Post by Brian Baker on July 4th, 2011
How easy we forget the blessings of God. How easy it is to become discontent.
Reading through the first few verses in Numbers today reminded me how easy it is to become discontent with where God has us. Here we have God’s chosen people who He delivered from the hands of Pharaoh complaining because they had forgotten the blessings of God.
Numbers 11:4-6 “Now the rabble that was among them had a strong craving. And the people of Israel also wept again and said, “Oh that we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt that cost nothing, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic. But now our strength is dried up, and there is nothing at all but this manna to look at.”
I like these few verses because they remind me to gut check my motives, my thoughts and my actions. The Israelites seemed to discontent or tired of what God was providing, opting to reminisce about the lush foods they received in Egypt that “cost nothing” (they seemed to forget that it was costing them their freedom, their future and their lives!)
The interesting thing is, in the following verses we read that during the night the manna came just as it had the night before. Despite their complaining, God still provided. God knows what’s best for us! The challenge for us is to continue being content with what God provides for us each and every day.
Post by Brian Baker on June 30th, 2011
At Harvest Community Church we talk about creating a generous culture. We feel that one of the best ways to spread the good news of Jesus is for us to be overflowing with generosity! Generosity manifests itself through what we give, and I don’t just mean financially. We can be generous with our time and our talents as well. Helping a neighbor, serving at church or even just seeing a need and going out of your way to do in the name of Jesus is all about generosity!
I want to say one thing, we have a generous church! This past Sunday we had a $100 Sunday and I saw a community of believers who believe in Jesus and believe in the concept of generosity! (Don’t think I am going to tell you anything else…you have to wait till Sunday to hear the results!)
Today’s reading had an excellent example of living a generous life that is based in a faith that God will always take care of us! Luke chapter 21 verses 1 -4 are brief. But in those brief verses we see what true faith and true generosity look like!
Luke 21 1-4: “As he looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. ‘I tell you the truth,’ he said, ‘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.’”
Every time I read this passage I am humbled. Here is a woman who gave ALL she had, no not some but all. And as you hear the words of Jesus you realize it’s not like she had a lot to start off with, yet she found a way to give. Sometimes I feel like the others in the story, the ones who “gave their gifts out of their wealth.” Now don’t get me wrong, by no means am I wealthy by American standards but I tend to give by my “percentage” and often leave it at that.
Part of growing in our faith and in our walk with Christ is understanding that there is a time when we need to increase our giving! If you have the means financially then let that be it, if you don’t…find another way. Give your time, your talents, whatever it is do it and do it GENEROUSLY!!
Praise God for our generous church!