… the thoughts from a life in the Son-shine State

Posts tagged ‘hand’

“Givitaway, Givitaway, Givitaway Now…”

It is said that if you will hold on tightly to what you have, it’s true that you may not lose it, but you will also not gain anything. Conversely, if you hold loosely to what you have, you may not keep anything too long, but you will always have what you need.

With a clenched fist, nothing goes out and nothing comes in. With an open hand, everything can go out, but anything can come in.

We need to learn to live generously. What we have is only ours to watch over (the Christian word for it is steward). It all belongs to God. So, really, it is not for us to decide whether or not we will be generous, our job is simply to manage that which God gave us. This means we are to do with it whatever God tells us to; and the crazy part is He will bless us for simply doing our job!

Give freely and become more wealthy; be stingy and lose everything. The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.
(Proverbs 11:24, 25)

Let’s be generous!

Don’t worry about giving for the sake of a tax benefit (which ends in just a few weeks for 2011), or being safe and wise about our giving.

While Jesus was in the Temple, he watched the rich people dropping their gifts in the collection box. Then a poor widow came by and dropped in two small coins. “I tell you the truth,” Jesus said, “this poor widow has given more than all the rest of them. For they have given a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she has.
(Luke 21:1-4)

Don’t worry about being recognized.

When you give to someone in need, don’t do as the hypocrites do—blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you the truth, they have received all the reward they will ever get. But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.
(Matthew 6:2-4)

Don’t worry about how it will come back.

Then, turning to his disciples, Jesus said, “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food to eat or enough clothes to wear. For life is more than food, and your body more than clothing. Look at the ravens. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for God feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than any birds! Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And if worry can’t accomplish a little thing like that, what’s the use of worrying over bigger things? “Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? “And don’t be concerned about what to eat and what to drink. Don’t worry about such things. These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers all over the world, but your Father already knows your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need.
(Luke 12:22-31)

I want to just sell everything and give it all away…

Sell your possessions and give to those in need. This will store up treasure for you in heaven! And the purses of heaven never get old or develop holes. Your treasure will be safe; no thief can steal it and no moth can destroy it. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.
(Luke 12:33, 34)

AAAAHHHH!!!
Steve

P.S. Did anyone figure out the reference from the title? … just wondering…

His Face, Not His Hand

I know you are not supposed to really talk about fasting when you are actually doing it, but I feel as though this may encourage someone, so I will break the “rules” this time (Jesus does talk about it in Matthew 6:16-18). [ Note: This is not for any sort of selfish motive or attention. All the glory goes to God, for He has done great things!]

At work, (Creation Science Evangelism), we have been fasting and praying this week as a ministry. God has really been working in our hearts and lives, and there have been several huge prayer requests that have been answered! I mentioned God’s work in us first for a reason (and to bring you to the point of this post): we are not supposed to fast just for answers from God.

I was re-reading a portion about fasting from Richard Foster’s Celebration of Discipline, and he points out the fact that many of us will fast and pray for God to give us an answer [btw, I have been guilty of this many times!] . He then proceeds to remind us that the purpose for fasting and praying is not for an answer, though we may be desiring one. The number one reason why we should fast and pray is that we may draw closer to God. By denying ourselves things that feed our flesh, and that do a great job distracting us (i.e. food, coffee, television, music, social media, etc.), and if we fill that time with talking with God and reading His Word, then we will fill those needs with Him. And then, as a result, there may also be some prayer needs that get answered.

There is nothing wrong with seeking God for an answer to a specific prayer (I John 5:14-15), but what it comes down to is motive. God desires to be in relationship with us, and wants us to draw closer to Him. A result of that relationship is that the Good Father will provide for his children what they need (Matthew 7:7-11). But if the only time we ever come close to God is to ask Him for something, then should we expect Him to just keep dishing it out?

  • Have you ever had someone (either a friend or relative) that only talked to you, or got close to you, when they needed something?
  • What was your response to them after a while?
  • Is a healthy relationship built on what the other person can do for you? Why?

God wants you! And in return, we should simply want Him… not what He can do for us, or give us, or help us with. (Though, there are some fringe benefits to being children of the King of kings!)

Seeking His face, not His hand…

steve

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