Posts Tagged ‘giving’

Faith and Works

 

Today, reply is on giving while in the workplace. Giving without integrity is dead. Correctly practiced, giving for Christian believers always will be marked by such elements as balance, accountability, cheerfulness, dutifulness, gratitude, humility, impartiality, lovingkindness, peace of mind, respect, and restraint. One of the fighters in the “Yahoo! Answers” public forum on Religion and Spirituality who uses the ID “Anonymous” (no profile is shared) posted the following:

 

Do you think it was wrong for my manager not to give the homeless man a meal?

A while ago a homeless guy stopped by the fast food place I worked at and asked for a meal. My manager said no and gave him the excuse that there are cameras watching our every move and he could get in trouble for giving away a meal.

All of the employees were talking about how he should’ve given the man some food because people still get away with doing things even though the cameras are watching. My manager told me that lately the management team has been getting in trouble for giving away too many free meals and he was afraid if getting in trouble.

I for one kind of agree with him. As an employee I don’t even get a free meal and I bend over backwards for this establishment. I don’t see why some random person off the street should get free food for doing nothing. He can take advantage of the local soup kitchen.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW: Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. (James 2: 18-19, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: The Use of Money? (01/07/2019); Commitment To The Brand? (06/07/2018); Giving, A Divine Discipline? (10/09/2017); The Answer From GOD (05/19/2017); It Comes With the Job? (01/11/2015); Religious Bosses? (07/08/2014); On Marketing Church, and Speaking by Occasion (09/26/2013); A Lid on Love? (09/27/2013)

 

Anonymous”, there are correct and wrong places, times and ways of displaying ones faith, applying truth from the Bible, and of giving to the poor. Managers in the hospitality industry and those they supervise must discharge a broad range of duties regarding the inventory, the reputation of their firm, and the materials used to present their goods to the public for income. Without a full payment for the goods, a report of pilfering (petty theft by an employee; violation of the contract and job description) should be filed, rather than a report of charitable giving. Those who want to use the organization they work for to provide gifts and support to others should use the opportunities, policies and programs of their firm intended to express goodwill and support to the community-at-large. Where the manager, or a worker wanted to share with an individual homeless person who came into their store, they would have had to deposit payment from their own wallet into the corporate cash register, or surrender the meal(s) they were to receive as an employee (e.g., breakfast/dinner/lunch).

For most of us, the workplace is not a setting for the full expression of our spiritual beliefs; there is an unwritten accord that preaching, proselytizing, or religious ceremonies, practices and rites are not to be carried out in the workplace. Developing Christian believers are in a relationship with divinity where all they possess, all they share, and much of what they do is directed primarily to GOD for the fulfillment of sacred commitment, eternal purpose, and expressing the sovereign will of GOD. In a similar way, believers are encouraged to acknowledge their employers as covenant partners with whom they are bound through personal accountability, legal agreements, ethical process, promises, and shared financial interests. Sinners who become “born again” are cautioned to avoid taking on the task of judging others, particularly with regard to giving, service, and worship. In addition to the risk of “jumping to conclusions,” those who judge encounter many subtleties (i.e., barely visible differences; hidden shifts in meaning, quality and value) that must be assigned weight, and correctly examined for their influence and outcome.

Various unexpected events (e.g., transportation accidents, fires, flooding, mudslides, snow) may result in multiple deaths, and urgent demands for funding, gifts, medical supplies, and other support. Properly performed, giving to the church allows sharing through multiple carefully managed programs and mechanisms for distributing resources. Such giving should be regular and reliable; and, in the same way one disciplines, plans and uses restraint for their spending, giving also is best accomplished using a budget, formal order, and restraint. Here are further points believers reflect on that use language from the Bible:

1. Proverbs 16: 25, King James Version (KJV): 25 There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

2. Proverbs 20: 11, KJV: 11 Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.

3. Proverbs 19: 17, KJV: 19 He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.

4. Proverbs 14: 31, KJV: 31 He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, 5. Proverbs 22: 1-2, KJV: 22 A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold. 2 The rich and poor meet together: the LORD is the maker of them all.) Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful. Be it unto you according to your faith.

