My Assignment: Sender and Stuff Security

“In this letter (Jude) the writer reminds Christian leaders that they should help support those who go to other parts of the world to tell others about the Lord.” CEV Bible Notes

Jude 1:8, “We must support people like them, so that we can take part in what they are doing to spread the truth.” CEV

The missions team from Guatemala returns today. I wish I could have gone with them. Even so, I can take part of what they accomplished because we helped send them. I will receive a reward for my teeny, tiny part.

In 1 Samuel 30, King David was returning from a triumphant victory with a lot of spoils. The battle stretched over days, and some of the soldiers did not fight in the final day. They stayed with the stuff and guarded it, (see 1 Samuel 30:1-25).

The soldiers who fought the final day wanted to keep the spoils to themselves. But, in verse 24, David said the spoils would be divided equally among all of them. He made it a law in verse 25.

The day the missions team left, the E3 Center, which houses the youth ministry and “Cradle of Hope,” caught fire. Satan tried to steal the stuff at home while the some of the soldiers were away.

But a few leaders and the youth band members who remained behind were practicing at that time. They stayed with the stuff and kept doing the work God assigned them. A neighbor let them know about the fire and the damage was kept to a minimum.

In fact, the building has been cleaned and they will have the youth service there tonight!

Don’t discredit yourself because you are one God has assigned to stay with the stuff. Your job is important. When you give so others can go, you get credit for a part of their work.

 

Rich Through Contentment

1 Timothy 6:5-8, “…They have wicked minds and have missed out on the truth. These people think religion is supposed to make you rich. And religion does make your life rich, by making you content with what you have. We didn’t bring anything into this world, and we won’t take anything with us when we leave. So we should be satisfied just to have food and clothes.”

Monday our youth group sent a team on a missions trip to Guatemala. They were unprepared for the great needs when they went last year. This year they took food, clothes, school supplies and money to purchase beds and other basic items.

Seeing others going without raises our contentment level exponentially.

We are never richer than when we give something of ours: time, money, items, etc. to someone who lacks that very thing.

Make Up Your Own Mind

2 Corinthians 9:7, “Each of you must make up your own mind about how much to give. But don’t feel sorry that you must give and don’t feel that you are forced to give. God loves people who love to give.”

“Let the full consent of the free will go with the gift.” Critical and Explanatory Commentary, Volume II

SURPRISE CHECK IN THE MAIL

We received a check from shopathome.com this week. It wasn’t a huge check and we discussed how we were going to spend it. My devotions pointed to another purpose.

“Effective, godly leadership means giving what you have so that God may be glorified in all you do. What you have freely received, freely give – and so bless others.” Leadership Promises for Every Day

1 Samuel 30:23, “But David said, My friends, don’t be so greedy with what the Lord has given us…”

“All We Need” – Charlie Hall

 

December 18, 2013

In our accountability group, we are watching “The Blessed Life” by Robert Morris. Last night he taught on Mammon, which is a spirit that entices us to love money. [There is nothing wrong with money, it is the love of money, (1 Timothy 6:10).]

Mammon is subtle; it tells us, if we serve money that we will be able to help more people. God owns all the money. We are just channels He uses to pass His riches to those in need.

If we run after money, and make that the basis of all our decisions, we will pay a high price and find ourselves empty.

We are all given a gift in our homes and if we are always working, not only do we miss enjoying that gift, we miss blessing others with it.

The trees in Judges 9 recognized the gift they had when they stayed firmly planted in God’s will for them.

Judges 9:9, “But the olive tree said to them, Should I leave my fatness, by which God and man are honored, and go to wave over the trees?”

Judges 9:11, “But the fig tree said to them, Should I leave my sweetness and my good fruit and go to wave over the trees?”

Judges 9:13, “And the vine (grapevine) replied, Should I leave my new wine, which rejoices God and man, and go to wave over the trees?”

This Christmas as we gather our families around us, let us recognize the gifts that make each family unique. Then share that gift in some way.

My husband’s extended family will be gathering at my home this weekend. Some of the best cooks in town will be here. Maybe, I could make up a plate of food and take it to my singe, elderly neighbor. Wouldn’t he be surprised?

I wonder if I could get the kids to sing carols to him?

Lady Antebellum – The First Noël (On This Winter’s Night)

 

 

November 14, 2013

On my birthday, my husband told me he would get whatever I wanted to eat. It was my day.

I had a bakery muffin for breakfast, a southwest salad and chocolate shake for lunch and a steak sandwich from George’s for dinner.

In Numbers 7, we see that each tribe had their day.

Numbers 7:12, “He who offered his offering on the first day was Nahshon son of Amminadab, of the tribe of Judah.”

