Keep It Simple

As disciples of the Lord we need to keep things simple. The early church in the Bible  kept it simple. They majored on four things…

First they came together as we do for worship and teaching from the Bible. They did it daily – we do it a number of times each week mainly Sundays and one night a week with our small Growth Groups. Read more

Accident? I think Not!

Nothing happens in life by accident. If you want to accomplish something for the Lord in 2012 you will need now – at the start of the new year – to set some goals, plan how you are going to achieve those goals, get to work right away while the year is new and fresh, and persevere until you reach the goals. Run the race and cross the finish line. Read more

The Levels of Giving

God states in His Word that we are to tithe and then give some as a freewill offering to Him and to the work of the Kingdom through the local church. We have been looking at this briefly in the last few days.  Today, let’s briefly look at the three levels of giving…

The first level of giving is spontaneous. There is nothing wrong with a spontaneous giver. When you see a need, you immediately want to pounce on it and fill it. Notice a homeless man at the busy intersection with a sign asking for food money? Then slip him a bill before the light changes. Hear about a family that doesn’t have transportation? Loan them your car for a week. All good impulses. However, if spontaneous giving is your only exercise, then it limits the impact that you can have – and the impact God’s blessing can have on you.

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Give God the first and best

When, as disciples, we are looking at finances as we have been doing the topic of tithing is inevitable. Why? Because it is a major part of being blessed so that we can be a blessing (see yesterday’s blog).

Years ago when I was first born again I heard a wonderful slogan or phrase – “I will give God my first and best, and He will bless the rest.” This means I will give Him 10% right off the top – 10% of everything I earn before taxes. This is the basic amount true disciples are to give to the Lord and forms the base for all other giving. Other giving includes what is called an “offering” and any finding going to “missions” or to help the poor (called “alms”). If you do not tithe then when you do give it immediately goes towards the tithe and is never an offering. If you don’t tithe and think you are giving an offering you are wrong – you are simply giving towards the basic tithe. Only after the 10% is reached are you then making an offering or giving to missions and alms.

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Blessings so we can be different

We have been discussing material things – finances, belongings, spending habits, and all things commercial and worldly. Let’s continue in that direction and think about why God blesses us. I believe God blesses us to change and reshape us and undo the damage we have done to ourselves as we live like the world. Regretfully when we think about blessings we only think “financial” and, of course, if He did bless us financially without changing us first we would simply spend the increased income on more material things. We need to be careful because to whom much is given much will be required the Bible states.

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Get a Life

Winston Churchill once said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

God says, “He who has a generous eye will be blessed.” Proverbs 22:9 NKJV

If you are a follower of Christ, consider for a moment the value of the incredible, undeserved gift He has given us. Mercy. Grace. Forgiveness. A new life. It is hard to fathom just how freely He has lavished us with all that He has. If we have received the heart riches and abundant life of a new life in Christ, we should be giving out of the deepest gratitude. And we should also realize that nothing else really matters if we have what God gives so freely. We can give away all that He entrusts to us in the same spirit of generosity.

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Out of debt

If you want to get out of debt forever, the secret is that there is no secret. It’s like losing weight – no matter how many fad diets or gimmicks people come up with, there’s no quick fix. You have to change your lifestyle- the way you eat. You need to consume less bad stuff and more good stuff – and you have to exercise. Overcoming debt is the same way. It’s basic math. Fortunately, it’s elementary math, not nuclear physics. The two options on the path to financial margin are simple:

  1. Earn more
  2. Spend less

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Our Lifestyle

Most Christians are in debt. It should not be this way. Because of the debt and the carrying charges for that debt money that could go into fulfilling the Lord’s mission of every nation hearing about the Gospel is instead sent to credit card companies and banks. Money down the toilet. Most believers have a lifestyle that has led them to the black pit of debt with all the accompanying headache and heartaches that go with it.

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Travel Day

It has been an excellent week with much accomplished for the greater Kingdom. Each day has been seriously different; each day held a number of surprises; each day saw people ministered to and blessed; each day was a blessing to me. But, I am now on my way home.

As this blog is published I will have already driven to Columbus from Butler (7:00a to 8:30a), check in at the airport (international flights you check in 2.5 hours before), had several coffees, boarded the flight and will be just about to land in Toronto. That means a very long walk into the area where Canadian Customs functions, claim the baggage, prove I am a Canadian eh, and then recheck the bag, go through security AGAIN, and then find a place to eat lunch (no small feat with my restricted diet). The book I started this morning (The Christian Atheist) is almost finished and I am about to start an e-book (There Is a Heaven). Then I find the gate for the next flight and find someone to talk to about Jesus.

Your prayers for this whole trip with its many twists and turns in agenda and venue have been greatly appreciated. The people have been blessed and I have been blessed and God’s hand was evident throughout. You are great people and your prayer support is highly appreciated and even coveted. And, although I don’t say it often, I do pray for you and thank God for you on a regular basis. Would you please begin to pray for my trip into Kazakhstan which begins in 10 days on March 5th. Thanks!!

A Destructive Distraction

It is not surprising then that God wants you free from financial worry. He wants you to have money margins – more money than you need. Proverbs 21:20 states: “In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has.” Listen to what that said! The wise – not the rich – have more than enough in their house. They have extra. According to this verse, it’s a foolish person who lives paycheque to paycheque. Every time he gets more, he uses it all up. Read more