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Posts Tagged ‘law’

Last week, my pastor, Glenn Feehan, asked me to give the ‘giving nugget;’ to say a little word about giving. I agreed. I then asked the Lord – as has become my practice – what do we talk about in the area of giving?

Immediately springing to mind I thought of several verses of giving. This was not my first time talking about giving and I have studied ‘giving.’ Not relying on my education, I asked GOD and began to listen. How does GOD give? How did He give?

“For GOD so loved this world He gave…”

John 3:16, we see that verse a lot. But have we considered it? Have we thought about it from the stand point of how GOD gives? GOD gives excessively. GOD gives and does not seek anything in return from you other than you being blessed. Interesting.

For GOD so loved this world He gave … GOD gives the same way He loves; without thought of return.

“In the beginning GOD created the heavens and the earth…” Genesis 1.1

GOD’s idea of giving has been to take something that cost Him, make it useful, and then give it away. GOD created the heavens and the earth. After all of that, He made a place that was pleasurable to Him. He called it Eden [pleasurable, pleasant]. And in the midst of Eden, He made a garden. Then He gave the garden to Man. Do you see GOD’s idea and level of giving?

Out of Himself, universe, Earth, Eden, garden … Man’s.

GOD gives out of His love for us and for this world He created. That kind of love is epitomized by the Greek verb ‘agape’. Most dictionaries of biblical words will define ‘agape’ as the God-kind-of-love; the kind that loves without expecting to be loved in return.

The apostle, Paul, tried to communicate this kind of love too in a letter when he said that they set aside what is in their heart, they should give not out of compulsion, but out of what they purposed to give. You see, the early Church in Jerusalem was being heavily persecuted and they were being ostracized. No one was buying or selling or trading with them. It was a difficult time for them to follow after Jesus. They were being sorely tested for their faith. But GOD did not want the rest of the Church to just give. GOD wanted them to give out of their love for one another. GOD had set the example of giving and wanted them to live it out.

If GOD wanted to be demanding He could be. In Malachi He points out the tithe is Lord’s and the fullness thereof. The tithe pre-dated the Law of Moses but became a requirement under the Law. The tithe is a form of blessing if you let it. If you give out of your love and not out of obligation.

In Genesis we see where it has come time to make an offering to GOD. This is something that Adam and Eve had been doing and now included their sons. Cain came with an offering, but Abel came with an offering that was made up of the best portions. By implication those verses point out that Cain gave out of obedience, that he had better stuff, he just didn’t bring it. Those same verses point out that Abel brought the best portions. This implies Abel took time, made selections, went through preparations, all to bless GOD. Abel’s sacrifice was pleasing, Cain’s was not.

The Law proscribed giving, made it mandatory. Leviticus goes through the many different ways the children of Israel were required to give. Jesus showed it is not the why or how but the heart’s intent that means the most.

Farmers understand seed and sowing. They understand that you plant your seed on purpose and specifically if you want to receive a harvest. In our modern society, most of us are not farmers. We are in our own ‘fields.’ Our jobs, our specialties, are considered our fields. The fruit of our labors may not be in corn, wheat, barley, livestock, or whatever. The fruit of our labor in the USA is the American Greenback. When we give we must give intentionally and on purpose.

In Malachi 3, GOD points out they should bring in the whole tithe that His storehouse might be full. The purpose of the storehouse is to provide for the maintenance of the house, provide for those whose work is the work of the house, and to bless those out of the increase of the house. In the same way the local church is that local storehouse. There are needs to ensure the local house of prayer is maintained well. There are needs to provide for those who labor in the Gospel for the Church’s sake. And there are those that are blessed out of the excess, the increase, the surplus of income into the local church.

The local church building is not the Church, but it is the place where the Church meets, worships, studies, prays, and ministers. There are specific needs that must be met to maintain the building for all of the people attending at that local meeting place for the Church. It is a reality check. Electricity makes the lights work. Water makes the plumbing and drinking fountains work.

The Bible states that those who labor in the Gospel are worthy of double honor. Honor in biblical times and at the writing of the King James English translation meant gifts and support for the person being honored. Now does that mean pastors should be paid double what is normal? No it does not, but is does mean that they should be looked after well. For those who are pastors after GOD’s own heart, the work load is heavy and usually double for pastors. They carry what they must for their own lives and they carry what they must for their flocks. It can be heavy at times. Every effort should be made to maintain those who labor for us in the things of GOD.

The local church is the local storehouse and the local expression of GOD’s provision. Our local church has had the privilege to give to the Frisco Family Services, to special needs, to missions, to strangers who came to the local church with a need. That is being the Church, the local expression of GOD’s goodness.

So, we should give out of our ‘agape’ love. We should give on purpose, intentionally, with some thought and effort put into it. We should give to bless GOD and His house of prayer. We should give to bless those who labor in the Gospel for us, to show them our love and appreciation for them. We should give so we can be the hands that GOD might use to bless others, both locally and internationally.

So, give. Not out of compulsion or obligation or duty or obedience. Give just as you have purposed in your heart … out of your love for GOD, His house, His co-laborers, and His people.

Amen.

©20100221

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Lucifer’s Folly

By Dave Doc Rogers

20090101

 

His eyes surveyed all in front of him. He inhaled deeply of the power that was all around him. “This is mine,” he thought.

 

Stretching in front of him was a multitude of people. They seemed to ebb and flow like a great sea. Some would gather together and crest like a great tidal surge. All of them sang in intricate, multi-choral voices. The volume of the voices would roll like thundering waves toward where he stood. He would receive their praise unto himself and hold it. It was beyond thrilling to the touch. It was nearly intoxicating.

