My Give.

Over the past few months I have been haunted by an idea, a phrase that came about from a journal reading.  The idea came from Exodus 35 and 36, specifically 35:21 and 36:4-7…

“Then everyone came whose heart was stirred, and everyone whose spirit was willing, and they brought the Lord’s offering for the work of the tabernacle of meeting, for all its service, and for the holy garments.” Exodus 35:21

“Then all the craftsmen who were doing all the work of the sanctuary came, each from the work he was doing, and they spoke to Moses, saying, “The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work which the Lord commanded us to do.”

So Moses gave a commandment, and they caused it to be proclaimed throughout the camp, saying, “Let neither man nor woman do any more work for the offering of the sanctuary.” And the people were restrained from bringing, for the material they had was sufficient for all the work to be done—indeed too much.” Exodus 36:4-7

How incredible.  As they were working on creating the tabernacle for the Lord – the place where the presence of God would dwell (!!), the people with willing hearts gave of what they had.  As each person gave from what they had, both possessions and talents THERE WAS MORE THAN ENOUGH FOR WHAT WAS TO BE DONE.

More than enough.

Nowhere in this passage did it say that the people judged their gift based on what others were giving but instead it says that they brought freely from what they had and all together it was ALL they needed for ALL parts of the tabernacle.  Actually, it was MORE THAN all they needed.

I think too often we look at our “give” and we judge it against what we see others giving.  We judge the type, we judge the amount, we judge what looks to be the quality... and often in this judging we judge our “give” to not be enough and so WE DON’T GIVE IT.  What we forget is that it takes many types and qualities and quantities of GIVES to make complete the calling of God on His people.

Recently I was reminded of this passage and an incident found in Acts.  There are currently many situations and people in my life who are going through hard times.  They are going through situations that I can’t fix.  I feel worthless because I wonder what I have to giveto them.  And it is in these moments that I remember a time where Peter, like me, didn’t have what a situation looked to need… but what he does have, he freely gives.

“Then Peter said, ‘Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.'” Acts 3:6

Peter doesn’t have money but what he has is more powerful.  Peter doesn’t have physical resources but he has miraculous resources that go beyond time.

Although I don’t always have money to give, solutions to the problem or even words to bring comfort, I don’t have the immediate resources, there is something I do have and like Peter it goes beyond…. I have God.  I have His presence and power inside of me.  Like Peter I have the miraculous resource of the presence of God within me who brings peace and healing.

My give is not dictated by what I think I have or don’t have but instead my give is dictated by His Spirit inside me.  In Him there is fullness and He enables me to give what is needed in those moments.  And so, I give of what I do have, Him.

What is your give?


In the midst of God’s presence

On my way to the East Coast my dad and I stoped at Niagara Falls.  I had never been and my dad hadn’t been since he was a teenager.  Now I’ll let you in on a little secret… I am a huge tourist.  I love visiting different places, taking pictures and sharing with those that I love.  And Niagara Falls was on my bucket list.

The thing is I never thought that there would be that much water and power… I could never have imagined without seeing it with my own eyes how incredible it was.  As I looked at the water’s strength and the beauty of the waterfalls I couldn’t help but remember how BIG God is.  I couldn’t help but wonder how anyone could look upon this wonder and question the existence of God.  As I walked I couldn’t help but recognize God’s presence.

I’m not saying that I had actually forgotten how BIG God because that isn’t true.  Instead it’s just that I hadn’t been focusing on His BIGNESS.  You know how you know that your family loves you but there are those moments, like when your sister gets married or whole family flies to visit you that, when you realize and remember just how much they love you.  This is what it was like, I knew how Big God was… but it took this moment for me to REMEMBER how BIG God truly is.

Often when I was living in California, I would be walking from one part of my college campus to another and I would become overcome with the beauty surrounding me.  More times than I can count my eyes would tear up as the weight of God’s blessings in my life would overcome my thoughts.  Instead of thinking about how awful the world is or life was I was overcome again and again how awe-filled I was by who God is and His incredible, indescribable love for me.

Well… those feelings and those realizations were exactly what went through my head as I was looking at Niagara Falls.  I was filled with awe at what God had created.  I was remembering again how BIG God is and how beautiful His creation is.  I was filled with awe over how blessed I was to see this miracle.

And then I arrives in the Northeast.  And to be perfectly honest with you… I don’t think that there has been one day that something has not taken my breath away.

The blue sky that is too blue and clear to be real.  The white clouds that look as though they are cotton balls just floating in the air.  And the bright green trees that whisper about their Creator when you look at them.

The truth is God is here.  God is here in the history.  God is here in His creation.  But more importanly with every cloud that hangs in the air, every river that surges forward and every tree that the wind whispers through the Lord is showing His presence.  When I drive through this region, as I walk through these towns God shows up.  As I pray for the people that I am meeting, those I have yet to meet and those within this region what I walk away with is that they are not forgotten.

This past week I was at youth camp and again I was in the midst of God’s presence.  What He showed me was that He was already moving in this people.  That just as His presence was to be found in what I could see and His creation that His presence was also to be found in the people, and specifically this week the youth of this region.  That when I was in the midst of God’s people I was in the midst of His presence.

How do you experience God’s presence?

Where is God trying to show himself that you are absent mindedly ignoring?

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