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The Widow With Two Coins by Emily Mineo

 

Today, reply is on giving and the use of money to establish and maintain relationship within the church as a sanctified body. The blood of Jesus Christ is the only acceptable offering or sacrifice Christians may make for the remission of sins; therefore, bequests, financial donations and gifts of money to the church are only for maintenance of physical facilities; mission and outreach programs; services; and wages to clergy and other staff. Believers make no money offerings, or sacrifices for sin. The purchase of a sinner’s life, so they may accomplish repentance and be accounted as returned to correct relationship with divinity, requires that the blood of Jesus Christ be applied for atonement and propitiation of sin as well as receiving inseparable aspects of his spirit substance from the makeup of GOD (we say, the Comforter; the Holy Ghost; the Spirit of Prophecy; the Spirit of Truth). Developing believers acknowledge the divine provisions that supply focus, order, and eternal purpose for their new life by dedicating their own flesh, skills, talents, and their belongings to be shared through praise, unselfish service, and worship. A fighter in the “Yahoo! Answers” Religion and Spirituality public forum using the ID “Skittles” (Level 3 with 1,520 points, a member since May 12, 2012) posted the following:

 

Do you have to pay money to have a relationship with God?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW: Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD. (Jeremiah 9: 23-24, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: Blessed In Our Deeds (05/29/2018); Jesus Paid It All (04/04/2018); Not A Financial Transaction (01/28/2018); Giving, A Divine Discipline? (10/09/2017); Fundraising A Sacred Practice? (01/01/2017); Are All Debts Forgiven? (10/11/2016); A $1,000 Dollar Seed? (11/02/2015); Money Is No Object? (10/14/2015)

 

Skittles”, among mature Christian believers, money is regularly used for unselfish offerings and sacrifices that continue accountability, commitment, shared responsibility, and the expression of love by members within a congregation or community of faith. Divine forgiveness, salvation, and eternal life are only available through the ministry of Jesus Christ, and may not be bought and sold. The blood and body of Jesus is offered by divine fullness (we say, divinity; the Godhead; the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit) for the atonement of sin, and is shared among the members of the church through the emblems of bread and wine (we say, Holy Communion; the Eucharist; the Lord’s Supper). More than this, baptism and rebirth that are gifts from the makeup of GOD, are provided only within the church so that full members may exist as the offspring of GOD, joint heirs with Christ, and the new creation. Repenting sinners are to receive imparted, indwelling, inseparable aspects of spirit from the makeup of GOD that include faith, forbearance, holiness, longsuffering, lovingkindness, oneness without sameness, personhood, righteousness, wisdom, and wrath against sin. The things set apart as sacred (we say, sanctified) are never to be regarded as ones personal possession, private property, or a reward for ones own achievements, hard work, and merit. Similarly, innocence, purity, and sacred knowledge provided by the church are not to be taken as fruits of the flesh, rather, they should be acknowledged as provisions from the Spirit. Consider again the following that uses language from the holy writings that speak to the use of money and ones substance at the Temple in Jerusalem and within the early church:

1. Proverbs 3: 9-10, King James Version (KJV): 9 Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: 10 So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.

2. Mark 12: 41-44, KJV: 41 And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. 42 And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. 43 And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: 44 For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.

3. 1st Peter 5: 2-4, KJV: 2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; 3 Neither as being lords over Gods heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. 4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, 4. Acts 8: 14-22, KJV: 14 Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: 15 Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: 16 (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) 17 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. 18 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, 19 Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. 20 But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. 21 Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. 22 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.) Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful. Be it unto you according to your faith.

