By Pastor E.A. Deckard
Special to the NNPA from the Houston Forward Times
“I must be willing to give whatever it takes to do good to others. This requires that I be willing to give until it hurts. Otherwise, there is no true love in me, and I bring injustice, not peace, to those around me.” – Mother Teresa
Forward Thinkers, this week I will continue to ask and answer questions to empower and enlighten you because, it’s your time to “grow” into your full potential.
Forward Thinkers, after reading section one and two of the “Why” Series under the “FORWARD THINKING” section of the Houston Forward Times, several questions have been answered for you to grow into your full potential.
Forward Thinkers, you should now understand why you need a personal relationship with God, why you need to be connected to a Word-based church, why you need to hear the Word of God, why you need an active prayer life, finally why you need a Pastor.
Forward Thinkers, today we will examine why you need to give your time, talent, and your treasure to the Kingdom of God.
Forward Thinkers, let’s enter into a covenant agreement by declaring this is my bible and today I declare it to be my final authority. Remember this is not the opinion of Pastor but straight bible. But don’t just take my word as proof that God wants us to give. Let’s look at what the Bible says about giving.
Forward Thinkers, first and foremost, God wants us to give because it shows that we recognize he is truly the Lord of our lives.
James 1:17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. (NIV)
Forward Thinkers, everything we own and everything we have comes from God; therefore, when we give, we simply offer him a very small portion of all the abundance he has already given to us. Giving is an expression of our thankfulness and praise to God. It comes from a heart of worship that recognizes that everything we give already belongs to him.
Forward Thinkers, God instructs believers to give a tithe, or a tenth, because this 10% represented the first or most important portion of all that they had.
Forward Thinkers, Believers should give according to their income.
1 Corinthians 16:2 On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made. (NIV)
Forward Thinkers, notice that the offering was set aside on the first day of the week. When we are willing to offer the first portion of our wealth back to him, then God knows he has our hearts. He knows and we also know that we are to submit completely in trust and obedience to our Lord and Savior.
Forward Thinkers, we are blessed when we give.
Acts 20:35 … remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ (NIV)
Forward Thinkers, God wants us to give because, he knows how bless we will be as we give generously to him and to others. Giving is a kingdom principle—it brings more blessing to the giver than to the recipient.
Forward Thinkers, when we give freely to God, we receive freely from God.
Luke 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. (NIV)
Proverbs 11:24 One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. (NIV)
Forward Thinkers, God’s promise is that we will be blessed over and above what we give and also according to the measure that we use to give. But, if we hold back from giving with a stingy heart, we hinder God from blessing our lives.
Forward Thinkers, a brother asked for prayer over a difficult financial season, but stated, “Pastor I’m not tripping because I know I have sown seed in good ground already”. Forward Thinkers, giving protects me from being defeated by the enemy, in Malachi 3:11 Gods says, “to the Tither I will prevent the enemy from defeating you”.
Forward Thinkers, we give because no matter how much we give we can’t “out” give God.
Forward Thinkers, why you need to participate in the things of God
16 Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” 17 “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered. 18 “Bring them here to me,” he said. 19 And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.
Forward Thinkers, Jesus feeds 5,000 men with five loaves of bread and two fish but he invites a little boy and his disciples to participate in the process. Jesus had the authority and the power to call food down from heaven to feed these men without the assistance of anyone but Jesus wanted others to experience the joy of giving and serving.
Forward Thinkers, notice the little boy gave all he had but left with exceedingly and abundantly more than he had given. In the hands of the little boy five loaves of bread and two fish were not enough to meet the needs of all the men present but when we give all we have into the hands of Jesus we will always have more than enough to meet the needs of others.
Forward Thinkers, understand giving did not take anything away from the little boy but added something into his life that had the potential to position him to meet the needs of his entire family.
Forward Thinkers, Jesus invited the disciples to give their time and talent because he wanted them to experience a miracle first hand. There is no greater feeling than being a part of God’s plans to bless others. The disciples served and left blessed because as they blessed others God released blessings back into their lives. Forward Thinkers, this principle still works.
Forward Thinkers, remember God does not need us but God allows us the privilege to assist in the Kingdom for our benefit.
Forward Thinkers, I personally serve because, I’m grateful God saved me. One of my favorite gospel songs sung by Bishop Paul Morton says “Lord if you’re doing anything this season please don’t do it without me”. Forward Thinkers, I know I can’t pay God back for saving me but I’m going to continue to give my time, talent, and treasure to demonstrate to God how thankful I am.
Forward Thinkers, in conclusion, God gave you a Pastor to equip you for the work of the Kingdom; so don’t waste your opportunity to work while it is day, because at night no man will be able to work.
Pastor E. A. Deckard is the senior pastor/founder of the Green House International Church located, 16711 Ella Blvd. Houston, Texas, 77090. To contact Pastor Deckard for speaking engagements contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.ghic.net.