Why Give? (The Giving Series, Part 2)

Hi everyone,

I’m back 🙂 and this is Part 2 of The Giving Series.  If you’re new, you can check out Part 1 about my journey to generosity. Today, I want to talk about 4 reasons (of a ton) that we should give. While this is not just about giving money (we also give our time, energy and talent), it is easier to see our giving reflected in our handling of money because money is the most tangible (and possibly precious) of the other aforementioned treasures. This is and isn’t about money – it is about giving anything that is valuable to us.

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Transparency Tidbit: While I am in the process of fundraising to go to IHOP this August, I’m not writing this series as a way to make that happen. I’m writing this series because in my experience as a Christian, we hardly talk about giving from a biblical perspective and I want to change that.

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So, why give?

#1: We benefit from giving.

“Give and it will come back to you” is a principle more guaranteed than gravity. This is because the law of gravity only applies when there’s a gravitational pull and while we know gravity-free zones exist, God-free zones” do not.  Proverbs 11:25 states: “The generous soul will be made rich, and he who waters will also be watered himself. (NKJV).” In giving, we receive a blessing. A mistake I used to make is assuming that if I gave away money, I would always get back money. That’s not a biblical principle at all. What is biblical is that there will be a blessing because one gives. The form of said blessing is left up to God’s sovereignty and kindness.

Check out some supporting texts here: Matthew 6:4, Proverbs 22:9, 28:27, Acts 20:35, 2 Corinthians. 9:6-8

#2: God says to give.

The clearest illustration of this I’ve seen is Matthew 6:2, 3. Each verse states “when you give”. Jesus was speaking about how to give, which means he expects that we are already giving or poising ourselves to do so. Within this passage He uses the same phasing to talk about other disciplines of the Christian faith: “when you pray” (verses 5, 6, 7) and “when you fast” (verses 16, 17). Giving is put in the same category of fasting and prayer – mandatory.

Check out some supporting texts here: Deuteuromony 16:17, Proverbs 21:26, Luke 3:11

#3: Giving advances the Kingdom of God.

When we give, the Kingdom of God acquires tools to manifest itself on the earth. Though God could get it done all by Himself, from the days of Genesis until now, He chooses to partner with us.  He wants us to participate with Him in reclaiming this world. Luke 8:1-3 tells us about women who supported Jesus and his disciples financially: …Jesus…preached and told the Good News about God’s kingdom…There were also some women with him…These women used their own money to help Jesus and his apostles (ICB).” Though God had provided for Jesus and the disciples through supernatural means before, what these women contributed to their wellbeing by giving was welcomed. Taking care of the needs of Jesus and his disciples was a sure way to ensure that more people had opportunities to experience the same goodness of Jesus that these women had.

When we give to a person or a ministry, we can facilitate the gospel either being ministered to that person or to others. Giving can allow us to extend our impact in this world beyond our regular sphere of influence. We have the opportunity to become partners in bringing the Kingdom of God to a place we couldn’t reach on our own.

Check out some supporting texts here: Nehemiah 1 and 21 Chronicles 29:1-20, Acts 2:44, 45

#4: You do have something to give.

Sometimes we want to give and the little we have does not seem to be of any importance – or so we think. Look at this scripture “…Give from what you have. If you want to give, your gift will be accepted. Your gift will be judged by what you have, not by what you do not have (ICB)” 2 Corinthians 8:11-12. Our Christian lives are ultimately accountable to God and when we give, we give to worship, honour and love Him. In the end, He judges our gifts based on why and how we gave them, not merely the quantity of them.

Check out some more supporting texts here: Mark 12:41-44, Proverbs 3:9, Luke 3:11, 2 Corinthians 9:6-8

Giving anything is an act of faith. By giving, we prove to others and ourselves that we are children of God. Only those who are sure of where their provision comes from can dare to part with any of it.

Until next time,

Jodi.

 

 

 

 

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Posting Update

Hi all,

Some quick housekeeping here.

In my first blog post, I had said I would be posting once a week and I had all intention of doing so. However, I realised that pace is a little too quick for me right now so I’m moving it to every fortnight (every 2 weeks). I wanted to tell you all about this change before I did it.

So that’s all for now.

See you next time when I continue The Giving Series.

