I know of friends who starve themselves to buy something they WANT. *note: not NEED*
Some starve themselves to buy gifts for their boyfriend/girlfriend.
When you want to give something to your loved one, you give your best kan? So pressured lor! Just for that ONE THING!
I can remember one pastor said this during offering challenge.
“If a $11 movie ticket is nothing, then you should give more than $11 to the church!” So true. Why $11 to give to church is so hard, but for a movie it’s like nothing?
We always give to the one we love our best. Remember, God is our FIRST love. So He deserves the very best!
Many of you would have heard about City Harvest in Singapore. Many people have been saying CHC puts pressure on the members to give and start mocking the church. Saying the money all goes into Pastor’s pocket yadayadayada…
Even if that happens, all I know is I have given to God. Others, it’s between the person involved and God. I have no right say much, but to continue to encourage the church and most importantly, FORGIVE! We are all not perfect mar…correct? We are not God, so we have no right to judge.
Anyway, let’s not talk about CHC alone, but in general.
In my own personal opinion, it’s all about faith. When you’re trusting and believing in God, the Satan will do whatever he can to destroy your faith. Many many problems will happen, but it is whether you hold on to your faith! Trust me, no..trust God…your reward is in Heaven!
How about being pressured? When Pastor challenges us to give, then hearing testimonies on people selling their house and downgrading to giving their 1 yr salary to the house of God, I NEVER take it as being pressured, but as a challenge of faith. Those people have taken a step of faith and trust in the Lord. Everytime I want to give, the first thing I have in my heart is,
“No money how to eat? But I wanna buy this, buy that…etc etc”
With that kind of doubt in me, faith? NONE!
And those people who gave almost everything the have are all doing very well even after such sacrifice. None of them are starving and begging by the roadside for food.
Because the news on CHC flying around in Singapore, I have heard lots of discussion among people about “The church pressures the people to give!”
I have yet to hear the word “challenged”. I realize the word “pressured” is so negative. But notice this, when you use “challenged”, you feel encouraged and would go an extra mile. It’s like a race with lots of obstacles!
Read 2 Corinthians 9:7 (NKJV)
7 So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.
“..as he purposes in his heart…”
Why do you give?
Definitely when we give there must be a reason. Just like when you give a gift to a friend, there must be a reason for giving…her birthday, a reward, etc.
You do not give an offering to God for the sake of giving. When you know the reason to give, then you know how to decide on how much to give.
Testimonies are examples of blessings from Heaven. Doesn’t mean people have given $20,000 means you have to give that amount too! Give according to your ability, give as an offering of love to God.
In the NLT version, from the same verse, it says
7 You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.”
“Don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure”
Of course when we are forced to give, we do not feel happy and probably would try to avoid being at the position of being forced and pressured again. God clearly states that He wants us to give cheerfully. Everytime before making a commitment, I pray. If you’re not sure how much to give, pray! When God shows you a figure and it gives you a heart attack, TRUST IN GOD! It is no longer between you and the pastor/minister/speaker. It is now between you and God! I bet you will not say, “God pressured me to give……..” but say
“GOD CHALLENGED ME TO GIVE!!”
Then, your faith builds. You began to learn to rely on God than your own ability.
Well, that’s not the end. God has also promised that He will take care of us.
2 Corinthians 9:8 (NKJV)
8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.
“Grace is God’s empowerment that gives us the ability to go beyond our natural ability” – John Bevere
Wow! The power of God’s grace!
That means what you think is impossible will be made possible!
“God will understand the purpose I do not give. I have a family to take care of.”
“How can God make His people give if His people do not have enough for themselves? Afterall, He is God. He don’t need the money.”
“Good for them, they all get all the blessings, doesn’t mean I will get them because I am not as rich as them.”
When we live by faith, we live in God’s grace!
So, are you pressured or challenged?
C’mon! Be challenged!