Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Giving is for the Birds?

If ravens can feed the prophet, ( 1 Kings 17), and Jesus can makes the rocks sing His praises (Luke 19), is it possible we do not think of ourselves in proper perspective as to what we offer God?  After we give our offerings we feel good because we helped a need.  Truth is God could send birds to do it.  After we leave church and we have sung our hearts out we feel good about ourselves, when in fact rocks could have done it. (Please keep reading, this is not going to be as cynical as it sounds.)

Don’t get me wrong, God blesses the giver and the worshipper, but perhaps not for the reasons we think.  Many think we are blessed because of what WE did.  But God says our righteousness is as filthy rags (Isaiah 64).  So our blessing is not because of who we are or what we do.  Our blessing is because of who He is and what He does.

The blessing is a result of participating with God in His work and becoming like Christ through His grace.  So the blessing is not based on the action but the heart.  Many at church sing God’s praises with a heart like a rock.  Others give to the needy with a heart no more bent toward God than the ravens.

The blessing is a result of pursuing God, not the pursuit of the blessing.  So when we pursue God “all these things shall be added unto you.”  I had a New Testament professor in college who was famous for repeating his favorite phrase to every class.  He always taught us to “reach for the Hand not the gift in the Hand.”

TG is not about what I am up to and not about what the charity or organization is up to.  It is about what God is up to.  In Eric Foley’s blog he makes a refreshing observation about what God’s focus is.  Even the title of the entry from May 13 speaks loudly.  The title is What Troubles God is not What We Do but ourAstonishing Lack of Interest in What He Does. Eric has this helpful insight at the start of this post:

Our contemporary spiritual myopia is most clearly revealed in our obsessive and endless debates about whether God is more focused on our actions or our beliefs.
Answer: Neither. Instead, God focuses on whether we are focused on ourselves or on him. He delights in those who are focused on him…

Giving, serving, living, are all to be focused on Him.  This fact from God’s word is so freeing.  I do not have to ask myself if I can afford to give, or if I should serve.  I simply have to ask God what He is up to and then dive in head first.

If God is giving through the birds, then I would rather get in line with the birds than be in a line where God is not.

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