Malachi 3:10 Challenge

Note: I had written this blog in late June, but I never published it, but here it is now.

 

So, I’ve complained a whole lot about my debt. A large part is from school, but a portion of it is my own fault from being irresponsible with credit cards. To become a member of BMCC, they ask 4 things of each person.

1. To attend the membership class.(Check.)
2. Be baptized at an age of understanding.(Check and soon to be double check.)
3. To become involved with one of the church’s ministries.(Check)
4. To tithe to the church.(ummmm….well….)

Money has always  been a struggle for me. Whether it has been keeping it, saving it, or wisely spending it. I told myself I want to do this BMCC right. That means being faithful to my commitments. They reminded us that they aren’t going to know whether or not we really give 10%. I will know. Personal guilt trips are worse than guilt trips from someone else.

When they get ready to collect the offering at church, they usually reference Malachi 3:10.

“Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test!”

So, I have decided to put God to the test and see what happens when I really give my finances over to Him.
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Acts 3:6 Using All We Have For God

This past weekend, I took the 10 hour drive back to my college town. I’ll update about the normal visiting topics another time. One of the best parts was being able to visit with a growing church in Defiance called King’s Cross. My old roommate has become really involved, and they were a joy to be around. We heard a really powerful message on Sunday morning. You should listen to it here.

That night, we met for what they call Gospel Life Groups that meet to discuss their responses to the message. We, of course, met over food. After dinner, we had the most thought provoking and encouraging conversation about the message.

I was personally challenged to think about how my life would be different if I acted like I believe God is who I know He is. There’s a passion and boldness that Peter had in Acts 3 that I often lack. I want to use every opportunity God provides me to tell others about who He is.

We also talked about how easy it is for us, even as Christians, to focus on what we don’t have. We so often make excuses as to why we can’t do something. “Well, I’m not a teacher.” “I don’t have that gift.” “That’s not one of my strengths.” Making excuses is not furthering the Kingdom.

The last “big idea” for me was to remember I should be pursuing God’s presence above all else. I don’t want to focus on the blessings I’ll receive or trying to please other people. I simply want to experience more of God’s presence in my life.

Tonight at Elevate, the student ministry at our church, the worship team sang a song from Colton Dixon called “You Are.”  It’s the new song I’ll be playing on repeat. It is the ultimate culmination of how God used my time in Ohio. It’s a powerful reminder that God is the answer to whatever we’re facing. He is the source of healing for our pain, the provision when we feel empty, and the light to our darkness. He is the song we sing, the air we breathe, and the hope we have.

The song goes “If I had no voice, if I had no tongue, I would dance for you like the rising sun. And when that day comes and I see your face, I will shout your endless glorious praise.” I want to live a life that this. That in whatever emptiness, I’ll use whatever I have to give God the glory He deserves. It comes from the confidence of knowing who He is and that He is coming back for us. I want that confidence to cause Jesus to shine through my like the sun coming up in the morning. It is impossible to miss something like that. I don’t want there to be any way people would not know about the God that I have. Knowing what God has done to change my life, there is only one response that makes any sense. I want every aspect of my life to point back to the God who loved me so much that He sent His only son to die the horrible death I deserved. The God who pursued me before I even knew what it really meant to have a relationship with Him and promises I will spend eternity with Him. I want to spend my whole life worshiping the only one who is worthy of giving my life to serve.

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