Posts Tagged ‘Ananias and Sapphira’

So my Pastor has been teaching about giving, and because I’m a good person (he he he), I’ve been reproducing my notes on here for you good people of God. There’s another dimension or teaching on understanding giving here (you’re welcome).

Ready? Quick prayer: Dear Lord, may these letters bring light to our hearts and life to our hands. May we be blessed and divinely guided by reason of your word we’re sharing here today. Amen.

Ok, let’s go for it!
An offering is something precious given to God as part of worship; consistent with the worship of God is the giving of an offering. In Genesis 4, we learn that offerings predated tithes (Genesis 14)
Six elements of an offering

1. The gift, the thing that is brought.

2. The giver, just as important as the gift brought.

3. The receiver. There are two people involved in receiving the offering; the church, and God.

4. The offer. You can give an offering without offering it because ‘the offer’ is of the mind. Ananias and Sapphira brought an offering but it wasn’t offered.

5. The acceptance or the rejection. The receiver reserves the right to accept or reject the offering.

6. The blessing. Every time an offering is offered and it is accepted, there is a blessing.
*It is better to give to the poor than to give to your pastor. Matthew 25: 34-46
Ten thoughts about offerings

1. There are different types of offerings. Worship offerings (typically given at church services), project offerings (Moses collected this from the Israelites when they were building the temple), charity offerings, prophet offerings, partnership, first fruit, etc.
*Every time God calls for a seed, it’s because there’s a harvest ahead.

2. Offerings can either be free willed or commanded.

Don’t give emotionally, don’t ever feel pressured to commit yourself to an offering or pledge you’ve not been led to commit to by God.
3. The first person to bring an offering in the Bible was Cain, but that offering was rejected.

Genesis 3.
4. The second person to bring an offering was Abel, and it was accepted. So Cain was the first to ‘bring’, but Abel was the first to ‘give’.

*Cain’s offering was rejected not because it was grains and fruits and Abel’s was animals, but because it wasn’t his best.
5. There are two components in every gift; the material component which is seen, and the honour component which ascends to God.
*The weight of the offering is not in the material component but in the honour; it’s the heart from which the gift is brought.
6. The heart, attitude, character, and motive of the offering is just as important as the offering brought. Where the heart is malicious, angry, or impure, the offering is lost. Genesis 4:4-7.

Matthew 5:23-24
*Your destiny should be too important for malice.
The most important gift is our hearts and souls to Christ, it is only then we have as it were accounts where our offerings are recorded.
7. The offering is a spiritual seed, the soil is the heart of the giver. Joy fertilises our seed (reason why we’re told to give cheerfully).
8. God is the ultimate recipient of all the gifts we give.
9. Humans are involved in the receipt of any offering, whether it is to the poor, our parents, in church, wherever. Offerings are not only given in church.
10. 2 Corinthians 9:7 Bring what you’ve purposed in your heart.
Plan your giving, and give your best (within your means). Don’t treat God like a conductor.
Be prompt in your giving.
Pay your vows. Better not to vow than to vow and not pay. Ecclesiastes 5: 4-6

I hope this blessed you, and I pray you have a fabulous week!

Welcome to church!

So my church pastor started a series on giving, and I’ve enjoyed it so much I’ll try my best to share it with you! Ready?

Giving and receiving are cardinal functions of life that cannot be broken or suspended without consequences. Life as we know it operates on the principle of giving and receiving.
Giving and receiving is one of the most misunderstood concepts in the church because people approach God like they approach gambling.

Why do we give?

1. We give because it is a law. Luke 6:38

Most times you don’t reap where you sow, you reap what you sow.

2. We give because we are in love with God.

3. We give because we are alive, to sustain life.

4. We give to honour God, and to honour man. Proverbs 3:9.

*The first fruit principle: By choice, not to be compelled. It is the first increase in anything we’re doing.

5. We give to be of help. Luke 10:33.

The reason why some people are hungry is because some others are greedy.

6. We give to worship God. Exodus 23:15

7. We give to stir the covenant we have with God.

8. We give to stop plagues, to destroy hardship. 2 Samuel 24:17-25

9. We give to provoke a blessing.

10. Giving moves God.

When do we give?
1. According to Ecclesiastes 11:6, we are to give every time.

2. We give in season and out of season.

3. We give when we have, and when we don’t have.

It is not what you give, but the heart behind the gift.

Where do we give?

1. Giving must begin at home.

2. On the street. Giving to people who are disadvantaged and cannot give back to you is one of the most fertile soils.

3. You give in church.

4. You give in the office.

How to give?

1. Give cheerfully. The attitude with which you give is just as important as the gift you give. 2 Cor 9:7

2. Give tearfully. Psalm 126:6

3. Give sacrificially, going beyond the call of duty in giving your seed. It is the giving that comes at a cost.

4. Give bountifully. 2 Cor 9:6 Bountifulness is not in the quantity but in the quality.

5. Give consistently.

6. Give systematically.

7. Give with expectation. “It is a sin to give without expectation” – Mike Murdock.

Who to give to?

1. To God

2. To your family

3. To the house of God

Matthew 5:23

Give to widows. Galatians 2:10

Give to strangers, Hebrews 13:2

*It is better to give to the poor, than to give to your pastor.”
Giving doesn’t have to be money. There are a lot of things we can give!

1. Money. 2. Time. 3. Talent. 4. Material things. 5. Good words. 6. Food, drinks, and water.

7. Shelter. 8. Good smiles!

Give someone a smile today!

“Father give me the grace not to commit fraud: in my walk with you, at work, school, with my spouse, and in my relationship with others, amen”. Did you say amen to that prayer? Or are you among the silly group that think that it’s only fraud when it’s in billions of naira and perpetuated by a Nigerian government official?

According to ‘Open Heavens’ (daily devotional from Daddy Adeboye) dated 4th March 2012, fraud is simply not doing things you are supposed to do. He gave an example of a man who sent in a proposal for a contract quoting prices for high quality cables. He was awarded the contract but to make extra profits used substandard cables. That’s fraud.

Fraud is denying your spouse of their conjugal rights, whether you are pissed off at them or not. Fraud is a child disobeying his/her parents. Fraud is ‘tipping’ that police officer because you’re in the wrong and you don’t want to get booked for it. Fraud is using that person’s work as yours without acknowledging them, no matter how cleverly you mask it.  Fraud is taking something that isn’t yours without their permission, no matter how little.

Fraud is telling lies, whether to man, or to God. Acts 5: 1- 11 tells the story of Ananias and Sapphira who on the surface started out doing a good deed. Peter called for an offering in their church. Ananias and Sapphira of their own freewill sold their land and then brought half the money and gave to Peter. At the time the brethren would sell their possessions, and bring the money which would then be shared to the needy among them.

Peter asked Ananias if he brought all the money, and he said yes. Peter perceived by the Spirit of God that he was lying and said (vs 4-5)  “While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.” Then Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and breathed his last. So great fear came upon all those who heard these things.”

Ananias heard those words and died. Three hours later his wife Sapphira came in. Peter asked her the same question and probably because she had agreed with her husband, she lied too. She died as well.

Thought for the week? Flee every appearance of evil. We know when we’re about to do wrong, but the truth is we can walk away; because we can. So do it, walk away. And have yourselves a pleasant week, devoid of fraud of any kind!

P:S – in other news, did you hear of the baggage handlers (working for Arik Air) at Ibom International Airport who were arrested for pilfering about N2million from the luggage belonging to the entourage of the Akwa Ibom State Governor? Apparently the Governor’s protocol officials had about N8million in the box. *no comment*