August 22nd, 2019
If you look at the situation of the Son of God, giving himself in our place so that we might be given life anew, it doesn’t make any sense for every Christian not to be celebrating and embracing the new life they have been given.
Today I was focused on things we give back to God. The net of that line of thinking is that it is virtually impossible to out give God.
The Queen of Sheba traveled three thousand miles to visit with King Solomon to gain a bit of his wisdom. She brought with her many gifts to bestow on Solomon. Among those gifts were over four tons of gold.
This part of the gift alone required at least 24 camels to transport the great distance.
Here is the thing. Despite the lavish nature of the gifts that the Queen gave Solomon, He generously exceeded anything that the Queen gave him in return.
Compare that to what Jesus gave us and continues to give us verses what we give in return.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come!
2 Corinthians 5:17 (CSB)
The new life given us is just the tip of the mountain of blessings that Jesus has, and continues to give us.
Despite what Jesus gives us the majority of those who claim to be Christians, and benefit from His grace and generosity; fail to be as thankful, appreciative, or even behave in a manner that is in keeping with a grateful heart.
I did some searching and found a survey that was done in 2008 of born-again Christians and the result was that only 9 percent of the believers surveyed, gave ten percent of their income back to God.
Two things are even more troubling about this survey. The meager percentage of God’s Children that were willing to cough over ten percent is likely less when you consider the fact that many who took the survey would claim to be 10%’ers, might be substantially less or not at all. Plus, this survey was done in 2008; now almost twelve years later, our culture is even more self-centered. Therefore, the likelihood of getting 9%, giving 10% today is dubious at best.
But even if we all were giving 50% of our income back to the Lord, we simply can’t out give Him.
for you were bought at a price. So glorify God with your body.
1 Corinthians 6:20 (CSB)
The price Jesus paid to redeem us is beyond anything we are capable of paying back. There is no ‘settling of the books’ in regard to our salvation. The book is close, and we are forever in His debt.
As Paul stated in Corinthians, He paid for our salvation and we are therefore indentured to Him.
We don’t own anything, for we belong to Him. It is by His stripes we are healed. His death that gives us life. His ultimate suffering which is the seed of our joy.
He came to be born human to give us life, and not just any life.
A thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.
John 10:10 (CSB)
God doesn’t need your money. Our tithe and financial gifts are only a symbol of our devotion. There is no specific percentage we need to give, because we can’t place enough in the coffers of our church, to begin to compensate for what He has given us.
Besides, giving God what belongs to him in the first place is a bit of a silly game. We shouldn’t give out of requirement; we should give out of love and gratitude for all that He gives to us.
Jesus is more interested in our praise to Him for the job we have, for the health we enjoy and the food on our table. He is glorified when we serve others in His name and our prayers are the same. Our dependence on him reflects the depth of which we are in Him and He in us.
The one thing that gives back more to Jesus than all else is living the new life that He’s given us, but so many of us claim that new life but seek to hold onto those old habits of our past.
Therefore, brothers and sisters, in view of the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your true worship. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.
Romans 12:1-2 (CSB)
Committing to Jesus what we have promised, allowing His Spirit to perform the transformation he’s there to accomplish, so as a result of our New Life, we become New Creatures. A sacrifice of self to the Lord, who sacrificed Himself for us. No longer conformed to the world around us, but seeking to be transformed more and more, in the likeness of Jesus!
If we really want to live this “New Life”, we will have to give up those ‘old habits’.
In His Grace!