Tag Archives: offering

Scattering Seeds

One of my prayers this year has been, “Lord, help us to plant seeds in fertile soil so you can maximize the harvest.” If you’re like me, there are ministries all around you who need funding to keep doing what they’re doing. There are ministers and missionaries who require money to fulfill their calling. There are people who need your counseling and time to minister to them and to help get them through a rough patch. Whether it’s time or money, we only have a limited amount of it, and I want to be wise with where I spend either. I want what I give to make the greatest impact possible.

The idea for the prayer came from a parable jesus taught in Luke 8. He spoke of a farmer who scattered seeds all around. Some fell on the side of the path, some fell in the rocks, some fell among the thorn bushes and some in fertile soil. No matter where it fell, things happened that caused the seeds not to produce. Only the seeds planted in fertile soil were able to withstand the things that tried to prevent growth. But verse 15 said, “The seeds that fell in good soil stand for those who hear the message and retain it in a good and obedient heart, and they persist until they bear fruit” (GNT). I love that those seeds persisted through whatever came against them and reproduced more fruit.

You and I are like that farmer. We scatter seeds wherever we go through giving of our time, our resources and our money. I believe that we can have wisdom in where we scatter those seeds and that we can do things to help those seeds persist until they reproduce. A farmer doesn’t just scatter seeds. They water them, enrich the soil with nutrients and pull weeds around them. If we want to maximize the harvest, we need wisdom in how and where we spend our time and money. It’s God who gives the harvest, but He only does that when we give when and where He tells us because only He knows which soil is fertile.

Photo by Evie Shaffer on Unsplash

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The Giftings Trap

I’m often guilty of wishing I had someone else’s giftings. Have you ever felt that way? I can hear someone preach, and wish I could explain things the way they do. I’ve read other authors and thought, “If only I could write that well.” I’ve heard people give some wise advice and wondered why I can’t think of things like that. It’s a dangerous trap to fall into because I’m failing to be appreciative of the gifts God has given me. In those moments, I discount the very things God wants me to use for His glory.

If you look back across the years of your life, you will see a lot of ups and downs, mountains and valleys. In the low moments, God is smoothing off your rough edges and is sharpening the gifts He placed in you. It hurts to go through those times, but it’s in those valleys that God prepares you for your calling and destiny. Coming out of the valley, it’s natural to think you have nothing left, but even the little you have, used for God will be enough to fulfill your purpose.

2 Corinthians 8:12 says, “If you are eager to give, God will accept your gift on the basis of what you have to give, not on what you don’t have” (GNT). In other words, God isn’t expecting you to give Him someone else’s gifts. He’s expecting you to give Him what you have matter how small you think it might be. It’s time we quit comparing ourselves to each other when it comes to gifts. God didn’t give you their gifts because He didn’t call you to reach the same people they are called to reach. Give what you have and God will use it in ways you can’t imagine.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

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Don’t Be Stingy


I love the story in Luke where Jesus was watching the offering box as people gave. Many people gave large amounts and people took notice. Then there was a widow woman who walked up. She grabbed two small coins and put them in the offering. Jesus exclaimed that this poor widow had given more than everyone else. Confused, the disciples wondered how. Jesus then explained that others gave out of their abundance, but she gave from her need. She didn’t find an excuse not to give because she was generous. 

God loves it when we learn to give generously. I say “learn” because for most of us, it’s not natural to be generous. We’ve worked hard for our money and value it, but that is often what makes us stingy. When we are stingy, we forget that God is our source of income. We think of ourselves as the provider and therefore want to only give when we have left over money. But if we view God as our provider, we see the money as His and are free to give it away.

Deuteronomy 15:10 says, “Give freely and spontaneously. Don’t have a stingy heart. The way you handle matters like this triggers GOD, your God’s, blessing in everything you do, all your work and ventures” (MSG). When we give generously, it triggers God’s blessing in every area of our life. It tells God that you no longer see yourself as the source of your income, and that means He can trust you with more.

In Luke 6:38, Jesus put it this way, “Give and it shall be given unto you.” He went on to say that the same measure you use to give, will be used to give back to you. When we are generous, God is generous. You don’t have to have a lot to give a lot in God’s eyes. He can take a small gift and multiply it so there’s left overs (see the boy with 5 loaves and 2 fish). We have to get out of the scarcity mindset and into the abundant one. Give freely and spontaneously. It’s not your money anyway – it’s God’s!