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Conformed

 

Today, Scriptures are shared on what it means to offer oneself to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. One of the fighters in the “Yahoo! Answers” public forum on Religion and Spirituality who uses the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information shown) posted the following:

 

What does it mean to give your life to Christ?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW: For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. (Romans 8: 16-18, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: Rendering Our Reasonable Service (06/15/2018); What Divine Salvation Requires (05/15/2018); Knowing What To Believe? (12/31/2017); Bereavement, Death and Suffering (11/10/2017); Rebirth, Growth and Transformation (09/29/2017); Sons of GOD Suffer? (09/19/2017); Becoming A Full Person (02/12/2017)

 

Anonymous”, among Christians, to give oneself to divinity is to acknowledge accountability to GOD. Believers willingly accept the permanent changes in their character, makeup, and substance that will be provided through operations of imparted life essence (we also say, breath; spirit; word) from the divine fullness (the Creator; the Godhead; the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit). Sinners are to commit themselves to experiencing discovery, gradual growth, learning, suffering, unselfish service, and transformation to exist as immortal, incorruptible companions of GOD. Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

1. Romans 6: 3-6, King James Version (KJV): 3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: 6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

2. Romans 6: 11-17, KJV: 11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. 12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. 13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. 15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. 16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? 17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.

3. Romans 12: 1, KJV: 1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

4. 2nd Timothy 2: 11-13, KJV: 11 It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: 12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: 13 If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.

5. Galatians 2: 20, KJV: 20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, 6. Romans 8: 5-9, KJV: 5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.) Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful. Be it unto you according to your faith.

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THE BLACK PHOENIX

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through-serving-others

 

Today, reply is on fellowship with divinity, the beauty and fullness of servitude as demonstrated by Jesus Christ, and the character of service as love.  The fighter in the “Yahoo! Answers” Religion and Spirituality forum who uses the ID “?” (Level 1 with 88 points, a member since May 11, 2018) posted the following:

 

Please explain this biblical teaching to me?
I went to church today and my pastor was talking about how the Son of God will wash the feet of the faithful if they so asked. Why would a man, who claims to be God’s son, chose a life of servitude. If anything we should be washing his feet and shouting to the heavens that we had such an honor as to tend to Jesus’ needs.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW: Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?  (Romans 6:  16, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Endurance, Humility and Obedience? (06/04/2017); Genuine Spiritual Discernment? (03/27/2017); Carrying Out Divine Law? (03/20/2017); A Servant and More (08/17/2016); Humility and The Cross? (03/15/2016); Called Slaves by GOD? (02/10/2016); Called To Be Servants? (11/25/2015); The Ordinance of Humility? (08/12/2015)

 

“?”, many are not careful to discern divine attentions and benefits.  Here are some points on the meaning and value of servitude as demonstrated by divinity that are important among mature Christian believers:

1.  Where servitude is a voluntary and willful offering of ones personhood and full spirit content, there also is continuing communication, exchange, and interaction (we say, access; approachability; relationship) that displays other aspects of  the Spirit imparted from GOD.  Included are accountability, faithfulness, humility, longsuffering, patience, respect, trust, truth, and unselfishness.

2.  In addition to commitment, discernment, lovingkindness, and self-restraint, those responding to divine law, sacred proclamations, and the eternal purposes of GOD will display obedience (the putting aside of ones own desires, goals, and objectives to carry out and perform those of another).

3.  Otherwise unseen aspects of the beauty, fruitfulness, goodness, and power in servitude to divinity are made visible through Jesus Christ as the lamb of GOD’s covering for Adam, and the ram caught in the thicket for Abraham.  Included are atonement for sin, endowing and adding value to others, grace (unmerited favor), and propitiation (appeasement; conciliation) as well as sacrifice (loss in giving up something valued).

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, the divine process for mankind being joined to Christ is through his works whereby the Savior was joined to the Father.  Included are circumcision, forgiveness, Incarnation, resurrection, revelation, ascension.  Thus, it is written:  John 14:   8-14, King James Version (KJV):  8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us.  9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?  10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself:  but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.  11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me:  or else believe me for the very works’ sake.  12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.  13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.  Also, John 13:  13-17, KJV:  13 Ye call me Master and Lord:  and ye say well; for so I am.  14 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.  15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.  16 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.  17 If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

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THE BLACK PHOENIX
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good-samaritan
The Parable of The Good Samaritan Defines Our “Neighbors” As Those Who Show Mercy When There Is Need

 

