Skip to main content

It's The Heart Of The Gift That Matters

One of my favorite verses in found in Micah. It's the header for this blog. It's a verse I try to live by and focus on. I slip up at times and lose my focus, but Christ is there to direct me back to Him.

"Mankind, He has told you what is good and what it is the Lord requires of you: to act justly, to love faithfulness, and to walk humbly with your God." Micah 6:8 (HCSB Version)

There are times we can get stuck in one verse without looking at what comes before it or after it. This is one of those verses for me. There is so much more here for us to learn and grasp about life, giving and the heart. It's not the gift that matters. It's not the amount. It's not even so much the giver. It's the heart of giving.

Lets be honest. We can all give. We can give the shirt off our back to another, but do we always give willingly? Here's a tough one. Do we give until it hurts? Meaning, do we even realize what we are giving?

In watching a program last week, I seen a portrait of real giving. A soldier of long ago needed to be buried and for many reasons was not allowed to be buried in his home town. Here's the beauty of it. People gave so his family could travel to Arlington. We aren't talking thousands or even hundreds of dollars. Some gave twenty-five cents. Others gave two dollars. After it was all added, they had just enough for the travel and enough to purchase winter coats for the journey. These givers were giving all they had. They weren't worried about what was left or if they had enough. They gave wholeheartedly.

This story touched my heart deeply. It made me think and ask myself, "Do I give until it hurts?" We live in the country of plenty. We are not wealthy by any means. But it's easy for me to give my old coats to Goodwill, especially on the day I go out and purchase a new one. I can buy someone a cheeseburger with the twenty dollar bill I have in my pocket. But what if I just gave more? What if I gave until it hurt?

I'm not saying we must give until we are empty. But where is our faith in Christ? Is He truly in the heart of the giver? I can honestly say, not always.

See, Micah was reaching out the people of Israel. The people are asking what they should give and Micah is correcting them, saying, it's not the gift but the heart that matters. Read verse 7 with me.

"Would the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams or with ten thousand streams of oil? Should I give my firstborn for my transgression, the child of my body for my own sin?" (verse 7)

Now, put verse 8 next to it.

"Mankind, He has told you what is good and what it is the Lord requires of you: to act justly, to love faithfulness, and to walk humbly with your God."

The NIV version reads

"He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does He require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." Micah 6:8 (NIV)

Micah is here, pleading God's case, to the Israelites. We can learn that God isn't concerned with the offering here, but in the offerer. It's his heart, his character, his behavior in giving. We aren't to give and share with everyone we meet that we have given, but we are to do so with a humble heart. Not one filled with pride.

There are times in my life where I have been the giver and those where I have been the recipient of a gift. God knows the need and He knows just how to meet that need. When I can be the giver, I'm not suppose to do so with pride, but fully understanding  that it is God who is giving through me. He has provided so that I am able to give.  I am to be His willing vessel.

I am to love others without judgement. I need to treat others just as I would want to be treated. We measure gifts by the cost and think we have done our good deed for the day by giving. Friends, giving is not a one time deal. It's not a good deed to get done and move on with our day. To walk justly, to live in faithfulness and to walk in humility should be characteristics of our relationship with Christ.

Too many times we give with the thought that now good things will come our way. We give with expectations. How many times do we give and we are offended if we have not heard, "Thank you"? We are not to give expecting anything. We are the vessel. We are there to meet the need and that is it.

We are to pray. Prayer is such a sweet gift in itself. In being the vessel that pours out the gift is an honor. As humans we can put too much thought into things and we get lost in the translation of giving. It's not so we gain, but that so our Father in heaven gains reward. I am to open my hands and my heart to others. I am to walk with Christ and as the Holy Spirit speaks to my heart I am to move on God's behalf.

