Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Giving your all

I am doing a devo soon on this and would like any extra thoughts, ideas or additions.

Throughout high school, college, and afterwards I have always listed out my priorities in life. I always start with God at number one. For good reason right? In Scripture we are told to love God with all of our heart, soul, and mind. Deuteronomy 6:5.

So He is #1 priority and then comes a list of family, church, work, sports, extra-curricular activities, etc… or at least that is how my list has always been. I think our motives are usually right in creating these lists, but I think something goes wrong in our thinking, well, at least my thinking. I put God first when it comes to time. In the morning, I get up and give the first part of my day to God in quiet time. But what happens after that? Or some of us will say if God is our # 1 priority, then we will give God the majority of our time. So we do our quiet times, prepare our sermons or lessons, do discipleship or training or sports evangelistic outreach. Especially as missionaries we need to put in our time for God because He is our # 1 priority. Then with finances we do the same thing. We give our first 10% to God, at least. Some may be grace givers and give more, say the 20 some percent that the Israelites gave once they totaled in all their offerings. Maybe we even give a majority of our money to show God is at #1 in our life.

Ok, so why am I talking about these priorities. If we give God 50% of our time, or 50% of our money, who does the rest belong to? Us, right. We can do with it as we please. Now of course that is not the case because it all belongs to God! We learned that in Sunday school. We did learn that, but how often do we use how much we are doing as an excuse for what else we are doing. For example, I was doing church activities all day, now it is me time. I can do what I want, etc…

In my youth group we once did a drama where Jesus came to someone’s house. The actress answered the door and said, oh hello Jesus, I was not expecting you, went and cleared the magazines off the end table, and returned and invited Him in. She told Him what rooms He was welcome in and what rooms she held the keys to. Too often we want to keep part of the house to ourselves and not allow God to have it. I think we make the excuse that we have given God a majority already, especially as missionaries. We have given God our lives to live in this foreign country, but have exempted ourselves from giving God our lives as we live on the field.
I Corinthians 6:19-20 says that we are not our own; we are bought with a price and are to glorify God in our body and our spirit, which are His.


Jeff Selph said...

1. I don't think priorities can be defined by percentages. For instance, God asks for 10% as a general rule. He asks some for more. It's the same with time. He calls you and me to work for Him full time, which is way more than 40 hours a week. He may call someone else to be a nursery worker once a month. Having God as a priority will lead you to give 100% of what He asks you to give.

2. I just heard this last week, and I like the way it sounds better. The question shouldn't be, "How much of God's money do I have to give back," but rather, "How much of His money do I get to keep?"

Seda said...

As soon as you've divvied up the resources - x% for God, y% for me - you've already accepted a split between God and me.

"I and my father are one," says Jesus.

"God is love," says Jesus.

How do you take this portion, and give it to Love? And this isn't Love's [money-time-fillintheblank], it's mine.

If you're acting out of love, it's God's. And if you're acting out of judgment, it's not. And none of it's mine, in either case.

It's that simple.