Today, reply is on whether there is a divine blessing for those who help others through what they do when they are at work.  During his ministry on earth, Jesus encountered many dietary laws, customs, and traditions among the Jews intended to sanctify (set them apart) as a people and possession of GOD.  Many features in their way of life were based on doctrines and judgments from the law received from divinity; however, the ethnic arrogance, continuing of grudges, prejudice, racism, and elitism that developed was in no way commanded from GOD.  Thus, using an object lesson (parable) Jesus spoke to the unwillingness of a priest and a Levite to help a wounded man they both saw lying in the road.  Many were insulted that Jesus—a rabbi from Galilee (an area considered the “boondocks”) and an outsider to both the Temple community and Jerusalem—would dare teach “love thy neighbor” also can mean love other peoples and tribes long accounted as enemies and strangers.  In the heat of their anger against him, they even accused Jesus of being a Samaritan, a demoniac, and a person having unclean spirits and devils.  The writer in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum using the ID “Garfield the Cat” (Level 7 with 129,073 points, a member since January 23, 2012) posted the following:

 

Do you believe that helping those in need is a blessing from God?

The other day at work I’ve had a customer tell me that I’m a Godsend and a blessing to my job because I went above and beyond to bring a motorized cart to her vehicle so she wouldn’t have to walk very far and she was really grateful and happy about it

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?  He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?  And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.  And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right:  this do, and thou shalt live.  But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?  And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.  And by chance there came down a certain priest that way:  and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.  And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.  But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was:  and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,  And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.  And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.  Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?  And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.  (Luke 10:  25-37, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Mankind’s Priesthood in Heaven (02/16/2018); Truths To Live By (02/02/2018); Divine Priesthood on Earth (01/31/2018); The First To Help? (12/22/2017); Undergoing A Sacred Transformation (10/24/2017); In Spirit and Truth? (10/02/2017); Called To Serve Unselfishly (07/06/2017); GOD’s Peculiar People (12/11/2016)

 

“Garfield the Cat”, simple things we do for others often have profound meaning and enormous value that address more than their visible needs that are carnal, material, secular, and social.  Among Christian believers, cheerful and generous giving, sacrifice that fulfills commitment and duty as well as unselfish service are indicators that divinity is present as an imparted spirit from the makeup of divine fullness (we say, the GODhead; the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit).  Sinners who turn to Jesus Christ receive fresh endowments of life essence (breath, spirit, Word), are “born again,” must “grow up again,” and must become mature while living on the earth as vessels of divine DNA, so to speak.  Through discovery, gradual growth, learning, and sacred practice, the sinner becomes a developing believer, who can minister to others.

Not all believers serve as clergy, evangelists, healers, preachers, or teachers, yet, all are accounted as “gifted” and may share what they themselves have received as divine substance.  Many serve as caretakers, classmates, family, friends, parents, emergency first responders, or volunteers.  They will display inseparable aspects of divinity such as balance, faith, forbearance, holiness, longsuffering, lovingkindness, personhood, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  Believers may not appear to be blessed by GOD for their service to another, for the presentation of rewards are scheduled for a later time. Even so, through their lifestyles and daily routines believers are to demonstrate and display godliness.  This is not intended to convert, proselytize, and recruit new church members so much as it is to make visible within and through the living the active presence who is GOD.  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Matthew 5:  6-9, King James Version (KJV):  6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness:  for they shall be filled.  7 Blessed are the merciful:  for they shall obtain mercy.  8 Blessed are the pure in heart:  for they shall see God.  9 Blessed are the peacemakers:  for they shall be called the children of God.

