you FEEL towards those in desperate need?

I read yesterday about the Archbishop of Canterbury opening up Lambeth Palace to some Migrants / Asylum Seekers. Praise the LORD!

Our TV and Newspapers graphic scenes and pictures show so many in heart-rending need, that thinking we can do anything to help overwhelms us. However, it is possible that if we ALL did just something, then ALL their needs could be met easily.

Be assured of this, their plight and their need are NOT going to go away quickly, there’s no quick fix solution, so we are ALL going to be affected by it sometime sooner or later. So why not choose to be affected today?

Listen to what the LORD said about this current crisis:

Luke 12:22-34

22 Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear.
23  Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.
24  Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!
25  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
26  Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?
27  “Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labour or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these.
28  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith!
29  And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it.
30  For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them.
31  But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.
32  “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.
33  Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.
34  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

“SELL YOUR POSSESSIONS AND GIVE TO THE POOR”

Is Jesus serious? Does He really want us to give away all our hard-earned, sweated and laboured for possessions to help these poor people?

Most of us would give out of what we have of the spare-change in our pockets, but would we really go as far as selling our prised possessions? Would you sell your big TV so that someone could have some food that would be gone if a few hours? Would you sell your digital watch? Camera? Computer? Smart Phone? Ornament? Jewellery? Garden furniture? Classic car? Designer trainers? etc etc etc…. “Sell your possessions and give to the poor”: Jesus is just checking to see if people are more important to you than things.

NOTE: If you are having to sell your possessions, then you’ve already emptied your bank balance to help them out.

Notice what happens if you are prepared to TRUST the LORD to provide for your NEEDS.

You’ll be; “Providing purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will NEVER be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.”

  • Do we LOVE people we don’t even know?
  • Do we LOVE strangers enough to go empty our bank balance?
  • De we LOVE migrants and asylum seekers enough to sell our prised possessions?

What are things anyway?

What are people?

Things can be replaced: People cannot.

Things can be worked for again: people can’t.

You may never have an opportunity like this again in your lifetime.

Is Jesus calling upon you to RESPOND?

Question: Am I prepared to TRUST the LORD like this?

Prayer: “Oh Lord Jesus, I can see that there are many, countless thousands of people that need help, and I know that all the meagre possessions that I own won’t feed that many or clothe only a few, but Lord I do feel challenged today, to take You at Your WORD. So I’m going to trust You Jesus and begin to sell what I possess to give something towards the relief of those who’re suffering right now. Amen!”

Will you join me? Who is ready to follow Jesus teaching today? Is this what Jesus meant us to be doing with those in desperate need? How much can I really keep hold upon when others are suffering? Is my conscience bothering me? Do I feel the pain of their plight? How would I be feeling if I had to walk 50, 100, 200, 300, 500 miles to get some help?

The LORD will bless you if you do respond gladly and generously:

Proverbs 28:27 “He who gives to the poor will lack nothing, but he who closes his eyes to them receives many curses.”

Deuteronomy 15:10 “Give generously to him (the needy brother) and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to.”

Proverbs 19:17 “He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward him for what he has done.”

Psalm 41:1  “Blessed is he who has regard for the weak; the LORD delivers him in times of trouble.”

Every Human Being IS your “flesh-and-blood”: Your Brothers and Sisters.

Because we are all made in the Image of God: We all come from Adam and Eve: We’re FAMILY.

Isaiah 58:7 “Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter— when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?”

Claiming to be a Follower of Jesus and not doing something to HELP means you don’t really have any FAITH in Jesus at all:

James 2:14-17 What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? 15  Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. 16  If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? 17  In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”

Question: Is your FAITH dead or alive?

If you really do trust in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour, then KNOW that He gave up everything so that you could have life and have it abundantly (John 10:10), so then, respond to this GOLDEN opportunity: Sell your possessions and GIVE, GLADLY, WILLINGLY, GENEROUSLY, FREELY to those in NEED and expect NOTHING in return. Amen! 

You’ll be blessed by the LORD: You’ll be storing up treasures in Heaven: Jesus will be with you in ALL you do.

 

The Poor Widow’s Generosity

She gave all she had to live on

Daily Spirit & Word: 537: The Poor Widow’s Generosity.

A Measure Of Your Love

Good morning my friends. Have you ever come across someone who’s got a really generous heart? Someone who just loves to give? Someone who’s biggest thrill in life is to see other people happy?

It’s been my privilege in life to have met so many wonderful people like that, both Christians and non-Christians. Sometimes it’s the non-believers who put us to shame in the way they are just so giving. I’ve met people who don’t even know the Lord Jesus, but who’s hearts seem to have been touched by Heaven.

