Gifts to God

Then Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them—walking, leaping, and praising God.” Acts 3:6-8

I tithe. This isn’t a post on tithing. (Tithing is giving 10% of your income to God. It’s an act of obedience and worship. It’s the minimum that God asks of us.)
I give offerings when I can. An offering is a gift given above and beyond a tithe.  For example my church is trying to buy a building – my tithe still goes to the church for God to use for his works in the church, and I have scraped together an offering (with prayer) for the building fund. 
A couple posts ago, I shared I am not in a place of overflow in my finances right now – it’s actually quite to opposite. God has and will provide for my needs.  And my intention is not to give a finance lesson, although I am qualified to do so as I do work in finance.  It’s a strange truth that sometimes wise financial choices do not mean you prosper.  Sometime a wise choice means taking a devastating financial hit and climbing back out.
So now, I find myself with Peter in the above verse: Silver and gold I do not have.

You know what I do have? Flip back a post!! I have gifts. Gifts God gave me! Gifts I can use!!! (Really? You won’t click on the ‘previous post’ button on the bottom?! Ok then read: Romans 12:6-8 and 1 Cor. 12:7-11)

You know what else I have?? JESUS!!! And the authority of his name and the power of his name!!!
“Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” John 14:13 ESV

You know what else I have??? The ability to, like Peter, obey.  Jesus instructed him (and all of us) to do as he did – to be Christ-like.
“If you love me, keep my commands” John 14:15 NIV
“You are my friends if you do what I command” John 15:14 NIV

AND, you know what else I have??? I have the ability to be with them—walking, leaping, and praising God!
“Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.” Psalm 100:4

So, Yesterday I thought about what God gives me (and us) – now what can I give God?
God doesn’t need my tithe, he could make a way another way – but I obediently give it. Let’s put this command away and focus on the rest. Maybe instead of asking what and where – there might be a more poignant question: What does God want?

  1. Read any Psalm – He wants our praise and worship! This should be its own post! In praise and worship there is: the presence of God and fullness of Joy, the power to fight our battles and victory, and a bunch of other blessings and gifts to us. Wait, this was supposed to be about giving to God! And look, he is so loving and kind that the more we give the more he gives.
    I heard a friend once say that a relationship with God is us praying but it’s a one way conversation. How sad! Read your Bible friend, it’s how he talks back to you! Worship him – he’ll show his presence, give you a hug, fill you with joy, show you victory, etc.  I have a two way relationship with Christ, I know it is possible. I give to Him, He gives to me, and we share. Its more amiable then my relationship with my best friend!
  2. In John 14:15 and 15:14 – He wants our LOVE evidenced by us keeping his commands – also known as obedience. Can I give obedience in love?
    “And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.” 2 John 1:6 NIV
  3. He wants all of me –
    “Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.” Ephesians 5: 1-2 NKJV
    Just as Jesus died for us, we are to offer (offering) ourselves to God – this is love.

Now that I know what gifts I have and how to used them, and now that I know what God wants from me, I can then ask, in obedience, where can I serve the Lord, in my gifts, my worship, and with all of me.
I can start to see my worth and value in Christ Jesus when I ask the right question.  ‘What can I give’ makes me feel small and insignificant. When Peter said he had no money, he spoke with authority knowing he had already given his all, and from the blessed overflow of the power of Christ – he could give more to God to further the kingdom by being an obedient servant used by God for healing to flow through.

GLORY TO GOD!!! I increase in God! I have value and purpose! Here I am Lord, use me! Glory!!

Thank you for reading as I study. Be blessed, both financially and spiritually, and take those blessings and use them to be a blessing! In Jesus name – with all the glory and honor to him! -Amen

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