Yesterday my thoughts were of the three kings that traveled to bring gifts to Jesus when he was born. These Kings left their families and kingdoms to bring him gifts.
In today’s world, usually monetary gifts are what we bring to God each week as the offertory plate is passed down the aisle. This can become routine. I go to the bank each week with my payroll check and I get cash for my offering keeping true to first fruit, before I spend any money for any of my needs or wants, I take the first cash out and put it in my bible for Sunday morning.
Do I sacrifice from my giving?
I really don’t think of that money as a could have, would have, should have.
I could have bought a new shirt.
I would have went to the football game and out to eat with my friends.
I should have put that money into savings.
I do pray over my paycheck and give thanks for it and I know that my tithe is going towards Gods work through the church. God has blessed me and made it so that the amount I tithe is not a financial burden, I do not give it without some sacrifice.
I don’t go without necesities, by tithing. That is a blessing from God.
I am trying my best to get out of debt, I set that goal a few months ago and as an example $55,678.25 (this is not my real debt).
I took the first five numbers of the total debt and prayed about it I prayed that If I could pay $556.78 this month and followed that formula, I wouldn’t have to pay that amount again, the amount I paid would be less and less next month my debt would be $55,121.47 so then that payment would be $551.21 Sure it doesn’t look like that much of a change when you have a large debt but through the process it is positive because the payment is less every month.
God will be faithful to helping me to meet my needs by helping me keep focused on the goal.
Now when the devil hears about me and God working to get out of debt, he likes to push thoughts of the could have, would have, should have done with my tithe money instead of giving it to God. Or what I could have, would have, should have done with the payment amount that is twice the amount of my required monthly payment. And that is where the real sacrifice comes in.
I don’t have premium cable television or high speed internet or go out to eat every day for lunch with my friends. I don’t spend without putting it to prayer. I feel guilty spending for extravagances like sodas (a 24 pack of cokes cost almost $5) or things I don’t really need but want. I wouldn’t be so aware of my spending if I didn’t already know I had a financial goal to be able to make my payment, but this is the sacrifice I have to make because I created my debt from not being so aware of my spending.
2 Samuel 24:24
24 But the king replied to Araunah, "No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the LORD my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing."
This was king David asking God for mercy to stop the plague on his people.
I am sacrificing to not only tithe, but also to get my debts paid off and have the financial freedom God wants for me.
The magi brought gifts to the Lord, and I am thinking this Christmas what gift can I give to Christ?
I am thinking of a very special gift just from me to him, it is something personal that no one else needs to know about and I am letting it be a sacrifice, and pray that it will be pleasing to the Lord.
What personal sacrifices would God find pleasing?
Forgiveness- forgiving someone that you feel anger towards or have needed to forgive for a long time.
Or giving time to God each day- Setting aside one hour of solitude with God- just you and God.
Maybe it is giving something up- like smoking, or drinking, or cursing, or saying hateful things.
Seek the goodness of God in your life.
Make the sacrifice gift you give to God your most important gift of the season.
Peace and mercy to you from God our father.
Remember the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.