Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Excellence in Giving

I clearly remember how almost everybody responded to Helen Gwyn's message, we all walked up to the altar after the prayer, holding our cash, and "pink forms" to write down the amount that we've pledged, that was one of the most challenging message I've heard on giving / offering. She suggested something very practical - write down at the back of your journal what you've blessed other people with and what God has blessed you in return (so there'll be two arrows, one coming in, and one going out).

So I started doing that, I divided mine into months, and see how God works. I've done this for 2 months, and began to see God's blessings upon my life. I don't record it for the sake of wanting to have more arrows coming in than going out, because I believe that God has blessed us to be a blessing. And I don't expect to have more arrows coming in when I am giving out more. Coz all I have belong to my Heavenly Father, and although it'll be good if He gave me something, it's alright too if I don't get anything in return, coz I believe He tests the sincerity of our hearts. And if we’re giving more purely just so that we can get more in return, that’ll be the wrong motive in giving.

I am not talking about tithing, I am talking about offerings, and not just offering in church, but sowing into the lives of other people during our everyday life as well. I've never been more sensitive to the Holy Spirit in this area, and probably never been more obedient (of course, will discuss it with Las if it is a huge amount, and see what he thinks, although I haven't actually come across something extraordinary yet =P).

So recently, I realised that I haven't been writing a lot at the back of my journal, so I was like 'oo, I haven't been a blessing in a while' (even though there were still arrows coming in, there weren't a lot of arrows going out). So I thought I want to buy some chocolates and cards to bless some people in my lives (to keep in contact as well, coz some of them I don't really see that often). So I made another conscious decision to listen to what God has to say and the people He has put in my heart to reach out to. And I went home...

I think the steps outside my door is a 'magic spot' =P So just after I did all my mini-shopping, I found on the doorstep was a gift wrapped up in shiny dark blue paper. "To: Jessica Chua" was written on it, I was overwhelmed by this because I've just been thinking about sowing into other people's lives.

Opening it and holding it in my hands, it was a Life Application Study Bible (NLT version), one that I have been wanting to buy for a longgggggg time. Las and Jenn were with me, and in my head I was just thinking "God...You're indescribable". I thank God for putting me here in Dunedin in the midst of this awesome bunch of people that I can do life together with =) And God has used each and everyone of them to be such a huge blessing in my life! =)

Thank you to my friends for your words of encouragement, hugs, cards, notes, books, emails, flowers, texts, gifts; above all that, thank you for your friendships =) I am privileged to be running this race together with you all =)

But just as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us — see that you also excel in this grace of giving – 2 Corinthians 8:7

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