(2.)  Mark 10:  42-45, KJV:  42 But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them.  43 But so shall it not be among you:  but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister:  44 And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.  45 For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

(3.)  Luke 18:  9-14, KJV:  9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:  10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.  11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.  12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.  13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.  14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other:  for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  1st Corinthians 3:  11-15, KJV:  11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.  12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;  13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest:  for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.  14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.  15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss:  but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

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THE BLACK PHOENIX
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give-receive

 

Today, reply is to a teen on giving as a sacrament and sacred discipline within the body of Christ.  The questions I respond to in this sacred writings blog usually are taken from an Internet site that serves as a public forum.  While the writers there often are insulting by accusing divinity, making use of sarcasm, or even deliberately blaspheming, many pose questions very close to those I once asked as a young Christian believer, and that continue as hidden, suppressed and unasked among some who are long-time church members.  In the church, giving is a duty, an obligation, and a privilege that further establishes sacred balance, interdependence, maturity, and stability.  Money may serve as an emblem and token for a broad range of offerings that include allegiance, effort, esteem, labor, possibilities, reverence, and amounts of time.  Abundance and plenty promote confidence, joy, and security; and giving expresses eternal purpose and love by adding and imparting value to the beloved.  A fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information appears) posted the following:

 

Why is money even a thing with church?

I know I’m only 15 and Adults think teenagers don’t know anything, but this time I think it’s the adults who are blind. Recently I stopped going to church with my mother because I started to find the collection bowl for God’s offering and the pastor’s offering offensive. I mean like what does God want with money? Nowhere in the bible does God ever ask us to render money unto him. So I ask the office lady at my Church what happens to the money collected as the Church and she says “Electricity, water, upkeep and other programs like the deconess breakfast don’t pay for themselves.” I then ask her why the pastor needed an offering and she said “The pastor is a hardworking man and we have to give what we can to help him out.”

At this I ran out the church with my head sweltering. I mean why would we call an offering that’s going to the church bank account an offering to God? It smells heavily of bait & switch. And then why would we give the pastor ANYTHING? A priest is supposed to spread the word because God commands his heart, not to line his wallets. To that end I thought priest were supposed to live a humble life never accepting money for themselves? It makes it seem like Church is more a business than a school of God. I don’t think money should have anything to with Church because it brings greed and corruption.

Update: @Anon It’s obvious you don’t either, seeing as you failed to elaborate on your general remark.

Update 2: @James We’re not in elementary. There is no need for name calling. I’m just trying to figure out the heart of this dilemma.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Now I have prepared with all my might for the house of my God the gold for things to be made of gold, and the silver for things of silver, and the brass for things of brass, the iron for things of iron, and wood for things of wood; onyx stones, and stones to be set, glistering stones, and of divers colours, and all manner of precious stones, and marble stones in abundance.  Moreover, because I have set my affection to the house of my God, I have of mine own proper good, of gold and silver, which I have given to the house of my God, over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house.  Even three thousand talents of gold, of the gold of Ophir, and seven thousand talents of refined silver, to overlay the walls of the houses withal:  The gold for things of gold, and the silver for things of silver, and for all manner of work to be made by the hands of artificers. And who then is willing to consecrate his service this day unto the LORD?  Then the chief of the fathers and princes of the tribes of Israel and the captains of thousands and of hundreds, with the rulers of the king’s work, offered willingly,  And gave for the service of the house of God of gold five thousand talents and ten thousand drams, and of silver ten thousand talents, and of brass eighteen thousand talents, and one hundred thousand talents of iron.  And they with whom precious stones were found gave them to the treasure of the house of the LORD, by the hand of Jehiel the Gershonite.  Then the people rejoiced, for that they offered willingly, because with perfect heart they offered willingly to the LORD:  and David the king also rejoiced with great joy.  (1st Chronicles 29:  2-9, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  What Does Divinity Want? (03/13/2017); Fundraising A Sacred Practice? (01/01/2017); About Giving to GOD (12/13/2016); More On Sacrificial Giving (11/03/2015); A $1,000 Dollar Seed? (11/02/2015); Christ Receives the Tithes? (08/04/2015); A Price for Religious Liberty? (06/30/2015); On Being Good Stewards (12/17/2013); Traditional Marriage? (12/18/2013)

 

