The Offering

 

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. John 10:10 NASB

 

 

2018-24-11-22-11-38

 

Tomorrow is Giving Tuesday, and I am thrilled to know that some of my favorite charities will be offered matching gifts by generous donors.  Read through to the end, and I will list a few of my favorites.

But did you realize that the idea of giving an offering goes as far back as Cain and Abel? If we look within our hearts, there is this common feeling of wanting to give back. Thanksgiving is a National Holiday, after all. Even those who argue that there is no God, still have a desire within that longs to say Thank You for good gifts.

Beyond just a “Higher Power” or a benevolent jolly-faced deity who is distant and detached, there is the ONE Creator of this Universe Who has given me more than I ever deserved. And I can see that my unjust way of living, my feeble attempts at goodness, just do not compare to the Holiness of One who would part the Red Sea before His rescued people; One who would defend a lonely widow and her widowed daughter-in-law; One who would stand in the fiery furnace to cover three young men.

That ONE knows all about our failings, and yet He calls us to come. He knows how inadequate our offerings really are, and yet He desires us to give. He gave the example for us as He called the instructions to Moses from the Mount. He sent the vision of the beauty of a meeting place, and then He asked the people to bring their offerings** to create that place.

You know the story. From the highest of heights to the lowest of lows, the people proved their unworthiness. The ways of God were neglected and outright spurned.  How could they do that?  . . . . How could I do that?  . . . . And yet I look away also.