“In dictating that each tribal leader have a separate day for his gift and in giving the reports equal space, regardless of the contrast in the tribes strength and rank in the camp, God had a definite purpose: that an equal honor might thereby be put on each several tribe…Thus, it was intimated that all the tribes of Israel had an equal; share in the altar and an equal share in the sacrifices that were offered upon it…He was letting us know that what is given is lent to the Lord, and He carefully records it, with everyone’s name prefixed to his gift, because what is so given as a labor of love (Hebrews 6:10) He will repay.” Amplified Bible Notes

The animals sacrificed were roasted on the altar, a portion was given to the priest, and the remainder given back to the one who offered it.

“Today is the Day” by Lincoln Brewster

November 7, 2013

“Clean out debris and clutter, making room for My Spirit…be willing to let go of anything…being satisfied with much or little, accepting either as my will for the moment…Instead of grasping and controlling…release and receive…trusting me in every situation.” Jesus is Calling by Sarah Young

I have to release to receive.

Leviticus 17:4, “And does not bring it to the door of the Tent of Meeting to offer it as an offering to the Lord before the Lord’s tabernacle [guilt for shedding] blood shall be imputed to that man; he has shed blood and shall be cut off from among his people.”

“This requirement, that an animal to be killed was to be brought as an offering to the Lord, was no privation for the owner, for after offering it on the altar of burnt offering he received most of it back as a gift from God.” Amplified Bible Notes

I have to let go to make room, and accept it is God’s will for the moment. Releasing gives back more than I give.

“Blessed be the Name” by Christ Tomlin

September 5, 2013

I have not earned any money since my health deteriorated and I stepped down from my job at the end of 2007. Since then, I have been “captive” to the safe environment in my home.

You would think by now we would have lost everything. Yet, God is taking care of us.

In spite of my husband’s income being cut four times, God has enabled us to pay off our medical bills, credit cards, van, truck and house! He knew we would not be able to make these payments at our present income level.

Even more exciting and fulfilling, we have increased our giving. We set aside a portion to help the poor and needy, especially on the mission field.

God did the same for the captives of Babylon and helped the poor along the way.

Ezra 1:4, “And in any place where a survivor [of the Babylonian captivity of the Jews] sojourns, let the men of that place assist him with silver and gold, with goods and beasts, beside freewill offerings for the house of God is Jerusalem.”

The problem with having enough money is we get too comfortable and don’t want to leave when God gives us the opportunity.

“The purport of the edict was to grant full permission to those Jewish exiles, in every part of the kingdom, who chose, to return to their own country, as well as to recommend those of their countrymen who remained to aid the way, and contribute liberally towards the rebuilding of the temple… all whose piety and patriotism were strong enough to brave the various discouragements attending the enterprise. They were liberally assisted by multitudes of their captive countrymen, who, born  in Babylonia, or comfortably established in it by family connections or the possession of property, chose to remain.” Critical and Explanatory Commentary, Vol. I

“All We Need” by Charlie Hall

June 19, 2013

“I am the firm foundation on which you can dance and sing and celebrate my Presence. This is My high and holy calling for you; receive it as a precious gift. Glorifying and enjoying Me is a higher priority than maintaining a tidy, structured life. Give up your striving to keep everything under control – an impossible task and a waste of precious energy.” Jesus is Calling, by Sarah Young

My father, Charles Edward Cary, Jr., wrote this phrase in a letter to me in 1979. “We are in this life to spend and to be spent.” Sadly, I have spent most of my life trying to maintain a tidy, structured life and keeping everything under control.

Paul spent his life spreading the Gospel and worked to support himself, 2 Corinthians 12:14, 15. On top of that he paid the expenses for others out of his own income.

Acts 21:24, “Take these men and purify yourself along with them and pay their expenses…”

How will you spend your life?

June 18, 2013

The wisest financial decision you will ever make is to serve God and give him 10%, called a tithe, of your income, right off the top. If you are determined to live on the income you now have, and live debt-free, God will multiply the funds you have. He doesn’t multiply it into more funds, as much as he makes it stretch to meet the needs. The secret is in being generous, even when you are struggling.

2 Corinthians 8:2, “For in  the midst of an ordeal of severe tribulation, their abundance of joy and their depth of poverty [together] have overflowed in wealth of lavish generosity on their part.”

I received my last paycheck in 2007, and although I have ads on my frugalfish.org blog, I have not generated any income on it or this website.

I am determined to live within our means, even though my husband’s income has also been reduced four times. We set aside a small percentage of our income to help others and are consistently looking for items we no longer need to give to Good Will.

God has honored our giving beyond my wildest dreams. We have paid off our medical expenses, credit cards, van, truck and house during these last five years.

When you serve God, you get abundance and over flowing generosity.