Posts tagged ‘offering’

April 10, 2012

Most Precious

by pastortimfowler

www.flickr.com/photos/tonivc/2283676770

Today I was having lunch with my favorite wife and a friend from church and the friend asked me to blog about a subject that her husband’s Bible study was discussing the other day. The lesson was about giving from what is most precious to you. Then she asked me what was most precious to me. We were eating at Taco Bell and I was trying to enjoy my taco but they kept wanting to know my most precious possession. I was in a no win situation because my wife was there. If I had said that she was my favorite possession then someone would get mad and say that I don’t own her, if I had said something else, she would have got mad. So I ate my taco.
The lesson that she was talking about was trying to get the point across that we need to give from our hearts and not from things that don’t mean anything to us. God gave us Jesus, His most precious possession, and He did it because of His great love for us. Most of what we see given in churches are what we happen to find in our pockets as the offering plate is passed around, unless we look and see that it is more than a couple of dollars then we tell God that we will owe Him.
My wife gives from her heart all the time. She loves children. In an earlier blog I told you that she is an addict when it comes to little kids. She gives them her very best all the time. It makes me jealous from time to time. I see the kids getting anything that they ask for and when I ask for something she tells me I don’t need it. Everybody needs cake. She gives to the church all the time. There is not much that happens there that she is not involved in. Not only does she love kids, but she loves regular people too and gives to them. She gives to her work. Professionalism in the dictionary has her picture as the definition. And yes, she gives to me, but I don’t want to go into details about how or what. My wife is so giving that she tried to give the people who take out the trash at Taco Bell her van. She tossed her keys in there as she was leaving.
I like the way Taco Bell gives. With a regular combo you get a large drink. Not like you need it, but then you get free refills. They give away the taco sauce in is the little packets too. I don’t use them, but I see people loading their hands with them. I think they take them home and make soup out of them. My favorite is the peppermints that they give away. Its like desert after a taco meal.
Giving from what is precious to us is hard to do. We like to hold things more closely if they are important to us. So to answer the question of what is most precious to me…I don’t really know. I don’t like to hold on to stuff. I get told that I don’t care about money. I like to give it away and I like to spend it. I don’t care about clothes. Jeans and a t-shirt are fine with me and if you need mine, you can have them. God has given me a great life and a great family, but I know that they really belong to Him, so I let God decide where they are given.
If I had to say what I hold most precious, I guess it would have to be my time. I realize that I only have a certain amount and after that, I get no more. I don’t own my time, but I own what I do with it. I find it most difficult to give the time that I have chosen to do something for me to someone else who needs my help. But, I get the greatest reward from knowing that when I do give it away, someone else’s time on earth is made better.
With the time I have, God allows me to fill it with a beautiful wife, wonderful children and grandchildren, and a church family that is most incredible. He allows me to preach and teach the Bible as my vocation and I don’t have to punch a time clock. I never get tired of working for Him. My only struggle is when I want my time to be mine and it gets interrupted. That is why I think that it is my most precious possession. So I try to give it away despite what I feel, and I never get disappointed in the results.

March 2, 2011

Thoughts on Leviticus

by pastortimfowler

Sacrifice

In my journey to read through the Bible again this year I have been reading through the Old Testament book of Leviticus. This is where Arron and his sons become the official priests of Israel and what it takes to achieve a holy standing before God.
First of all I am really glad that I am a Christian when I read about the stuff that had to happen. The amount of detail and effort that it took is mind numbing. What makes it more difficult is that this status of being holy was only temporary and the sacrifices had to be repeated over and over.
When God gave the instructions to build the tabernacle He told the people to give gold, silver, bronze, jewels, and most of the precious stuff that they had. They did it and as far as I can tell they did not do a lot of whining about it. Christians are only asked to give 10% to maintain the church, and none of it in jewelery.

But back to Leviticus. The priests had to sacrifice a bull to make the tabernacle holy. Then they had to sacrifice a bull to make the clothes holy. Then they had to sacrifice to make themselves holy before they could sacrifice to make the person offering the sacrifice holy. And that was just the sin offering.
There were guilt offerings, grain offerings, fellowship offering, praise offerings and an ordination offering. The priests had to put blood from the bull, goat, lamb, or dove on about everything, including their big toe!
I know it was an extreme honor to be one of those priests. I know that they got to experience the presence of God every time they offered a sacrifice. I know that the clothes must have been really awesome to wear because they set you apart from everyone else. But it they messed up at any level, it was all for nothing. If they forgot to confess ALL their sins before entering the Holiest part of the tabernacle, they would die.
So being a Christian is pretty cool. Our holiness does not depend on a bull, goat, or dove. It does not depend on someone wearing the right clothes or having the right set of rituals. It depends on what Jesus did and that alone. He shed His blood, forgave my sin, and that was good enough to never have to be repeated.
Sure I have my part to do in all this. But it won’t cost me my life if I mess up. I am the son of the King! The Chief High Priest and Judge of all has found me forgiven of all charges and set free!
My part is simple. Ask for forgiveness when I sin. Love others freely like God loves me. Give like I trust God to give to me and to help others like God helps me. Have a relationship with my Savior and forget the whole religious thing. No stinkin’ animal blood on me.
Wait a minute…it does mean the blood of Jesus covers me. Like the old hymn says; What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.