Tag Archives: giving

Refining #Advent

Transparenter Bærums Verk

He’s coming,
arriving soon,
on his way,
bringing God’s message,
the words we long to hear,
preparing his way
in our lives.

His coming will bring cleansing,
refining,
making the best,
freeing from impurities,
bringing a finer way,
his way.

Then
we will be able to offer
to him,
when the dross and dregs
have gone.

For if we expect to receive
we have a responsibility
to give,
our lives,
our worship
our wealth
out of his goodness.

God is coming,
giving,
blessing –
how will I show
my delight in him?

How will I allow him
to refine me,
free me,
purify me
for him
and his work?

 

The theme of the second week in Advent is The Day of Salvation.  We prepare for that day.

Malachi 3:1-12 (CEV)

The Promised Messenger

I, the Lord All-Powerful,
will send my messenger
    to prepare the way for me.
Then suddenly the Lord
you are looking for
    will appear in his temple.
The messenger you desire
is coming with my promise,
    and he is on his way.

A Day of Change

On the day the Lord comes, he will be like a furnace that purifies silver or like strong soap in a washbasin. No one will be able to stand up to him. The Lord will purify the descendants of Levi, as though they were gold or silver. Then they will bring the proper offerings to the Lord, and the offerings of the people of Judah and Jerusalem will please him, just as they did in the past.

Don’t Cheat God

The Lord All-Powerful said:

I’m now on my way to judge you. And I will quickly condemn all who practice witchcraft or cheat in marriage or tell lies in court or rob workers of their pay or mistreat widows and orphans or steal the property of foreigners or refuse to respect me.

Descendants of Jacob, I am the Lord All-Powerful, and I never change. That’s why you haven’t been wiped out, even though you have ignored and disobeyed my laws ever since the time of your ancestors. But if you return to me, I will return to you.

And yet you ask, “How can we return?”

You people are robbing me, your God. And, here you are, asking, “How are we robbing you?”

You are robbing me of the offerings and of the ten percent that belongs to me. That’s why your whole nation is under a curse. 10 I am the Lord All-Powerful, and I challenge you to put me to the test. Bring the entire ten percent into the storehouse, so there will be food in my house. Then I will open the windows of heaven and flood you with blessing after blessing. 11 I will also stop locusts from destroying your crops and keeping your vineyards from producing. 12 Everyone of every nation will talk about how I have blessed you and about your wonderful land. I, the Lord All-Powerful, have spoken!

Refiner’s Fire

Giving Your All

It was all that I had,
my most prized possession,
beautiful,
expensive,
such a heady aroma,
filling the air.

I’d been saving it
for a special occasion,
the right moment,
worthy of it’s enormity.

Now,
now is the time.
the time
to offer it,
to pour it out.
Not carefully
and gently,
but with great abondon,
without counting the cost.

Now is the time of offering,
of giving your all,
what is valued most.
Of letting go,
surrendering,
giving
without cost.

He is about to do that for me,
the least I can do,
is give my all to him.

John 12:1-11 (CEV)

At Bethany

12 Six days before Passover Jesus went back to Bethany, where he had raised Lazarus from death. A meal had been prepared for Jesus. Martha was doing the serving, and Lazarus himself was there.

Mary took a very expensive bottle of perfume and poured it on Jesus’ feet. She wiped them with her hair, and the sweet smell of the perfume filled the house.

A disciple named Judas Iscariot was there. He was the one who was going to betray Jesus, and he asked, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold for three hundred silver coins and the money given to the poor?” Judas did not really care about the poor. He asked this because he carried the moneybag and sometimes would steal from it.

Jesus replied, “Leave her alone! She has kept this perfume for the day of my burial. You will always have the poor with you, but you won’t always have me.”

A Plot To Kill Lazarus

A lot of people came when they heard that Jesus was there. They also wanted to see Lazarus, because Jesus had raised him from death. 10 So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus. 11 He was the reason that many of the Jewish leaders were turning from them and putting their faith in Jesus.

What Do I Owe

What do I owe?
To the world?
Governments?
Those who care?
On behalf of those who can’t pay?

I like a bargain,
want the most for the least;
but I want to know
I will be cared for,
when I,
or anyone else,
needs it.

What do I owe?

What will I give for justice,
freedom,
security,
not just for me,
but for all.

What do I owe?

Nothing is free,
it has to be paid for
by someone,
somewhere.
My duty is to pay
my dues.

What do I owe?

I will give
what I owe,
willingly,
generously,
freely.

What do I owe?

What do I owe God,
freely,
lovingly,
generously?
In response to all he has given me.

What do I owe?

Matthew 22:15-22 (CEV)

Paying Taxes

15 The Pharisees got together and planned how they could trick Jesus into saying something wrong. 16 They sent some of their followers and some of Herod’s followers to say to him, “Teacher, we know that you are honest. You teach the truth about what God wants people to do. And you treat everyone with the same respect, no matter who they are.17 Tell us what you think! Should we pay taxes to the Emperor or not?”

18 Jesus knew their evil thoughts and said, “Why are you trying to test me? You show-offs! 19 Let me see one of the coins used for paying taxes.” They brought him a silver coin,20 and he asked, “Whose picture and name are on it?”

21 “The Emperor’s,” they answered.

Then Jesus told them, “Give the Emperor what belongs to him and give God what belongs to God.” 22 His answer surprised them so much that they walked away.