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. 42  But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny. 43  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. 44  They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”

“She Put In EVERYTHING; All She Had To Live On”

Jesus Is Watching:

My first thought from this passage is; Jesus was watching: He’s sitting down looking at the crowds of people and watching what they are doing with their money. Then the Bible tells us about the Rich and the Poor and the amount that they give and how much they give reveals the condition of their hearts. It’s like Jesus is sitting and observing, measuring the level of their love for the Lord.

Jesus is watching us too my friends, everything we do is noticed by our Lord Jesus is Heaven. Not only does Jesus notice what we do, but what it is that’s motivating us. Jesus sees the motivations of our hearts. He knows why we do what we do.

So who did Jesus take note of that day in Jerusalem at the Temple Treasury?

Jesus Noticed The Rich:

They Put In LARGE amounts of money: It’s always impressive when you hear in the News about some very wealthy person giving an enormous donation to charity or even being overly generous to an individual. It touches the heart to see how people like Bill Gates from Microsoft (One of the world’s richest people) gives so generously. I’ve heard rumours that he gives away as much as he can, most often he gives secretly. But what did Jesus notice about the rich in Jerusalem that day? He noted that they “gave out of their wealth”, i.e. they could easily afford what they were throwing in. It wasn’t a real sacrifice, it didn’t affect their life of comfort, the amount they gave had no real or lasting impact upon what they could buy for themselves.

Jesus Notices The Poor Widow:

This poor widow put in only two very small coins, a fraction of a penny. Do you remember when we had coins that were smaller than 1p (One Pence)? When I was a boy growing up in Edinburgh, we used the old currency; Pounds, Shillings and Pence. My pocket money on a Saturday was a thruppence = 3 pence. It was a thruppeny bit.

To help you understand OLD MONEY and How much the poor widow had put into the temple treasury.

  • 2 farthings = 1 halfpenny
    2 halfpence = 1 penny (1d)
    3 pence = 1 thruppence (3d)
    6 pence = 1 sixpence (a ‘tanner’) (6d)
    12 pence = 1 shilling (a bob) (1s)
    2 shillings = 1 florin ( a ‘two bob bit’) (2s)
    2 shillings and 6 pence = 1 half crown (2s 6d)
    5 shillings = 1 Crown (5s)

Jesus noticed that the widow woman put in two very small coins: probably the equivalent value of two farthings. We don’t have very small coins these days, coins below the value of 1p (One Pence). So the amount in monetary value was so small as to be insignificant, yet Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.”

WOWzer! What’s Jesus like? He sees the HEART. He knew that she had given ALL she had. Why? Why would someone put everything they had to live on into the Temple treasury? She was being generous towards the work of the Lord.

The Temple:

Was God’s Holy Place on Earth. To the Jewish people it was the beating-heart of their religion. It was the place they’d come to worship the LORD, but in those days women were not allowed into the Temple, they had to stay outside in the Court of the Women. But there were twelve offering trumpets where money could be deposited, they were called trumpets because of their shape and the noise they made when money was thrown into them. The money given was to maintain the Temple workers, the Priests: and the upkeep of the Temple. So being generous towards the on-going work of the Lord was considered something every good Jew would do.

William Barkley said about Giving in Generosity:

(i) Real giving must be sacrificial. The amount of the gift never matters so much as its cost to the giver, not the size of the gift, but the sacrifice. Real generosity gives until it hurts. For many of us it is a real question if ever our giving to God’s work is any sacrifice at all. Few people will do without their pleasures to give a little more to the work of God. It may well be a sign of the decadence of the church and the failure of our Christianity that gifts have to be coaxed out of church people, and that often they will not give at all unless they get something back in the way of entertainment or of goods. There can, be few of us who read this story without shame. Barclay’s Daily Study Bible (NT).

(ii) Real giving has a certain recklessness in it. The woman might have kept one coin. It would not have been much but it would have been something, yet she gave everything she had. There is a great symbolic truth here. It is our tragedy that there is so often some part of our lives, some part of our activities, some part of ourselves which we do not give to Christ. Somehow there is nearly always something we hold back. We rarely make the final sacrifice and the final surrender.

(iii) Heaven Regards The Small Things: It is a strange and lovely thing that the person whom the New Testament and Jesus hand down to history as a pattern of generosity was a person who gave a gift of half a farthing. We may feel that we have not much in the way of material gifts or personal gifts to give to Christ, but, if we put all that we have and are at his disposal, he can do things with it and with us that are beyond our imaginings.

Our Greatest Example of Generous Giving:

Is the Lord Jesus Christ: He didn’t hold back, He gave His ALL so that we could benefit from His death:

1 Peter 2:24 (NIV) “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.”

Mahatma Gandhi said, “Jesus is ideal and wonderful, but you Christians – you are not like him.”