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Cheating God


I once heard of a man who worked as a construction foreman. He worked for the same man his whole career. When it came time to retire, his boss asked him to build one more house. Reluctantly he agreed. On this particular house, his heart wasn’t in it. He cut corners, allowed shoddy work, and didn’t take his time to do quality work. All he could think of was retirement, so he wanted to build the house quickly. 

When the house was finished, the boss came out to do a final walk through as was their custom. When he pointed out things here and there, the foreman made excuses. At the end, he asked him if he was happy with his work. He said he was. Then the owner said, “Thank you for doing this last house got me. You have done great work in all the years you have worked for me. I want to thank you for your hard work and faithfulness by giving you this house.” The foreman showed appreciation, but in his heart, he remembered how poor of a job he did.

In Malachi, God was upset because they were offering poor sacrifices. They offered blind, diseased, and crippled animals to God. When God called them out on it, they asked how they had defiled his altar. In Malachi 1:12, God said, “You dishonor my name with your actions” (NLT). Then in Malachi 3:8, He said, “You have cheated me of the tithes and offerings due to me.” Just like the foreman, they offered shoddy offerings to God. Their heart wasn’t in their gifts to God. 

I’ve heard it said that our talents are God’s gift to us. What we do with them are our gifts to Him. Beyond our gifts of money, our actions are a gift to God as well. What kind of offering are you giving God? Are you cutting corners, offering shoddy work, or lowering the quality of your work? Are you being thankful to God for the gifts He’s given to you? Psalm 50:23 says, “But giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me. If you keep to my path, I will reveal to you the salvation of God.” We can’t afford to cheat and dishonor God through our actions any more. 

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The Other Side of Obedience

Years ago, I made a lot of mistakes. I’m not saying I still don’t make them, but the ones I’m talking about were life altering mistakes. I’m still paying for them a decade later. I knew I was still paying for them physically, mentally and emotionally, but I hadn’t really understood how I was paying for them spiritually. Once I sought God’s forgiveness for those mistakes, that aspect was taken care of, but there was more to it than my need for forgiveness. There have been barriers that I’ve built up because of it that have caused me to limit God’s ability to bless me.

I feel like I’m a pretty blessed person as it is, but over the last few weeks, I’m realizing that God desires to bless me more than He has been. Recently, my wife and I have been working together to tear down a wall that was built years ago from those mistakes. As we pull it down brick by brick, it’s been like cracks in a dam. Blessings have been gushing out at us. We look at each other in amazement after each incident and wonder, “Could we have experienced this years ago had we tried to tear it down then?” I think the answer is yes.

God has several principles or laws in place that if we were to simply obey, we’d reap the reward on the other side. One of those laws is “give and it shall be given to you.” We’ve mainly heard this applied to the Church, but I believe it applies to anyone. If you give to others, God opens doors to bless you. I’ve heard it said, “If God can get it through you, He’ll get it to you.” I’m finding this to be true in my own life. The more we’re willing to give to others, the more God is willing to give to us. That said, giving in order to get is the wrong motivation.

When we give in order to bless, God sees our hearts and is willing to open up the windows of Heaven to pour out blessings on us. I think those blessings are intended to keep the cycle of blessing others going. If we hoard the blessings that God pours on us, then the cycle stops. We become like the man in the parable who hid his talent. What we have will be taken from us instead of us giving it freely. God trusts us with the ability to bless others, but we fail to trust Him to do His part. We’re afraid to let go because we have too little.

What I’ve found is that even my “little” can be a blessing to someone else. When I released that “little”, God released more to me. When I released that amount, He poured out more. Now we are enjoying the cycle of blessing. Just last night, my wife said, “I’m excited to see how this next blessing will take place.” God gave us a blessing yesterday and now we’re actively looking to see how we can give it away. It’s not because we’re expecting God to turn around and bless us again, but because being a blessing is so much fun. Acting on God’s behalf is the greatest blessing there is.

Our friend Mike always asks, “What has God placed in your hands?” It may not be much in your eyes, but it is a lot to someone else and even more in God’s eyes. Whatever God has given you and told you to release, let me encourage you today to be faithful to God with it. If He asks you to release it, then release it. You will be tearing down a wall that has been holding back blessings just waiting to be released because of your obedience. Look around today and be a blessing to others. You never know what’s on the other side of your obedience.

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