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I'm honored that you've allowed me to be a part of your Christian life.  Please return often for fellowship, study and prayer.  Thank you very much for visiting.
Love & Hugs,

We conclude Store Treasure and Heart In Heaven with a discussion of God's plan of us and through us. 

Store Treasure-Heart In Heaven-2

Continued from Store Treasure-Heart In Heaven

Maybe we're not seeking His kingdom first, like He said for us to do. Because our passage says something that just blows our minds when we ponder it. It says "your father has been pleased to give you the kingdom." It's past tense! He's given us the kingdom! Not half the kingdom…not the kingdom divided by however many Christians there are…the whole kingdom. Oh, how we cry over our lack when we already have it all. God, please open our eyes! That's why our prayers are answered…all of 'em.  Not always how we expect, but they're answered. He's given us His kingdom.  This is big, but here's bigger…it says He's pleased to give it all to us. He doesn't resent it. He loves to do it! Like any Father, to show us His love. Now we're starting to get a clue about just who the real Giver is, and how much He's given us. That brings us to gratitude.

3. The Gratitude: God doesn't ask us to give to fulfill some archaic law. He doesn't want us to give because we feel guilty over how someone else lives. We aren't to give because we owe Him, or to pay Him back for something we've received. He surely doesn't want us to give to force Him to give us more. God's reason for us to give is so we can take part fully in His richness. That's why Jesus says, 'What you give, you receive, abundantly.' That's why Paul teaches on giving and receiving…not as a formula for us to squeeze more out of God. No! It isn't "give-to-get." It's a formula that grows us, making us big enough to receive more. Tiny little greedy people can only receive so much. As we start taking on some of the giving nature of God, we become larger than we were and we become more able to receive His blessings. How can we become more like Jesus without excelling in this area of giving? God ask us to give so we become people who can receive all He's already given us. But that's not why we give.

Our purpose in giving to God is gratitude. When we give, we joyfully, humbly and thankfully recognize Him as our source for all we have, all we are and all we will become. Giving is a joyful act of worship. Many people think this section of Scripture is about worry, but that's not the point. The main point is Why we don't worry…because we know our Father will satisfy all our needs. We express our thankfulness to Him and participate in His nature by giving, because He is what we treasure…where we place our hearts. This is the treasure in heaven that won't rust, not some deposit in the Bank of Heaven, as the manipulators would say. Our treasure in heaven is belief in the Father who gave us everything. By giving, we express that belief in a very real way. As James would say, faith without action is useless.

Once we know why we give to God, where we give is less important. Jesus said to sell all and give to the poor. If you want to take that literally, God will bless you. One of the wealthiest (spiritually) men I know has spent his entire life giving away everything he receives. If you take Jesus' words figuratively, as most do, God will bless you. Most who acknowledge God as the source for everything, regard everything they have as God's, to do with as he wishes. Their giving doesn't stop at their wallet. They give of their entire lives. Many people give money to God through their church, and I admire that. If you're part of a church, you should help support it with some of your giving. If you call your church, you should help support it. This is a great place to give to God (see Donate), but it's not the only place. If someone teaches that all your giving to God goes to them…run. Here are some other ways to give to God. Find out someone is behind on their rent or house payment and catch them up, anonymously. Find a charity that actually uses the money to help people and give money to them. Pay a second toll for the car behind you. Tip the pizza guy 25%. Tip the restaurant 30-35%. Buy something from every child who asks at your door, office or store. If you don't want what they're selling, ask them what they like and buy one for them! Stop at every lemon aide stand and always pay them 4 times the going price. As you earn more, give more of your income to God as an act of worship. Who said 10% was a limit? Jesus said, 'as you freely receive, freely give'. Our giving is a way we tell Him we know where it all comes from, and we're thankful.

Lord, teach us how we can participate in you fully. Help us to take on more and more of your giving nature. Lead us to express our gratitude for all you've given us by giving to you. Heal us, lord from false legalistic ideas about giving. Free us from the lies that have been told us in the past. Help us to continue to walk in the freedom of Jesus Christ, to freely give and freely receive. Expand our minds to understand all you've already given us. Amen!

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