|“As a gardener, He (God) has one interest–that the branches bear lots of fruit. If He doesn’t find any, Jesus says He takes that branch away. And every branch that bears fruit He prunes to bring more fruit. God takes whatever action is necessary to cleanse His people so they will produce fruit for His glory. The key to it all is that the people of God must abide in–live in close, day-by-day fellowship with–Jesus Christ.” LeRoy Eims
Thoughts from the Diary of a Desperate Man by Walter Henrichsen
“Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins?” Haggai 1:4
The prophet Haggai reproves God’s people for their indifference with regard to rebuilding the temple. The people lived in beautiful homes while the house of God languished. God’s question through His prophet reveals the mind-set of His people: God’s people have needs, so I can see why it is necessary to be generous in supporting others, besides, it may be that one day I will be poor and need the generosity of others. Giving to God, however, is different. He has no needs and tells us this again and again. Why spend money giving to God? God originally lived in an elaborate, but not all that costly, tent. Why build another temple, especially in light of the fact that the original temple was David’s, not God’s idea? The money of God’s people can be put to better use.
The disciples raised this same question when a woman poured an expensive vial of ointment on Jesus.430 You could have raised this question when God instituted sacrifices: Why burn a perfectly good animal when it can be put to better use? “Lord, if you know my heart, that I am in need of having my sins covered, is that not enough?” Such acts of generosity are more an act of faith than giving to the poor in that faith is commitment to the unseen and you cannot see God nor any benefit to burning valuable animals to Him.
If you really believe that God gave you all you have, and that His resources are without limit, then you will have no problem investing your time and wealth in acts of extravagance to His glory. Just as He does not need your efforts to make you rich, so too He does not need your wealth to execute His plan. Biblically you give to God, not to people; you give to the poor, and any other cause, because God wants you to, and for no other reason.
430 cf. Matthew 26:7-12
Ezekiel 47-48 1 John 3 (New King James Version)
1 John 3
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Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
Therefore, I tell you, whatever you ask for in Prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Mark 11:24
Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. James 5:16
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” Psalm 91:2
Devote yourselves to Prayer, being watchful and thankful. Colossians 4:2
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The Prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:16
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