Let us prove Mahatma Gandhi wrong today:

God’s WORD for us today:

Be Generous, Give to the work of the Lord through your local Church: 1) For the maintenance of the Ministers. 2) For the maintenance of the building. And 3) {most importantly} for the mission of the Church to reach out and save souls for the Lord Jesus Christ.

Give Sacrificially: It’s going to hurt you, the widow gave ALL she had to live upon. There was no welfare in those day, but she still gave all she had.

Give Willingly: Don’t leave it to the Minister of church leader to have to prize your offering out of your wallets.

How’s your heart towards the work of the Lord today?

Go on, surprise your church leaders this weekend and give so much to the work of the LORD that it will blow their socks off. That widow has gone down in history, think what the LORD will say about you in Heaven.

Generosity towards the Lord’s Work is a measure of our love for Him.

Every blessing for an AWESOME weekend my friends.

Don.

Notes:

He who sows sparingly:

Be Generous:

Generosity:

 

435 God LOVES a Cheerful Giver.

God Loves A Cheerful Giver
God Loves A Cheerful Giver

Daily Spirit & Word, 435: God LOVES A Cheerful Giver.

Getting Excited About Giving

God LOVES a Cheerful Giver.
Good morning Monday friends 🙂 Monday’s can be AWESOME with Jesus.
Did you know there is a very famous preacher buried in the graveyard right next to my Church, St Luke’s West Norwood, London? His name was Charles Haddon Spurgeon. He’s famous even a hundred years after his death, because he was faithful to the Lord’s call on his life. Christian tourists look for his grave every week. Here’s what he said once about our giving money to the Lord; “Earn all you can, save all you can, and then give all you can. Never try to save out of God’s cause; such money will canker the rest. Giving to God is no loss; it is putting your substance into the best bank.” Charles H. Spurgeon.
There are so many great passages in the Bible that address giving of our money to the Lord, but the one that speaks most to me, probably because it touches my own personality, is this;

Treasure In Heaven:

Matthew 6:19-24 19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth,
where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.
20  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven,
where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.
21  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
22  “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light.
23  But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness.
If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
24  “No-one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other,
or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.
You cannot serve both God and Money.”
Verse 21 is the KEY for me: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
If we’re giving to God faithfully, then we know our TREASURE is SAFE for all eternity.
If we’re sowing sparingly and saving in our own banks here on earth, and if we’ve not been faithful in our giving to the LORD, but keeping some of the tithe back for ourselves, then it will ROT.
So I’m going to store my treasure in Heaven 🙂 Makes sense right?
There are other great passages concerned with giving too; for instance 2 Corinthians 8 and 9. But there is a little verse in 2 Corinthians 9 which sums it all up for me; God LOVES a Cheerful giver…
2 Corinthians 9:7 “You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.”
We don’t give because the Preacher is Persuasive: We give because God’s LOVE is in our hearts and it’s a JOY to give back to HIM.
We don’t give reluctantly either, because we’re NOT being motivated by anything else, there is no ulterior motive for our joy filled, happy giving.
From 2 Corinthians 9:7 we can learn so much about giving:
Each one should give faithfully:
 The New King James Version says: “So let each one give.” We can take the words “each one” literally. Every Christian, I believe even children should be encouraged to give faithfully. Childhood is when we learn healthy patterns of living; and what’s healthier for a believer than to be giving? My own granddaughter says, “Caring is sharing”… Pocket money for a child is the chance for them to discover the blessings of giving. If every child in every Christian home learned that the first 10 pence of every Pound ‘£’ belonged to the Lord, then God’s work on earth would never be underfunded. And they’d learn the JOY of giving from a very young age.
Each one should give thoughtfully, as he has decided in his heart. It’s all right to give impulsively; but Christian stewardship involves planned, consistent, thoughtful patterns of giving. J. L. Kraft, who founded Kraft Foods, said, “The only investments I ever made which have paid constantly increasing dividends is the money I have given to the Lord.”
Each one should give freely, not out of regret or necessity. We don’t give because we’re compelled to; we’re excited about the privilege and blessings of it.
Each one Should Give cheerfully. This verse tells us God loves cheerful givers, which is a AWESOME phrase. I can’t think of another verse in the Bible when a similar phrase is given. We see lots of references to God’s love, but I can’t recall another attitude or activity in life that’s commended by the LORD in this way. “God LOVES a Cheerful Giver”
What an exciting thought for a Monday: “God LOVE me when I give to Him cheerfully” I know that God loves us anyway, but just think about it, because the Bible seems to be saying that God is getting excited about us when we are excited about giving. And that leads to the wonderful promise in the next verse: 2 Corinthians 9:8  “And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.”
We give, God gets excited by it and we’re given what we need with more than enough to share with others. Awesome!
Have a fantastic week, give generously and cheerfully to the work of the Lord.
Don.

P.S. Can also be read on St Luke’s Church Facebook Page.