“Anonymous”, here are some important ideas for developing believers.  Giving within the church to the church is a work of faith.  Correctly understood, sinners become members of a church so they may be continually and regularly nourished and supported while they are being permanently changed and transformed through divine operations by the imparted Spirit of GOD.  Many of us have experienced and participated in programs offered by Christian congregations and assemblies of faith as aspects of our own family life, and a special form of inheritance from our parents or other caretakers.  In many cases, such beginnings have been only carnal, material, secular, and social.  Thus, we repeatedly hear, You must be born again.  There must be the death and burial of the inborn spirit, with resurrection having divine DNA, so to speak.  Well-meaning, yet, vain (lacking spirit substance) practices often are brought into the place for service and worship as though the church is only another community recreation center.  Thus, it is difficult to apply discernment (i.e., correctly recognize and respond to spirit content from the makeup of GOD that will appear within sacred events, oneself, other persons, prophecy, the holy writings, etc.).

In the same way obedience—putting aside ones own will to carry out and perform the will of another—is one of the most recognizable expressions of genuine love (and so is acknowledged in the vows of holy matrimony), other unmistakable marks of mature love among Christians are accountability, commitment, continually acquiring sacred knowledge, and outpourings of gratitude, respect, and thanksgiving.  The Holy Spirit must impart inseparable aspects of divinity to those who are “born again,” and they must “grow up again” enduring challenges, “growing pains,” and even suffering with Christ.  Included are faith, holiness, joy, hope, meekness, lovingkindness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  Because every believer does receive some measure of fresh spirit content, believers are accounted as a new creation through Jesus Christ having oneness without sameness.  There can be great diversity within a congregation, for all do not have the same level of knowledge, maturity, and willingness to unselfishly serve.

Salvation is carried out and completed through divine operations, rather than through application of finite tools such as feelings, intellect, logic, philosophy, and science.  Sin opposes the continued existence of divine law, the Law Giver, and the Creation grounded in sacred law.  Because the living accept sin as natural, normal, and in no way contrary their own makeup, sin may dominate awareness and self-will (willpower) within created beings and living creatures.  Sin can not influence or manipulate the divine will; thus, the living are granted fresh endowments of divine will to reinforce their character, focus, and process when identifying and resisting sin.  Through the Spirit, giving, stewardship, and other forms of service are aspects of sacrament (sacred practice), and are no longer inappropriate, irritating, and upsetting.  By continual practice, the discipline and order within the community of shared spirit is to become “second nature” like breathing in and out.  Consider again the following:

(1.)  Proverbs 19:  16-18, King James Version (KJV):  16 He that keepeth the commandment keepeth his own soul; but he that despiseth his ways shall die.  17 He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.  18 Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.

(2.)  Proverbs 19:  22, KJV:  22 The desire of a man is his kindness:  and a poor man is better than a liar.

(3.)  James 2:  14-19, KJV:  14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?  15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,  16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?  17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.  18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works:  shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.  19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well:  the devils also believe, and tremble.

(4.)  1st Corinthians 9:  11-14, KJV:  11 If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?  12 If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ.  13 Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?  14 Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (5.)  1st Chronicles 29:  10-18, KJV:  10 Wherefore David blessed the LORD before all the congregation:  and David said, Blessed be thou, LORD God of Israel our father, for ever and ever.  11 Thine, O LORD is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty:  for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all.  12 Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all.  13 Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.  14 But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee.  15 For we are strangers before thee, and sojourners, as were all our fathers:  our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding.  16 O LORD our God, all this store that we have prepared to build thee an house for thine holy name cometh of thine hand, and is all thine own.  17 I know also, my God, that thou triest the heart, and hast pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of mine heart I have willingly offered all these things:  and now have I seen with joy thy people, which are present here, to offer willingly unto thee.  18 O LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, our fathers, keep this for ever in the imagination of the thoughts of the heart of thy people, and prepare their heart unto thee:)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

 
THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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OUR REFUGE AND STRENGTH
The Religious Art of Morgan Weistling

 

