Saturday, December 10, 2011

Revisiting Christian Doctrine Part 6 ( Giving)

Part of our Christian faith is the ability to give. Giving financially and giving of ourselves to the living work of our God. Christian Charity is a life vein for the kingdom of God. Jesus told us to GO. ( Go into community, Go into the city, Go into the nation, or Go into all the world.) We are to reach out to the world with the message of Christ and nothing preaches the message of Christ more than giving of ourselves to the world.

We will talk about the Doctrine of tithing and offering in our next blogs but I do want to make one statement. Tithing and offering in the Old testament was an important act for all believers in the almighty. God does not need our money but He does require our obedience. Giving financially is what helps the work of the Living God go further in our world. Tithing in the Old Testament was given the minimum of 10% of our total earnings. ( Malachi 3:10-18) In the New Testament, Paul gives tithing and offerings an update. ( II Corinthians 9:5-11) He never denied the 10% from the Old Testament. 10% giving is a minimum for all believers but Paul declared there was more. He brought clarity. We should be giving our whole income to the Lord. Now I know I just lost some readers but hear me out. God does  not want just our 10% He wants our everything. Paul told the Corinthians that our extra income was meant to give to those who were less fortunate than us. We are supposed to give out of our abundance but unfortunately most of our abundance goes towards things we don't need. God is calling believers back to the heart of Giving. Our faith is just another religion if we are not giving out to others. We will talk more about giving financially in our up and coming blogs.

What about giving of ourselves? What about every believer walking into their God given calling?

I love how some people in ministry ( Pastors, missionaries, and so forth) build up their callings as if they have the greatest callings which everyone should be in. Sometimes they make believers feel guilty if he or she are not walking in similar callings. This is way off!!!  Look what Jesus said.

Matthew 23:10-13  Don't make others call you a leader, because you have only one leader, the Messiah.  (11)  The person who is greatest among you will be your servant.  (12)  Whoever honors himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be honored.  (13)  "How horrible it will be for you, scribes and Pharisees! You hypocrites! You lock people out of the kingdom of heaven. You don't enter it yourselves, and you don't permit others to enter when they try.

The greatest calling in the Body of Christ is the one of servant hood. The most visual callings are not the greatest callings in fact they are the least of the callings. My calling as an apostolic person is not the greatest of the callings or giftings within the body of Christ. My gifting is meant to help the Body of Christ to reach their highest potential. Every believer has a high calling placed upon them. It is the calling of giving. It is a calling of greatness from our Lord. Everyone should have the heart of a servant and have the willingness to serve others. Our life is not about getting but about giving. When you give to others through the passion of Christ then you are giving to the Lord.

Matthew 25:33-46  He will put the sheep on his right but the goats on his left.  (34)  "Then the king will say to those on his right, 'Come, my Father has blessed you! Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world.  (35)  I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger, and you took me into your home.  (36)  I needed clothes, and you gave me something to wear. I was sick, and you took care of me. I was in prison, and you visited me.'  (37)  "Then the people who have God's approval will reply to him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you or see you thirsty and give you something to drink?  (38)  When did we see you as a stranger and take you into our homes or see you in need of clothes and give you something to wear?  (39)  When did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?'  (40)  "The king will answer them, 'I can guarantee this truth: Whatever you did for one of my brothers or sisters, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you did for me.'  (41)  "Then the king will say to those on his left, 'Get away from me! God has cursed you! Go into everlasting fire that was prepared for the devil and his angels!  (42)  I was hungry, and you gave me nothing to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me nothing to drink.  (43)  I was a stranger, and you didn't take me into your homes. I needed clothes, and you didn't give me anything to wear. I was sick and in prison, and you didn't take care of me.'  (44)  "They, too, will ask, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or as a stranger or in need of clothes or sick or in prison and didn't help you?'  (45)  "He will answer them, 'I can guarantee this truth: Whatever you failed to do for one of my brothers or sisters, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you failed to do for me.'  (46)  "These people will go away into eternal punishment, but those with God's approval will go into eternal life."

We will be judged by our actions to others. Jesus makes it a serious offense when believers don't  put their faith into action. Do you know that all we need to end world hunger is less than 2% of the world's grain supply. There is enough food in the world for every person to have over 2000 calories a day. Why are we still struggling? Why is the world still in suffering? The world is good at blaming God but what about blaming  those who are not willing to give of their time for the cause of the Lord? If every believer rose up and fully gave of themselves. How would the world look today? Some say that it would never make a difference. Really? There are supposedly over 2 billion Christians in the world. There are over 7 billion people in the world. That means each Christian could reach only 3.5 people. It means that each Christian could make a difference in only 3.5 people's lives. So is it really possible? I know you have to factor in the over 2 billion Muslims in the world who will probably not receive our acts of kindness. Then you have to factor in the 1 billion or more who belong to other faiths or who don't believe in anything at all. That still leaves a potential outreach of 4 billion people which means 1 christian reaches only 2 people with the message of Christ. Hey it is doable!

God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things. I think about the story of a potato farmer in South Africa. He believed God for a miracle and miracles started happening all around  him. Today he fills stadiums with people who desire to hear the message of the living God. His name is Angus Buchan. You can read more about his story by going to his website.

We are called to give. It is part of our heritage as believers and part of our Christian Doctrine. What I love so much about our faith is it's passion to reach out to others. Jesus taught us so much. It is is past time that we surrender it all back to him. You can make a difference. You don't have to start a forest fire to get a spark. All need is a little bit of fire and the sparks will comes. The sparks will spread and increase the tensity of the fire. We are meant for this, and it is far time we rise to the occasion and be servants for our King.
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