Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Advent Week Four ~ Joy ~ Day Four

Today's devotion is from guest blogger, Kris. SingingOwl is back tomorrow.

1 Chronicles 29:9
The people rejoiced over the offerings, for they had given freely and wholeheartedly to the Lord, and King David was filled with joy.

We as the church are called to invest in people. Why keep the good news to ourselves when those around us can share in the joy of salvation? One of the ways to help share the joy is to give offerings to the Lord.
In the passage above King David asked his people to help pay for the temple. They gave with generosity and all hearts were glad. We often think of money when we hear “offering.” Sometimes that is an easy offering to give. For others it can require faith in God's faithfulness, even when money is "tight."
Money given to the church supports the leadership and goes to missionaries who spread the word to those who might otherwise have no one to tell them about Christ. Money is used to help others in need and to reach out in compassion to our communities. Everyone in the church should give freely and wholeheartedly to the Lord.
Time is another great offering! Anything in which you invest your time is a priority in your life. What is given the most time? What is second, and so on? If you are honest about this it will reveal your priorities. Work is usually a big priority, because we need to pay for our homes, food, and clothes. In addition, work is for providing money to support the thing that gets most of your time.

If you spend every extra dime and every extra free moment with your car, then your car is a priority in your life. A priority might be shopping, sports, friends, church or family— anything that you decide is important enough to expend your time. Time is precious because there is a limited amount to use each day. Therefore, when you give your family time, you are saying that they are important to you.

The church also needs your time. When your church holds a function to benefit the community and you give of your time to help, you are telling the Lord your church and your community that they are important. Everyone knows that time is precious. Where are you spending yours?
Sometimes God will ask us to give an offering that is hard to give up. Evangelist Paul Olson tells of a time when his ministry was very short on funds. Paul owned a very nice little sports car that he loved and had possesed for many years. Paul sensed that the Lord was telling him to sell that car for the money his ministry needed. It was a hard thing to do, but after praying he told the Lord he would be obedient. He sold the car, and the very next day the money pledges he was missing started to come in. He was able to make all his commitments.
When asked if he missed the car, he said, “Not really. I was more happy that I was able to do the work God called me to do then to have a car that I could only use once in awhile. I haven’t regretted once in the years since I sold it.”
Prayer: Lord help me to give freely, wisely, and wholeheartedly everything you ask of me. Amen

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