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A New Identity

Here is a call to audacious faith and unstoppable obedience.

Church has become a consumer commodity. People show up to church and are fed, served, guided, encouraged, advised, counseled, and taught. Sure, they may give a little of their time, but they get offended as soon as we ask to give of something else they treasure even more: their money.

God simply asks for obedience in all aspects of life, including giving of our funds to the church. Giving is not a matter of money, it is a matter of obedience.

Do you feel like the church you are going to has more to offer you? Well what are you offering? Do you feel like God is holding back? Ask yourself what you are holding back.

God will multiply what you give. But if you are not giving,
there is nothing to multiply.

Are you bitter towards the church? Do you feel burnt or begrudged? That’s not an excuse to stop giving. Why? Because we are giving to God out of obedience to Him, not to the pastor, or the service host, or the person who prayed for the offering, or the worship leader, or anyone else. You are giving to God.

Side note: Trust that love will eventually prevail in your church. Follow God’s word that says that love covers a multitude of sins in 1 Peter 4:8. Pray for those that have hurt you or pray for the situations that have you hung up. Prayer changes our perspectives. Humility heals hurt and brings hope and holiness. I would recommend reading this post from Desiring God if you have been hurt by the church.

Take a look at Mark 14:3-9.

“Meanwhile, Jesus was in Bethany at the home of Simon, a man who had previously had leprosy. While he was eating, a woman came in with a beautiful alabaster jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard. She broke open the jar and poured the perfume over his head.
Some of those at the table were indignant. “Why waste such expensive perfume?” they asked. “It could have been sold for a year’s wages and the money given to the poor!” So they scolded her harshly.
But Jesus replied, “Leave her alone. Why criticize her for doing such a good thing to me?”

It’s most likely a story you have heard before. This poor woman pours out her very expensive jar of perfume over Jesus’ head and the people were mad that she wasted something so valuable. The perfume was so valuable that it would have been worth a whole year’s wage. Wow. What a sacrifice.

The wage is not a waste.
When I first started giving and tithing, I used to feel embarrassed. I began giving just a small amount so that I could discipline myself to give obediently. I often convinced myself that I what I was giving was not enough and that it was just a waste. My parents have always been generous and I believe that it is because of their example and their actions that I did not stop giving even when I felt like my wage was a waste.

Your wage is not a waste. Whatever you give, not matter how small or big, is not a waste. The percent that you give does not matter, the purpose matters. The obedience matters. The faith that you show when nothing makes sense matters.

The people at your table will not understand.
The more faith you have in God, the more fight you have in you. The woman was doing exactly what she was supposed to be doing. She was honoring God with her obedience and devotion, but yet she still faced opposition. When you are doing everything right, the enemy will do everything to make you do wrong. Jesus told the other people at the table to leave the woman alone. And Jesus has given you the power to tell the people at your table that tell you that you are irresponsible, or that you have too much faith, to leave you alone.

Not only will some of the people sitting at the table be indignant, the enemy will be do everything possible to stop you. You may lose your job as soon as you decide to stretch yourself and give more. And you may be tempted to stop giving because you think that the money will save you, but if nothing is given, then nothing can be multiplied.

It is a good thing to God.
The woman knew that what she was doing was good. She knew that her faith in Christ was enough to sustain her. She did not need the year’s wage because she understood that her obedience to sacrifice would bring greater blessings. But the other men did not see it that way. They did not see the sacrifice. They missed the significance. The people at the table only saw the salary. But Jesus saw her sacrifice. And it was not what she gave but who she gave to that mattered. She was not giving just to give, she was giving to Jesus. We can even see that it in this passage through Jesus’ words. Jesus rebuked the other men and said “leave her alone. Why criticize her for doing such a good thing to me?” They did not see the sacrifice. They missed the significance.
They only saw the salary, but Jesus saw her sacrifice.
I feel like Jesus is saying “Do you not get it? Let me say it again.. Why criticize her? Why not be obedient? Why not give even though you’re hurt? Why not give to me?”

Giving is “such a good thing” to HIM. Not you. And not anyone else. It is a good thing to God. Period.

Do you want to be FULFILLED? Examine your heart and your life. Is the call from God for obedience being FULLY-FILLED? Look at your hands. Open them up. Stop holding onto to the comfort of complacency and start dancing in the downpour of the blessings that come only from obedience. Set out the bucket in faith and watch it be filled. Watch others come to know Jesus because of your generosity. Watch what happens when you step into obedience and open your hands.

Step out into obedience. Walk out in faith. A simple next step to take is to begin giving 5% of your income to The Church or to increase what you are giving now by 5%. Begin giving to the church that you call home. Give back so that you can continue to grow there and so that others can grow like you have. Most churches have a link to give on their website and if they do not, there will be an opportunity to give in the service that you attend on Sunday.

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