For me to say that I am truly out of my comfort zone would be an understatement.
But I would like to start by asking a question, how many of us have truly given ourselves to God? I ask again, how many of us have truly given ourselves to God. While you are probably thinking what is he talking about I will ask another question, do we truly love the Lord?
I ask these questions because I do not think we are giving to the Lord as we should. I would venture out to say that there are times that we may put a concert, a play, and dinner with friends before we give back to Jesus what is already His.
Paul wrote in 2nd Corinthians chapter 8 verse 2 that even when the people were faced with GREAT ORDEAL OF AFFLICTION AND THEIR DEEP POVERTY overflowed in WEALTH of their LIBERALITY. This to me means that they gave even when they had nothing to give because they knew that God would supply all of their needs. All they had to do was have faith, and to give a portion back to the Lord.
Have we truly given ourselves to God? I am going to say that we have not. I will even go out on a limb and say that most of us only call on God in times of trouble. For example God if you help me with this I will be more faithful to you and your will. But once the situation is fixed not only do you forget what you said about being more faithful but you don’t even thank him for what he did for you.
So I ask the question do we truly love the Lord. I remember there was a time when I said that I loved the Lord, but I would not give back to Him for all he had done for me. I would go to church and just go through the motions. For example; I would go to church and leave when it was time for the offering. I would read the Bible without trying to truly comprehend its meaning. Yet I said I loved the Lord. I was going through the motions. So I ask the question how many of you are just going through the motions. Pastor spoke for weeks on let Revival start with you. So ask yourself have you started letting Revival begin in you or are you just going through the motions?
Do you remember your 1st love? Do you remember all of the things that you would do for the other? Guys would open doors, pay for movies, and go watch the so called chick flicks, whereas ladies would do homework, make lunches, and make phone calls just to say I was thinking of you. Then after a while things started to change things become repetitive, common, and almost like it was out of habit instead of it being special. Is that the way we are treating Jesus? In the beginning we are like teenagers in love for the 1st time. Then we only want to call or give to him when it is convent for us.
The people of Corinthians would give all they had and yes even beyond knowing that the gifts that the Lord had in store for them would out weigh anything they could offer or give back to the Him, because as the bible reads ALL is the Lords.
I remember when the Lord put my wife in my life I was only 17 years young. But I was unappreciative of the gift he had given me until I almost lost her. But being that her faith and love was greater than mine she stuck by my side with faith and prayer. Back then I had no idea the Lord was putting the pieces of my life on the chess board.
Now the people of Corinthians had little or nothing for themselves, but they still gave openly and freely. Where as today with all of the things we have MONEY, HOUSES, CARS, AND EVEN RUNNING WATER at the 1st sign of trouble we question the Lord and his faithfulness to us, instead of question our faithfulness to him.
Today those of us who have been twice born, who say we LOVE GOD and all he has given to us but are we really giving back to Him? Ask yourself if the only time you give to the Lord is when times are good and you have a little extra. Then ask yourself if you also give when times are a little tight? It’s always easy to give when things are going good, but are you holding back when time are not as good? What if God held back blessings? What if He said that things are not where He felt they should be and did not give you the blessings you were looking for?
It is written in 2nd Corinthians chapter 9 verses 6 – 9 that he who sows sparingly will reap sparingly and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly of necessity for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, so that you will always have sufficiency in all things.
Like I told you earlier there was a time when I did not give at all, I would even leave the service when it was time for the offering. Then when I got a little older and married we would only give when things were good, and we had some extra money. Then one day Beverley and I sat down as we were going over our bills, and wondering what were we spending all of our money on. We were wondering why there was never any money left after we paid our bills. Now we have never been big spenders. I do not believe we ever tried to live outside of our means, yet we had no money at the end of the month.
So during this conversation of finances there were those other things that come out when one has that conversation blaming the other senseless arguing and finger pointing. Then one day
She said that we are going to start tithing every week as we should. She said if we can go out to eat and spend X amount of money and not think about it than we can give back to the Lord as we should.
So why don’t we not give as we should? Is it because we think that it is ours? If we were truly walking by FAITH and not be SIGHT as the Bible says we should, than we would not have a problem giving back to the Lord which is already his, because we would know that He would and will provide.
1st John chapter 2 verses 15 reads do not love the world or the
things in the world. If anyone loves the world the
love of the Father is not in him. And if we truly believe these words than why are we so tight with when it comes to giving back to the church?
The Bible reads that God gives most, and now that Beverley and I decided to start tithing as we should, the Lord has started blessing us like I never thought He would. Now if I were to say that everything is now peaches and cream that would be some piece of fiction but I can say we are able to pay our bills and have something extra at the end of the month. Now is it enough to be a Beaumont, no not even close, but its more than we had before, and yes we are still able to go out to eat and catch a movie when we feel like it.
There are many of you that have no idea what our lives has been like during the past 10 years and there are those of you I wish did not know as much as you do, but it has truly been by his grace and mercy that we have made it this far. So now that I am older a whole 25 old, I give back to the Lord and a lot of the times I wonder when I give, how are we going to pay those bills on time? Then I just say God will make a way. James wrote in chapter 1 verse 17 that every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. So if God is giving us all of the good and perfect gifts why are we short changing him?
Now some of you may say that I am putting into the scripture but I have started telling Beverley if you see it and you like it get it, because you only live once so let start enjoying life. Now is that to say that we are trying to be someone we are not, absolutely not, but you only live once, but we make sure we are able to give back to the Lord every week.
I am going to end by reading from 2nd Timothy chapter 3 verses 1-7, and it reads. But before I read this passage I want you to think about why we are unable to meet our budget, or get the roof fixed on the church or the parsonage.
But know this that in the last days perilous times will come: for men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sin, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Amen.
Message Contributed Deacon Ronald Curl
Given at Calvary Gospel Church, Newark, New Jersey