I blogged on freedomhouse.ca today. Some of it is about the on-goings at Freedom House (that I'd LOVE you to be a part of too :) but there some thoughts on giving in here that I wanted to share here on Big Ear as well.
This is going to be a unique summer at Freedom House. Make sure you're at this Sunday night's "State of the Union Communion" Night from 6 until 8pm. Nicki will send the pot-luck details shortly but it's going to be a night where we'll:
- Eat together
- Take communion together
- Talk together as a family and a church that believes that "every member is a minister" about how we're going to prepare for action this summer and launch some cool new ministry initiatives involving ALL OF YOU this fall.
As you know... we've taken a HUGE step in opening Freedom Gate Apartments and we're at the early stages of developing a large scale "Kindness Project" designed to impact our city on many levels... and it's all done by all our ministry-members (AKA... you and me) being faithful in giving. The summer is often a time where people go on vacation... and sometimes their regular giving goes on vacation with them! Hey... vacations cost money too! Sometimes it just slips our mind but it's important to be as intentional about giving as God is about it.
God wants to GIVE us what we need to thrive when we GIVE Him the best of us. Doing the opposite is actually more serious than we first think. “God doesn’t deserve my best,” is exactly what we say when we as “Christ Followers” decide to be consumers rather than contributors.
Bit of interesting teaching for a minute... stay with me.
Remember Cain and Abel? They both presented their offerings to the Lord. Cain just gave some of his crops as an offering to the Lord, while Abel gave his first and best lamb as an offering. Part of these scriptures point out that the tithe (Regularly giving 10% of your income... pre-taxes) did not go away with the law since it was present 500+ years before the law. But there is something else significant in their story.
Freedom House givers are AMAZING... but often Christians can fall into Cain-traps. The more I think about it, there may be too much focus on Cain's brutal murder act. And yes... murder is bad. Duh. But it was Cain's attitude that may have led him down this bad path. It was the attitude that God did not deserve his best. And God REALLY doesn't like this attitude. Check this out:
“Why are you so angry?” the Lord asked Cain. “Why do you look so dejected? You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.” Genesis 4:6-7
What was the right thing in this situation? Abel’s income came through being a shepherd. Cain’s income came through harvesting the land. Both brought an offering to the Lord, because the Lord had blessed them both with a profit and a means of living. The difference is, Abel brought his first and his best to God, Cain just brought a random selection, but it was definitely not his best. God’s response was that Cain would be accepted if he only did what was right. Cain knew what was right, but his attitude directed his actions. He did not feel God deserved his best, therefore he did not give God his best. The biggest part of this verse to me is where God points out, that sin is crouching at Cain’s door waiting to control him because he lacked the heart to put God first and to give him his best.
Just an encouragement to continue giving your best this summer as our Church/Ministry Centre/Support Network/Housing Project/Kindness Project/Street BBQ hub/Online media production house/ really fantastic place to be... is pressing on in faith to take more ground in our city... and we're all "All-in" on this! Find out more Sunday Night.
If you didn't know, there are number of ways to give aside from Sunday Morning's in an envelope.
1. Online Bank transfer: This is a way that many people pay their bills with online banking. Talk to or email firstname.lastname@example.org and she'll be able to hook it up so you can just transfer your giving online
2. PayPal: Right here on freedomhouse.ca or on freedomhousetv.com, there is a "Donate" button. It's perfect for a quick, "God said" at home moments or if someone outside the church asks how they can contribute to what Freedom House is doing as a result of some of our Kindness Outreaches this summer.
3. Cash Machine: There are 2 ATM's in the Market Square Mall. So when we're asking God what He'd have us give on a Sunday Morning and He says something that isn't in your wallet... you can get 20's from these machines.
4. Post dated cheques: It's a great way to keep yourself accountable if your salary is on a regular rotation.
We make no apologies in making one of Freedom House's core values...
In all areas of life (time/talent/treasures) we will exemplify the character of our extravagantly giving God.
... because God WANTS us to prosper. And that just means having EVERYTHING we need to do everything God wants us to do! It's going to be a GREAT summer team!