 

The number of them seemed incalculable, yet he knew exactly there number, name, and where they were. He had performed this service so long and so often he could not recount the number of times. He would get lost in the moment of the revelry and lose awareness of time, space, and anything else except the flow and ebb of their praise. All he could see was the ebb and flow of these beings of immense power projecting their love, adoration, praise, and inner selves toward him.

 

He inhaled deeply. “This is mine,” he thought.

 

*

 

“I tell you truly!” he shouted in a voice that thundered as a deep rumble through those assembled before him. “I feel your power … I feel your praise … I worship you for your giving yourselves unselfishly to me …”

 

A roar sounded deep within the massed press and slowly swelled overcoming the deep rumble of the first speaker. In a flash of a moment the sound crested and there stood before them all a being of magnificent fury and strength. All fell back from him, save one. The eyes of this interloper burned fiercely in the direction of the first speaker. When he spoke it was as if the firmament itself moved at the sounding. “Lucifer, Light Bearer, what is it that you do this day, this very hour? Do you not realize what it is you say?”

 

Lucifer fell back just a moment under the onslaught of the voice and pure power of the one before him. Straightening himself up to his fullest stature, Lucifer took a step toward the one whose voice shook even the firmament.

 

“Me’kael!?! Who is like EL? Do you set yourself up to be like HIM? Are you, whose voice sounds as thunder to shake even the heavens, now, sitting in judgment over us all? Who are you to confront me? Am I not the one who has received even your praise, Almighty One?”

 

At this there was a stirring, a murmur within the gathering multitude.

 

“Ware your next words, Light Bearer!” the voice shouted. The nearest at the center of the discussion of these two great beings were thrown back by the intensity of Me’kael’s warning.

 

Lucifer felt it coming. He after uncounted eons knew the most subtle of emotions and had steadied himself for the blast. Focusing intently, he turned inward and touched that which he had stored for such a day as this. What had grown as a thought seed had matured into a force unto itself. He touched that now and drew it forth out of his being.

 

A burst of power and pent up energy sprang forth out of the Light Bearer. All but the most stout were thrown back, disarmed by the intensity now emanating from this being. It was a light, an energy that poured and radiated out of him.

 

“I WILL BE LIKE THE MOST HIGH!”

 

There was a deafening roar. The firmament upon which they stood shook violently. Those who had been standing a side watching the interplay between these two great beings quickly chose sides. Fully one third of those attending stood with the Light Bearer whose energy only seemed to intensify as they gathered closer and closer around him.

 

“I WILL ASCEND THE MOUNTAIN OF THE NORTH AND I WILL SET MY THRONE IN THE MIDST OF THE MOUNT OF ASSEMBLY!!”

 

In mass, they encircled the Light Bearer and began to move as one body toward the Mount of Assembly. Lucifer’s eyes were on the Throne of Meeting. He said in his heart he would attain it. He could feel the life in those around him. He began to feed off of them and his intensity grew.

 

Me’kael and just a few stood between those that were with Lucifer and the Throne of Meeting. Me’kael withdrew the Great Sword that was entrusted to him and struck repeated into those in front of him. Lucifer’s intensity grew at the chaos of battle and the intensity of the emotions around him. He sucked into himself in the same manner he had carried praise in the past. He was becoming intoxicated, drunk with the power. He tossed all aside as he approached them. A surge of his allies stood against Me’kael, the Great Sword, and those with him. Lucifer was able to easily walk around the warring thunders and flashings of lightning.

 

The firmament shook violently with the efforts of so many in opposition, one against another. The Light Bearer smiled. He was drunk, full on the wine of their emotions and … hatred. This was new to him. He breathed it in. He took a step on to the base that was the mount of meeting. His intensity heightened again as he neared his goal. A roar below him told him that Me’kael saw his failure was eminent. Just a few steps more and …

 

Glare. Intensity all around Lucifer. A brilliance he had never experienced surrounded him and went through him, and then a fear like he had never known before gripped him. He knew he had reached the apex of the Mount of Assembly. Before him should have been the Throne of meeting. Instead he felt the intensity of a being far greater than his imagining. He could not see a distance to measure the height or depth of this being.

 

‘I AM THAT I AM’

 

The words echoed through the center of the Light Bearer and tore at all of his deceptions.

 

“YOU SHALL HAVE NO OTHER GODS BEFORE ME!”

 

Great fear fell upon the Light Bearer and a grip whose strength had no measure surrounded him. He heard the wails of those below as he was lifted up. He had a sensation of speed beyond him imagining.

 

The sudden stop was beyond sensation he could comprehend. A part of him was missing. A despair greater than his pain assailed him. He began to wail, mournfully wracking his self. He was stripped of his light. He was in utter darkness. He reached out to what he once knew and there was a gulf he could not cross. His soul darkened to match his surroundings.

 

Time passed without measure. There was no sight. There was no sound. There was only pain and despair as companions. They weighed constantly against him. Then he heard a faint sound that did not come from him. In a flash he was at it. He felt for it. Touched it. It was one of the multitude that had followed him.

 

“WHY DID YOU FAIL ME!!!? I WAS YOUR LORD! IWAS YOUR GOD! COULD YOU NOT STAND UP TO HIM ON MY BEHALF!”

 

He continued to beat the being until he was spent. With the last of his strength, he threw as far as he could away from him. As his anger waned, pain and despair returned to companion him … until he heard a sound …

 

He began to number those he punished for failing him. They began to follow him at a safe distance. At any moment he would turn and vent his wrath upon them until he was spent. He would suck out any hope they might have and leave them with pain and despair at their failure. He was not to be faulted. They failed him, the mighty one in whom they held their hope.

 

*

 

©2009 Dave Doc Rogers

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