Give Back Willingly

Journal Entry // October 25, 2022

But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able thus to offer willingly? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you. (ESV)

1 Chronicles 29:14

Why is it that I hold on so tightly to the material blessings and objects of this world? I have been conditioned over these many years through advertisements and cultural pressure to see the accumulation of things as not only the solution to all my problems but the general indicator of success in this world. The gathering of material things is the measuring rod that we are to use as we assign value and worth to people. Now, whether we outwardly acknowledge that as a culture any longer is debatable but the valuation is still there and probably even deeper than it has been in the past. It is so prevalent that it has crept into the church and has become almost like a silent doctrine of sorts. We are losing our understanding that all things come from the Lord. Not just the material items we gather and display for others to see but the relationships, the influence, and the meaning of our lives. The Lord is the One who gives us everything we have and don’t have in this world.

Continue reading “Give Back Willingly”

Covetous Lies

Journal Entry // March 23, 2022

And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”

Luke 12:15 ESV

It is an extremely simple thing to fall into this trap laid out for me in this world. The allure of covetousness is all around me. It is being shouted at me, it is being whispered to me, it is being encouraged in me, it is used as a weapon against me at every moment of every day both from the world and in my very own heart. My eye sees and wants what it sees. My heart desires those things it sees in others. My soul wants to relax, eat, drink, and be merry. This is the very thing the world is pushing onto me. Companies use advertising to swell my covetousness. Friends and acquaintances are subtly comparing each other through covetousness intentions. And I join in this with them. I drop my guard against all covetousness and base my life on the abundance of possessions.

Continue reading “Covetous Lies”

Poverty Giving

Journal Entry // February 27, 2022

For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”

Mark 12:44 ESV

Faith and trust in the Lord our God can be so easily measured and quantified if we take the time to really examine our actions working through the motives and intentions of our hearts. Granted, I don’t really enjoy this process of examination that looks beyond the veneer of immediate actions and delves into the motives behind those actions. These seemingly minor actions that I perform day in and day out are the gauges on the dashboard of my soul. Warning lights to indicate there is a deep heart issue that needs to be addressed. All wrapped up in this question, “Who am I trusting?”

Continue reading “Poverty Giving”

Thankful Sacrifice

Journal Entry // February 21, 2021

The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me; to one who orders his way rightly I will show the salvation of God!”

Psalm 50:23 ESV

A sacrifice of thanksgiving. This is not the first time I have read this phrase in the last month or so. I think I have probably journaled about it previously as well. It is an interesting phrase that the Psalmist uses to emphasize his point about what we bring to God in worship. We tend to think that what is most important is the outward expression of our worship or the object we bring in particular. I want to bring my sacrifice to the Lord in a manner that I deem appropriate.

This may look like:
• Daily reading the Bible, praying
• Going to church
• Giving of my financial resources
• Giving of my time and energy
• Giving up personal enjoyments

Continue reading “Thankful Sacrifice”

The Full Tithe

Journal Entry // January 2, 2022

Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.

Malachi 3:10 ESV

I honestly struggle with this passage every year I get to this point in my Bible Reading Plan. I think my struggle falls into two different categories of thinking. First, if this is meant to apply solely to financial monetary resources, then how do I bring the full tithe when the money God allows to come in will not fully cover my financial obligations. Second, the purpose and intention behind my giving is vital to giving the whole tithe as it’s not just about giving the proper percentage of money and then I’m done.

Continue reading “The Full Tithe”