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Store Treasure and Heart In Heaven discusses the shocking truth about Giving, Who the real Giver is and His plan for those of us who participate in His generosity. 

Store Treasures-Heart In Heaven

Harmony Of The Gospels Series-30, Lk 12:22-34

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Ever have some jerk behind a podium play the guilt game to try to squeeze money out of you? I've seen it so much I make it a point to never again donate my time or my money to their causes. Maybe they try to put Christians under law again, and say we must give 10% of our income into their ministry. Maybe it's the dirty, crying babies' faces on TV and the stern question, "How can you turn your back on one such as this?" Maybe it's the ones selling $ 5 books for $150, or worse, the ones who sell answers to prayer. Then there's the whole group of people who tell us the way to get things from God is by giving money (to them, of course) …teaching us that God can be bribed. Some of these people even tell us to promise them more money than we can afford, out of "faith" that God will give it back to us. It's called a "faith-pledge" or "faith-promise." Let me say this loud enough so even the preachers can hear it: If they had any faith, they wouldn't be asking for yours. You guessed it! Today's teaching is on giving, but if you've ever heard one of those, this one's gonna' sound strange to you. The Lord didn't set things up the way those people teach it.

Unlike us humans, God doesn't need money. I know it's hard to hear over the noise of all His "faithful servants" screeching and crying for us to open our wallets, but God's already got all He needs. If he wanted money, He could simply think it into existence. He has no interest in pressuring us to give Him a thing. His entire interest is to bless us, give to us, empower us. Today's lesson is based in this principle, from Luke 12:22-34. Please make sure to read this passage before going any further. All I'm gonna' do is refer to parts of what I assume you've already read. Unless we begin to understand this Biblical principle of giving and receiving, we will always fall prey to the guilt peddlers and manipulators in shepherd's clothing. Our Scripture helps us understand why God asks us to give and why we would want to give. His Word makes it clear…

We give, not to obey some law, but to thank our Father for all He's given us.

1. The Giver: The manipulators have got it all wrong. They think we're the givers. Somehow, they got the idea that we have it all and if we don't give, God's kingdom will come to a screeching halt. You can't entirely blame those teaching it, today; they're just repeating what they've been taught. I don't know when the misunderstanding started, but it seems to be almost universally taught, today. Since we don't see it in the Bible, we know someone messed up in the last 2,000 years and we all just followed along. I just wish today's teachers would open their Bible and read it through their own eyes, rather than the eyes of their predecessors. If they did, they'd see what you and I see:

God is, always was, and always will be the only Giver.

There is really no arguing this point. I counted 11 times in this short passage, where Jesus identified God, the Father as the Giver. In fact, as I was looking at the original language, I noticed it was the word we get our English word "Donate" from. Did you know God makes donations to you? I'd never thought of it that way. I always thought I was donating to Him. Go to someone you know and say, "I just got a donation from God." That can get exciting when we ponder it a bit. Just as exciting as Who our Giver is, is what the gifts are.

2. The Gifts: Jesus said not to worry about food. Our Father will feed us even better than He feeds the birds. He said not to worry about clothes. Our Father will clothe us in greater beauty than the flowers. Jesus said not to worry about our body or our life. He said we're powerless to add a single day to our lives. All this comes from the Father who has given it freely. The Bible teaches that God gives us our houses, our ability to earn a living, our income, our spouse, our children. Whether we're ready to concede this point or not, everything we call ours was given to us by Him. Even that's not all. He has given us His love. Even those of us who disobey or deny His very existence, He loves. Jesus took off His God-ness, put on human-ness, allowed us to kill Him, and rose again…so He could give us His complete love. God gives His forgiveness to all who believe and accept Him. To those, He gives life with Him, forever. But that's not all!!! He places Himself in us, giving us His mind, His Spirit, His power in our lives right now. I don't know why we're not living like it is, I only know it is…because His Word says it is.

Continued at Store Treasure-Heart In Heaven-2

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