Posts Tagged ‘Church’

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!

First off, growing up I always felt like I only needed to attend only one service per Sunday. Growing up as a pastor’s child? Not too easy. According to my father’s gospel, every living soul in his house was supposed to leave the house in the same car for the first service, and return in the car after the last service. When we were younger, there’d be a snack between services but that disappeared sooner than I hoped!

So, by the time I could stay for just one service, I took it. I made it a point of duty to stay for just one. Even as a church worker, somehow I would get some unique satisfaction from being able to skip a service.

Didn’t have that problem while I was in Birmingham and serving in the choir and children’s ministry of RCCG CRA Perry Barr because we had just one service. And even though the service and all my work in church meant I would be in church for as much as 5 hours in a day, I didn’t mind! It wasn’t labeled, ‘two services’.

Anyway!! Today’s all about the first service of the year at my super fabulous church, Hillsongs London! Attended first late in 2012, and the thing I’ve done most since then? I keep going back, and each service is such a blessing I know I’ve found my home! Next step is joining a unit but before then, whip out your Bibles, and let’s run through my notes from Sunday!

Pastor Robert Madu (pronounced by everyone as ‘ma-doo’ even though his father is Nigerian) was in church, his first time ever in England, and is an incredible speaker. He taught on “The formula for a great year”, and I hope these notes bless you as much as they blessed me!

He started by talking a bit about the power of the intro, referencing social scientists who talk about Estimated Relationship Potential (ERP). ERP dictates that the first five minutes determine if your audience will lean in and follow your conversation, or become distracted. How do you introduce yourself? Do you smile? Do you invite people by the way you speak, or do you chase them away?

Matthew 6:31-34

John 16:33

Genesis 1:14. How we begin things matter, not just how we end them. Martin Luther King said “he who starts late in a race must run faster to overtake or forever remain behind.

We fail at our resolutions year in year out because we run them on willpower.What we need, is real power, the same thing God used to create everything we see today. We need, ‘Word Power’.

When we’re in places where nothing seems to be working, it’s not the time to complain, but the time to praise God onto the scene because He is the only one who can make something from nothing! For His glory!

We need to come to a point where we implicitly believe that everything God has said concerning us must come to pass.

Genesis 1:3-5 = God said let there be light, and there was light.

Genesis 1:16-19 = Three days after he created the sun, moon, and stars. Have you wondered what had been shining for three days though?

Genesis 1:14b = So why did God bother with making the sun, moon, et al? Because He wanted us to see signs of seasons, days, and years.

The formula for success this year is trusting God regardless of the season I’m in. Living beings have seasons, we all have days in our years, but the constant is God, and ‘His Word’. Everything else changes.

Old people want to be young, young people want to be old, but the art of living life well is to trust God through and through.

Screenshot 2014-01-06 23.47.26

I put this up on Facebook a couple days ago… The seasons will not dictate my faith!

Everyday is a gift from God; what I do with that day is my gift back to Him. And I am determined that I will spoil my God with a wonderful gift every day of this year!

P:S – I love my church! And I’m mega grateful for Pastor Madu!

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I was in church on Children’s Day, House On The Rock (HOTR), The Refuge, in Abuja, and immediately Pastor Obi Ekwueme said the words that are both the title and the concluding lines of this post, they hit me so hard I knew I had to write!

To start with, in the service yesterday, a man gave a testimony about the support he received from the church in his time of need. Apparently his wife had issues with her liver; he’s resident in Lagos while she lived in Abuja. He lost her to the illness (God rest her soul) but he came to thank the church for standing by him through that period, and for catering to all the hospital bills.

Brought tears to my eyes because dearly beloved, that’s what church is about; that’s what it is meant to be! Beyond the Word from the altar, the prayers, the miracles and deliverances, the church is supposed to be a brother/sister/mother/father to people. My dad says, “church members don’t care about the words you preach till they know how much you care”. Remember Jesus feeding the five thousand? Do you think He could not have just preached and let the people go home fed on the euphoria of the miracles He performed? We’ll tackle that in full another time…

Can I say the Tehilah Company (HOTR’s choir) is the best choir ever? And I’ve been in some really fabulous choirs in my life! Whoop whoop!!! I mean, everyone knows that HOTR invested madly in sound infrastructure/equipment but if the choir was crap, all the equipment in the world wouldn’t matter. Every time they minister, I feel truly blessed, as in truly blessed. Say a ‘thank you Jesus’ for the Tehilah Company for me will ya?

I would talk about the cuteness/handsomeness/top of the line presentation/appearance/swag (for lack of a better word) of their pastor but err, that would take up the rest of my word count for this post, and I need to get to the message already!

There’s still a place……….. Pastor Obi Ekwueme said that regardless of how dissatisfied with what we have/are now, we are not what where/what we used to be. So you were not always a university graduate, you were not always a secretary; you’ve not always been married, etc. Ladies and gentlemen, God has been good! You’ve made progress! Now we may not be where we want to be, but we’ve definitely left where we started the race from! Is that true for you? Have you lifted up your hands and said thank you Jesus yet?

Right. How do we get ‘there’? How do we improve on the gifts and skills we’ve got so they can take us ‘there’? By now we should all know that random complaints and murmuring will get us nowhere abi?

What’s the extra we’re doing/giving to be better at school/work/wherever we find ourselves? Are we the ones who watch the clock instead of doing any work, just idling about and waiting for the end of the month? Or worse still, are we in the class of extremely negative people, who blame everything and everyone else for their woes, and yet will pass up on opportunities to set things right? God forbid.

I’ve said it before… Twitter is slowly turning into CNN, the harbinger of evil news! How can there be so much negativity flying around so early in the day?

Take this around with you today!! Smile! Live! And have a super, extra productive day in Jesus name! Amen!

Words for the week. Aspire! Be ambitious! For God’s sake, let the work you put in be commensurate to your ‘dreams’! Why?

There’s a place; there’s still a place called ‘there’.