Tuesday, August 2, 2011

"There's No Credit Check In Heaven"

We are private people. I think more by design than by choice, though many cherish and protect their privacy.

I wonder why that all goes out the window at church?

We pass the basket so that everyone can see who is giving and who is not (although it really does not tell the whole story).

I even know for a fact that some churches require that a prospective member submit their W-2 forms so that the pastor can review that they are "tithing" according to their income. This is of course so that the pastor can gauge the spiritual health of his flock (ahh...no...I 'm too speechless to comment on that).

Some churches are even performing credit checks.

I'm glad Jesus doesn't perform any of that. I wouldn't have made it.

Neither would you.

We were bankrupt and Jesus "paid it forward".

In fact, some of the "stuff" we do at church, appears at least on the surface, to actually conflict with what Jesus requires (as I scratch my head).

For example:

Matt. 6:3-4

"(3) But when you give to charity, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, (4) So that your deeds of charity may be in secret; and your Father Who sees in secret will reward you openly."

Jesus says that we are to be so private in our giving (for one thing) that even even our left hand wouldn't know what our right hand is doing. That's pretty private.

Of course that can't really happen, but He is trying to show us that we are to keep some things intimately between us and God.

But why? What's the big deal? Wouldn't it be better if others know who the high rollers and the skinflints are?

Not in God's methodology.

He knows that if we set our eyes on what people give or don't give, the truth of who's doling out the rewards would be at the least shaded.

He wants us to know that He is the Giver. Of everything.

In fact, any other process is called hypocrisy by Jesus in the first two verses of this same chapter.

He says that if we do contrary to how God has designed it, we will get NO reward!

Hmmm...wouldn't it be funny if all the church's woes hinged on that simple oversight?

He wants it His way so that regardless of how much we give or how often, people would see the results rather than the actions.

He doesn't want us to focus on the flesh. Just the supernatural reward.

That way people know and witness the power of God free from any distracting interference of the possibility of "good works" being involved.

All Him. None of us.

I think we have a long way to go on that one. Humanity loves it's slaps on the back.

We'll hide our shame, but we'll flaunt our pomposity.

God will have none of it.

So, be a giver in what you have decided in your heart to give (2 Cor. 9:7). And God will not forsake you.

In fact He will reward you in such a fashion that others will know, but they will know that God has done it, and He will get all the glory!

That's really evangelism without all the hokey programs.

All people need to see is God blessing His people, and they will want to "get some a dat"!

My prayer today is that we will give as our heart directs, and that our purpose will be to edify Him, not ourselves. Put this principle into effect and watch how God rewards!

Run it all past Jesus first today! Strive to be second!

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

Check out my blog at: http://keepinitrealpastorkevin.blogspot.com/

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