Lord, help me to realize my life is not my own. I am to be Your vessel. I am to live with Your love and I am to follow Your commands. Your commands are treasure to us. Through love, You guide us. Open my heart to the needs around me, Lord. Open my eyes to all You want me to see. Teach me to be a Christ-giver. Use me to bring glory and honor to You, Lord. Take my life and allow it to shine before all men, bringing witness and glory to Your name. It is You, Lord, that provides every need. Be with us, Lord, for You are the Giver and the Gift.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Illusionist's Apprentice by Kristy Cambron

I want to begin this review sharing two reviews I was blessed to do. The Butterfly and The Violinand A Sparrow in Terezin. For me these two novels were masterpieces. Works of such exquisite beauty. They showed that Kristy Cambron is gifted with the pen, a master storyteller. They remain two of my all-time top favorites. 
It was for this reason I was thrilled to be receiving a copy of The Illusionist's Apprentice. Once again Cambron shows us a masterpiece of bringing a story to readers that speaks of faith and our Lord. Although throughout the novel these aspects are not boldly proclaimed, but are masterfully weaved throughout the story. 
Magic and illusion are not the same. I love how she brings this truth. Love that the main character was an apprentice to the master of illusion. She takes the use of being an apprentice and walks that road with integrity and hope. When we choose to walk with Christ we are His apprentices. We are to walk as the main character, Wren Lockhart walked…

The One True Love of Alice-Ann by Eva Marie Everson

Oh, just where do I begin? This is the stuff in which great novels are made. I made my way through this richly beautiful novel turning page after page with such deep emotion and thought. I couldn't turn the pages quick enough, but I didn't want it to end to soon. It's one of those novels you could continue reading as long as there were pages. No page just made of fluff, words with no meaning on the page. Every single line in this novel created a story that will last in my heart forever. 
Ms. Everson, I am so happy stories of the war were shared with you. Oh, to have your Sunday school teacher share with you, "You can't choose who you fall in love with, but you can choose who you marry", is a blessing that has now enchanted your readers. What a story you have weaved together. History penned with such depth, detail, and a story that captures the heart. 
This lovely story begins in 1941. The war has started. Picture a family gathered around the Zenith to hear t…

The" I Am" Makes Us Think About What "i am"

In Genesis 1:26-27 it shares something valuable to each of us about who we are in God. We are created in His image. What I love about this verse below is that is says, "make man in OUR image". What's OUR? The trinity, God, the Holy Spirit, and Christ Jesus. Ponder that. I mean really go deep. We are make in THEIR image. 
"Then God said, "Let US make man in OUR image, according to OUR likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him, male and female He created them."
We are His workmanship. He knew us before we were ever born. He weaved us together within the womb, but even before then He planned our life perfectly for us. That's so much to ponder isn't it? 
"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared…

The Glassblower by Petra Durst-Benning

I came across this selection on Amazon. I had seen so many reviews that it intrigued me. I had never read anything from this German author. The cover caught my attention as did the description of this novel. 
It's a part of a trilogy. I am getting ready to open up book 2, The American Lady. I cannot wait to begin. I tell you this book marveled me. I wasn't quite sure what to expect. What a journey into another time and place. 
We travel to Germany where this novel is set. The year is 1890 and we find ourselves in Lauscha, Germany. The author did a fantastic job at the perfect description of not only the area, but circumstance, and heart of the characters. Her writing style flows so easily that the pages almost turn themselves. 
The characters are easy to love. Three sisters who are now wondering, after their father had passed from this earth,  how they will now provide for themselves. It isn't going to be easy, but these sisters show us how to prevail over challenges that…

Unexpected Blessings

The last words my dad spoke to me from his hospital bed were, "Rob, take care of your mom." Those are words I have never forgotten. I have not only honored them for my dad, but for my mom. I too am commanded by my Father to honor my mother and father.
"Honor your father and mother so that you may have a long life in the land that the Lord your God is giving you." Exodus 20:12
My mom gave her life in caring for me. On my first birthday, my very first Christmas, was spent in the ICU as I was very sick with pneumonia. A little later I would burn myself with spilled coffee. A few years later I would tumble down many stairs and once again spent time in the hospital. 
I remember all the times I was sick and could feel my mom's hand brush against my forehead as she checked for fever. All the times she must have stayed up all night as I was sick. 
When I was little she would pour me a bowl of Raisin Bran. I loved it. Only I didn't like the raisins. She would take t…