Thursday, May 22, 2008

How Deep Is Your Love

How Deep Is Your Love?

Returning from a church meeting a couple of nights ago, we were discussing the topic of the meeting, which was tithing and seeding. I have said before I give because I love God. This view point raised the question, if you give out of love not because of law or duty your commitment or motivation is not so strong.

Word History: A tithe is a tenth, etymologically speaking; in fact, tithe is the old ordinal numeral in English. Sound changes in the prehistory of English are responsible for its looking so different from the word ten. Tithe goes back to a prehistoric West Germanic form *tehuntha-, formed from the cardinal numeral *tehun, "ten," and the same ordinal suffix that survives in Modern English as -th. The n disappeared before the th in the West Germanic dialect area that gave rise to English, and eventually yielded the Old English form tēothe, "tenth," still not too different from the cardinal numeral tīen. But over time, as the former became tithe and the latter ten, and as tithe developed the specialized meaning "a tenth part paid as a tax," it grew harder to perceive a relationship between the two. The result was that speakers of English created a new word for the ordinal, tenth, built with the cardinal numeral ten on the pattern of the other regularly-formed ordinal numerals like sixth or seventh.

Being a rebel I automatically resist when someone tells me I have to do something. What are the motivations for us to obey the law?

If we don’t we go to jail.(fear)
If we don’t we go to hell (fear)
The list can carry on and on, you can fill in your own blank spaces and if the reason is fear; then like any relationship built on fear; it is far shakier than one built on love. I know we are told to fear God, I interpret fear as respect.
It is the same respect which stops me from thinking God is my pal; it is the same respect which leaves me amazed at His awesome powers; it is the same respect which humbles me in His awesome love.

Over time our view of love has become cheap and tarnished; through TV, through rocky relationships, going into marriage with a sub clause for divorce built into a contract, almost as if love is a passing phase or an emotion of the moment thing; with how we see love can we ever really understand when Jesus says, “I give you one commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you”? Can we ever really grasp the depth of His love for us?

I see it is Memorial weekend in the U.S. Let us also remember Jesus said as well, “there is no greater love, than he who lays down his life for another.” So how deep is your love?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

What Motivates You part two

4. Have I done enough?

Between the two extremes, when no matter what I have done, I still ask myself that question; the other extreme is I have done my fair share; I seldom go to the second. Maybe it’s the door to door salesman mentality in me that believes every no is one step closer to a yes, or the answer is there somewhere I just have to find it. The danger comes from trying to do it myself, and in my own strength and not letting God work through me. When I am in His Will I operate under his strength. When I am in His Will I also know I can only do what He wants me to do, He will do the rest. How do I know what He wants me to do? From reading His Word and praying. The question of enough often crops up in the area of tithing and seeding. I give because I love Him.

I could into the whole prosperity trip but I wont, because the prosperity from giving isn’t what motivates me to give, just as asking what happens to the money after I give is the start of demotivation, I am only the steward of the money, if I feel uneasy about giving to a certain organization I pray about it and ask for guidance.

5 Am I comfortable where I am?

I don’t think Paul was comfortable when he was shipwrecked, or when he was imprisoned and bound in chains, yet he still found reason to praise God and give thanks; I believe there is such a thing as getting to comfortable, almost smug where I can forget it is only by the Grace Of God that I am where I am.

6. What do other people think about me?

There is an old saying, “If you knew how little people think about you. You wouldn’t worry about it.” I like to feel important enough to think other people think about me. The truth of the matter is they are not. Maybe if I spent less time thinking about what other people might be thinking, and get on with doing what God wants me to do, I will get more done.

7. What motivates me?

What motivates you? What motivates me? There is a different answer for everybody, but it is a question that needs to be answered.

What motivates you?

Saturday, May 10, 2008

What Motivates You?

"What motivates you?”
Part One

Be all you can be; I often see myself as somewhat contented with my life the way things are, of course it's hard to think of anything or anyone else; especially when there are real issues, which need to be examined; and when you are comfortable with where you are in life.

Still I aspire for a deeper and more meaningful walk with God, in the quest of a closer walk, I asked myself a few questions.

1 What do I really want?

The question should have been; “What does God want?” Jesus Is Lord, so because Jesus is Lord, I am his subject, I shouldn’t be trying to find what I want, I am not using that as a cop out; it is too easy to say “I am waiting for God to show me what He wants.” Using that as a reason for doing nothing, through prayer and conviction the answer will come.

2. Should I really change?

My way of thinking needs to change, relying on God for direction and not myself, I need to learn to trust His guidance, to listen to His voice, to learn to know His voice; this can only be done through prayer and studying of His Word, The Bible.

If I am a jeans and T-shirt guy, I am not going to be comfortable in a tailored suit, or vice a versa, if my way of talking is a natural casual style in simple English; I am not going to study the Oxford dictionary; I wouldn’t understand myself, nor would any one else. I honestly believe God wants us to be ourselves, so He can use us where we are.

3. Am I comfortable with the change?

There will always be areas where I will be uncomfortable with the change; the discomfort will be based largely on the fear of unknown, going out into unchartered waters as it were. The assurance will come from knowing He has promised He will never leave me or forsake me, nor will He give me anything I can’t handle.

A couple of months ago, after much praying, I was led to work in a shop which treated and sold water. It was menial manual labour, my work was to fill different size bottles, help carry the big bottles, 25 litre, ( 6.6 gallons) to the customers cars, replace on the shop floor, lines which had been sold, as well as load the UV with bulk orders; pay was ten Rand an hour, little less than $1.50 an hour. Was I comfortable doing the work? No! A back operation from several years ago meant I was in constant pain, from the carrying and standing, the filling of thousands of bottles was boring. Was I comfortable where I was? Yes, it taught me humility, gratitude, and to honour and praise God above all the importance of tithing first before anything else was paid, and the principle of “Seeding” that tithing and sowing of the seed totally different. I have known theoretically they are different, but the Christian Walk doesn’t come from knowing but from doing.