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I love cleaning! Every time I have an opportunity, I purge my stuff.  Meaning, those things I don’t need I donate or throw away, those I rarely use or won’t use - I keep in a box and keep in the stock room and those current are the only ones that remain on my table / shelf.   However, there are stuff that never gets thrown nor do they ever end up in my stock room.  They have no earthly value and might be considered as trash by some.  These are sweet notes from my kids and a bunch of letters from people who mean a lot to me.   

 

It’s like this with God… First, He knows what you are capable of giving.  He should, He made you and gave you your gifts and whatever you have.  He even knows things about you that you don’t like what’s truly inside your heart.  So don’t ever get ashamed of what you can give.  Don’t compare it with your friend gives who has more than you. 

 

In 2 Samuel 24, when King David was going to burn a sacrifice to the Lord, He asked the owner of the land how much he was sell the land for.   The owner replied “You can have it for free, I’ll even give you the Ox which you will sacrifice for free.”  David’s response shook me.  He said “I will not offer sacrifices to the Lord that costs nothing.” and it made me think whether or the sacrifices and things I do for the Lord actually costed me something…  and I figured 3 critical areas in our offering to God that must cost us something: 

 

1. When we Serve

 

Serving is not a natural human nature which actually makes this sweeter.  Isn’t it more touching if we knew that a person actually went out of his way to do something for us like moved a meeting, drove a certain distance, woke up earlier than usual?  Unfortunately, most people nowadays give so many conditions before saying yes to serving - a limit on the time,  choice on what to do or impose on the conditions, or check the returns “whats in it for me?" etc… 

 

When I got the message to start Revelation Church 3 years ago, it wasn’t in my plan.  I struggled! I told God I already have 4 businesses to look after, I have 5 kids to spend time on and insisted he had the wrong guy. But God started moving & taking my alibis away and realized I have no choice but to Obey.  Today, the church begins on Dec 3. 

 

Are you just serving God only when its convenient or do you serve till it hurts? 

 

2. When we Give

 

Have you ever received a gift where the sender overlooked that the price tag was still on before they wrapped it? What difference would it make if you saw that the gift was of high value compared to something that was cheap?  Also, Would it make a difference if the sender was rich or not? 

 

One time, one of the Philippine President was a ninong at a wedding I shot.  Becoming close to the couple, I stayed till after the wedding and hung out in their room.  The presidents gift came in a very elegant box that was in itself worth keeping.  It had a nice emblem of “President of the Philippines” on top.  We were so excited about what he gave that we all watched as the couple opened it.  We all laughed when we found out.  Guess whats inside?  NOTHING!  as in AIR!  The box was the gift.  We laughed because since it was someone who was rich and powerful we expected more from this person.  

 

One day, Jesus sees two people putting in their offering in the temple: a rich man with his gifts and a poor widow with two very small coins. He says in Luke 21 "I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put in more than all the others.  All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on."

 

How are you in giving?  Do you tithe (giving 10% to the church as commanded in the bible)? Do you have a hard time parting with your money? How are you when it comes to giving your time & talent?

 

 

3. In our Loving

 

Have you ever experienced a person who tells you regularly “I love you” but you never felt it? 

 

Do you love God unconditionally?  or Just whenever things are good? 

 

When Peter asked Jesus how often he should forgive Jesus answered “No, not seven times but seventy times seven”.  This didn’t mean we are to forgive 490 times but meaning completely and endlessly because that’s how we show true love. 

 

God forgave us unconditionally for our past, present and future sins endlessly so why can’t we? 

 

Love, in order to prove itself must go through testing.  It can’t be just lip service. If you can love even when it hurts, then its real love.  Do you love God even when it hurts?  or do you Love only when times are great and you can feel His presence? 

Conclusion:

If we are truly sincere in our worship then we must show the same sincerity & determination David showed. — that while he presented his burnt-offering, it shall not be at other people's cost, but at his own — that he will not serve God of that which costs him nothing. And now the point to which I am come is, that whether as to money, or time, Talent or influence, has your faith cost you anything or do you have a religion that costs nothing?