Our Holy Creator longed to be with us, His creation, with such an intense love that He sent His own Son to do what we could never do.  The Baby, Emmanuel: God with us, came to dwell, came to live, came to offer the only perfect sacrifice for the justice required from our failings.

~~~

After the feel-good-days of America’s Thanksgiving Holiday, and all the talk of what thankfulness really is, we will run helter-skelter into the Christmas rush. And we will forget the Baby as we stand in long lines, or scroll through endless lists of gifts, meant to reflect the giving heart of the Greatest Gift of all.

But deep down we know.

We can never measure up.

Our gifts do not compare with the vision of that star-studded night.

So why would He even ask for my gifts?

Why did He ask for those offerings ages ago?

 

“Every skilled woman spun with her hands and brought what she had spun—blue, purple or scarlet yarn or fine linen. And all the women who were willing and had the skill spun the goat hair. The leaders brought onyx stones and other gems to be mounted on the ephod and breastpiece.They also brought spices and olive oil for the light and for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense. All the Israelite men and women who were willing brought to the Lord freewill offerings for all the work the Lord through Moses had commanded them to do” Exodus 35:25-29 NIV

 

Offering

You ask for an offering

We bring what we have

Our skilled working

The best we know

 

But it falls so short

 

The vision on the mount

Astounded our eyes

Overwhelmed our senses

A glimpse of Heaven

 

But still You call

 

The Voice on High thunders

Transforms our gifts

His Spirit’s fruit

Mingles with earth

 

And Glory abounds

–bg

 

Again and again He comes to us. Jesus said that He came to bring us life more abundantly. We turn away, and again He comes. Jesus calls us to bring our offerings, to give our best, and when we fall short He supplies the baskets for the all-sufficient leftovers from our 2 fish and 5 loaves.  His Grace mingles with our earth.

The Glory of Heaven pours HIS abundance into our meager offerings.

 

 

**For more thoughts on the offerings that were gifted for that first Tabernacle, my friend, Anna Smit, and I would be so blessed to have you join us for #TreasuresfromtheSands, the podcast coming in January. And we would so appreciate your prayers that we would joyfully offer our small gifts for what God is asking from us.

(And thank you to Julie Dibble, for her post in early October that sent a beautiful confirmation of our work on our podcast, and inspired the poem today. Please visit her beautiful post here.)

Would you pray with me today?

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank You that You gave the example and offered us gifts, the gift of Yourself, and Your very own Dear Son. We are stunned at the depth of what You have given. Forgive us for turning away when You hold Your hands out to us. Would You open our clenched fists to receive the abundance You want to gift us? And, Lord, we are stunned that You desire us to share our small and meager gifts with You. Thank You that You desire us to give, even as You have given to us. Thank You for being the best gift of all–our own Emmanuel.

In the name of Emmanuel, Jesus, we pray,

Amen.

 

 

These are just a few of my favorite and trusted charities:

Chronic-Joy Ministries

Redeemer Christian Foundation School for Orphans

Joni and Friends

Youth-With-A-Mission

 

 

I am linking this week with:

#LMMLinkup,

#Tellhisstory

#Teaandword

 

 

 

 

 

28 thoughts on “The Offering

    1. Dear Melissa, Oh He does give us so much, doesn’t He? I am so thankful for your offerings that have blessed me already, even in this short time that I have been reading your words. May He continue to bless you!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Yes, please forgive us Lord for any way we have turned away from Your precious gifts, always in the wait for us. And we thank You for your ever-present help in times of drought, flood, fire and storm. Thank you Bettie for this post. Your words lift me. Sharing to Facebook dear.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, Amen, Lord. Thank You for your ever-present help! And thank you, Julie, for all of your prayers and support. I can feel HIS strength within, carrying me along His path. May I continue to open my heart more to Him as well. Love and Blessings to you Dear Sister.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes! Every good gift comes down from HIM, our Heavenly Father. Thank you for your precious thoughts here. We give back what He has already given us. And while we see our weak and failing ways, He sees the beauty of our offering it back to Him. Blessings to you this week!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Bettie,
    I love this – especially this stanza of your poem:

    “The Voice on High thunders
    Transforms our gifts
    His Spirit’s fruit
    Mingles with earth

    It just gives me chills to know that our God, the Great Creator, takes our small gifts and transforms them, using them to encourage us and others.

    Blessings, love and hugs to you, my dear sister! xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Gayl,
      It is such a wonder, isn’t it? The way that our Lord transforms what we offer back to Him, is such a miracle being worked out in front of us. I know that I don’t pause often enough to see the transformations that He is doing all around me. Oh, may I look for His holiness and glory shining even here, in the places of my own weakness. Thank you for your precious thoughts here, Gayl. Blessings, love, and hugs to you Dear Friend! xoxo

      Like

    1. Oh yes, Jennifer! Offering our lives, our spiritual act of worship, and looking for HIS transformation right there. How amazing and blessed! Thank you for your precious comments here today. So thankful for kindred hearts looking to Jesus! Blessings!

      Like

  3. James 1:17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. Your post reminded me of this verse I learned to cling to when chaos seemed to be unfolding. Beautiful words Bettie. And praying for your podcast!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Lynn,
      Thank you so much for your prayers! And thank you for sharing that precious Scripture. I had that verse on my mind this week also, what a lovely confirmation from God, that He is the perfect gift. Even in the shifting shadows around us, He stays so sure and secure for us. Blessings and love to you!

      Like

  4. Wow, Bettie! Just wow! Your words never fail to cut through the outer worldly trappings and go straight into the depths of my heart, where the Lord wants to meet with me. This was a beautiful, powerful post of God’s truth and faithfulness to us. Your ending…
    The Glory of Heaven pours HIS abundance into our meager offerings. That One so glorious should die for me, seek me and use my small offerings for His Kingdom, is beyond imagining. May we continue to marvel at every part of who He is! God bless you and I am praying for your ministry!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Melissa,
      I am so thankful that Jesus meets us here in these places where we share our small words back & forth. Yes! It is beyond imagining for me also! When I grow weary, and feel that I have nothing left to share, or even no ability to hear, HE steps in and parts the fog with His Word. Oh, may I keep my heart open to His marvels also! Thank you for the precious encouragement you share. I appreciate your prayers so much! Blessings and love to you!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Bettie, thank you for sharing the Lord of your heart. How blessed we are that He asks from us, but only a small portion of what He has given; overflowing and replenishing all that we give. Today’s hymn for meditation and memorization is O Sacred Head Now Wounded, reminding me of His poured out life to us. Blessings for your week.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your precious comments here, and for sharing that beautiful hymn! Oh, yes, He has gone before us and given, overflowing for us. And how true to remember that He does replenish all that we give. May I lift my heart to Him more and more. Blessings and love to you this week also!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. It amazes me how God keeps loving us and giving us far beyond what we deserve, no matter how often we fail and turn away from Him, Bettie. As the song says, “You are worthy of our glory!” Thank you for encouraging us to remember Emmanuel, the greatest Gift of all! Advent Blessings and hugs to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Trudy,
      Yes, He is so merciful to us, isn’t He? So worthy of every bit of praise we can offer Him! I am so thankful that He is our Emmanuel, the greatest gift, here with us even now. I pray that you have a beautiful and blessed Advent Season also, Dear Friend! Love & Hugs to you! xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  7. What a difference it makes when God is in the offering, multiplying it all in His hands! Dust becomes diamonds. Water gets turned into wine. A widow’s mite becomes a God-referenced and honoured tithe. A baby born in a manger becomes our very own Lord and Saviour. Earth is on fire with Holy Spirit’s input and graced with the continual presence of God, and we are invited to give our all, like He has so willingly done. Thank you, Bettie, for your inspiring thoughts that remind us how blessed we are and how much God has already done for us. I see the sacrificial giving from your own surrendered heart and witness it becoming a gift of grace filled words and an act of poured out love. Love and hugs to you, dear friend! xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Joy,
      Oh thank you for your beautiful and sweet comments Dear Friend! You add such fullness to this post, and such depth of feeling as I ponder all of those Spirit-touched places scattered through Scripture that you pointed to. What an amazing Lord we have, One who is in the business of transformation for every life and situation. “Earth is on fire with Holy Spirit’s input and graced with the continual presence of God,” oh yes, amen! May I remember this, and let Him show me more of His presence in my daily life. May you be filled with that glorious fire and grace my friend, as you bring His encouragement through your words. You are such a blessing to me. Hugs, love and Blessings to you! xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Cheryl,
      Thank you for all of your support and prayers! You are such a blessing to so many! May you and your family have a beautiful Christmas Season also! Love & Blessings for you!

      Like

    2. Dear Cheryl,
      Thank you so much! I pray that you and your family would have a Beautiful Christmas season too. What a gift to be able to bring encouragement to each other as we walk with Jesus! I am so thankful for you Dear Friend! Blessings to you!

      Like

  8. I love the call to put God first as we enter this Advent season. It is so easy to forget the One who made our lives possible. May we extend our gratitude well beyond Thanksgiving and throughout the year. May our hearts remain open to receiving the gift of Jesus daily. Thank you for sharing so beautifully.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Mary,
      Thank you for your beautiful comments here. Yes, may I continue to extend that gratitude throughout the year. He has brought us so much, and offered Himself to us. What a precious gift our Savior is to us! I pray that you have a Blessed Advent Season, Mary. I am so enjoying your new series!

      Like

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