Today, reply is made to a question on what Jesus Christ “wants” from a believer/sinner?  The Creator desires, lacks, and “wants” nothing from created beings and living creatures as though depending and relying upon what they might supply.  Yet, all who exist through his authority, grace, love, power, and sovereignty are to acknowledge and respond to the active presence and revelation of divinity.  The process of the Creator is one of giving that allows the receiver to make a return to GOD.  Only by first accepting and applying the gifts and ministrations from divinity do believers/sinners obtain the indispensable benefits and provisions that pertain to life from GOD.  Thus, only where one first obeys are they given the imparted, indwelling Spirit; only where one first yields in humility are they granted holy boldness.  Where one has genuine awe, sacred knowledge, love, and a sound mind, it is natural to exalt Deity, express gratitude, and uplift the name of GOD.  In addition to obeying divine law, the living will apprehend atonement and propitiation for sin, display their own spirit content imparted from the makeup of GOD, and engage divinity through commitment, discernment, humility, repentance, reconciliation and unselfish service as well as participate within divine oneness without sameness.  One of the many fighters at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information shared) posted the following:

 

What does Jesus want from me? What does He ache for?  Why does He want me to glorify Him? What does He get out of it?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?  Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death:  that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.  For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:  Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.  For he that is dead is freed from sin.  Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:  Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.  For in that he died, he died unto sin once:  but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.  Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.  Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin:  but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.  (Romans 6:  3-13, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  The Complete Divine Revelation? (03/10/2017); The Need for Incarnation? (09/29/2016); Fear That Acknowledges GOD? (07/15/2016); What GOD Demands (05/10/2014); The Body of Moses (05/11/2014); Immortality (02/08/2014); The Male, the Female, and GOD (02/09/2014)

 

“Anonymous”, you are asking for an answer from Jesus Christ, or (at the least) from a credible sacred source, or spokesperson of divinity (we say, an apostle or prophet).  The following is what the Holy Spirit is providing for you through me, and I advise you consider it carefully:

There are peculiar conditions and criteria that must be met for created beings and living creatures to (1) continue their existence as having life, (2) to acquire sacred knowledge, maintain a sacred lifestyle, and have fellowship among those who are sanctified (i.e., set apart to serve GOD), (3) to be in an ongoing transformation to become immortal, incorruptible companions to divinity as well as (4) to realize a present-day life experience that would include authority, godliness, forgiveness, hope, joy, meaningful activity and work, peace, prosperity, and wisdom.  For now, mankind must respond to a limitation of being mortal; however, through Jesus Christ, sinners achieve release from the “sentence of death” by the atonement and propitiation for sin established by the Savior’s ministry upon the earth and from the heaven.

The process from our Creator is one to prophesy (we say, to comfort, edify, and exhort).  Thereby believers/sinners receive the benefits of a personal relationship with divinity.  All are required to acknowledge the active presence of GOD, discern (i.e., use our own spirit content to recognize the spirit substance within events, messages, ourselves, other persons, prophecy, sacred writings, etc.), and willingly respond to the demands, duties, and responsibilities that arise from our being accounted as a new creation, the offspring and seed of GOD, and true vessels who contain divine Spirit.  Consider again the following:

(1.)  Micah 6:  6-9, King James Version (KJV):  6 Wherewith shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old?  7 Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?  8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?  9 The LORD’s voice crieth unto the city, and the man of wisdom shall see thy name:  hear ye the rod, and who hath appointed it.

(2.)  Zechariah 7:  9-14, KJV:  9 Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Execute true judgment, and shew mercy and compassions every man to his brother:  10 And oppress not the widow, nor the fatherless, the stranger, nor the poor; and let none of you imagine evil against his brother in your heart.  11 But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear.  12 Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the LORD of hosts hath sent in his spirit by the former prophets:  therefore came a great wrath from the LORD of hosts.  13 Therefore it is come to pass, that as he cried, and they would not hear; so they cried, and I would not hear, saith the LORD of hosts:  14 But I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations whom they knew not. Thus the land was desolate after them, that no man passed through nor returned:  for they laid the pleasant land desolate.

(3.)  Zechariah 8:  16-17, KJV:  16 These are the things that ye shall do; Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbour; execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates:  17 And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbour; and love no false oath:  for all these are things that I hate, saith the LORD.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  Jeremiah 9:  23-24, KJV:  23 Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches:  24 But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth:  for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.)   Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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