Until then,

Jodi

My Journey to Generosity (The Giving Series, Part 1)

Hi everyone,

Sorry for my lateness. I had some issues with time management this week but I finally posted! 🙂 I’ve been a Christian for about 17 years and I don’t recall hearing many teachings about giving. So I want to start a conversation about Biblical giving, I call it “The Giving Series” and this is Part 1. Today, I’m going to tell you about my experience wrestling with generosity.

This is a very important conversation for the Christian community. Yes, as a missionary it could be said that I have a vested interest in this subject. However, this is not about me – my confidence in my provision is in God. I’m talking about this because I see lack all over the church, her ministries and Christians themselves and it makes me sad. What we do with our money or anything else we treasure, determines what we really live for. And what we do with our money is determined by how we think about it. I’m starting this conversation with one goal in mind, encouraging you to give – to whatever! You and God know what you care about.

When I became a missionary, generosity and giving were two issues that God brought front and centre. I had to really depend on Him to provide my needs and He invited me to depend on Him through His children. He had given me grace to start this gloriously difficult journey but I still had obstacles to overcome. He was, and still is, teaching me to be increasingly dependent on and vulnerable with Him.

During the first couple months of my missions journey, the process exposed in me entitlement, self-righteousness and resentment (to name a few) because I didn’t understand that He has always been my source of ALL things, finances included. Recently I’ve begun to get it: my sustenance in all matters is secure because HE is my sustenance in all matters and HE is secure.

He’s also taught me that His faithfulness stands despite His method of delivery. Having been hurt by people (who hasn’t?), it was quite a leap of faith to depend on God in this way. I didn’t trust that God could move a human heart. His answer to that has been to redirect my gaze to Him and encourage me to keep it there.

I have decided to step out and give regards of my financial resources, because God is providing financial resources, even if I don’t see them yet. I’m entrenching myself into God’s economy – His ways of sowing and reaping. I’ve decided to join Him and sow into His Kingdom. I’ve committed to consistently giving but I’ve also committed to generous thinking. I’ve decided to live like I believe that if I seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness then all things will be added unto me.

I’ve made a choice to not only believe God in the area of finances, money, generosity (pick your word) but to live like it. Really, that’s when you know what you believe, when you live by it despite the circumstances. As I’ve made this decision, I’m regularly asking God for grace to live by it because, by myself, it ain’t happening.

Next week, we’ll talk about Biblical giving, bible verses and all. As I close, here’s one scripture that I find super instructive: “As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.” (1 Tim. 6:17, NKJV)

Until next week,

Jodi.

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Update: June 24, 2018

Hi, you may have visited this pst before and seen an IHOPU update here but I’ve changed a few things. I’ve moved the funding update that was in this spot to right here. Also, if you’d like more current updates of this IHOPU endeavour (and other trips I take in the future), please click here .

 

Bye for now 🙂

 

June 5 IHOPU Update

Hi all, here’s an IHOPU update:

I’ve received $15,000 JMD (depending on the conversion rate that’s between $118 to $120 USD). Praise God for first fruit 🙂 That leaves $18,382 USD to go! We wait for You Lord to manifest it.

Guys, please also continue to

1) Pray for this enterprise – Pray that the resources needed for this move will manifest: finances, favour, grace and wisdom. Please pray that I’ll be obedient and faithful as God makes this happen His way.

2) Pray about giving (For details, click here).

3) Share this blog.

Bye for now 🙂

 

“Leaving on a Jet Plane” Soon

Hello everyone!

Last week I introduced the blog and mentioned that I’m making plans to leave Jamaica to go to music school. Yup, come August 21, 2018, God-willing, I’ll be on a jet plane to Forerunner Music Academy (FMA) at International House of Prayer University (IHOPU) in Kansas City, Missouri, USA for 2 years. I believe that this direction is a necessary and timely step in God’s development for me as a prophetic worshipper.

Worship was one of the first places I learned to clearly hear God’s voice for myself. Spending time with God in worship empowers me to face any force – be it internal or external. I’ve come to realise that God wants me to facilitate for others what worship is for me – a space to encounter the living God. I believe it is vital that every follower of Jesus Christ knows what He is saying to them through the Bible (the written word of God) and the Holy Spirit (God, the day to day conversationalist). While I worked at Jamaica House of Prayer (JaHOP) September 2015 to 2017, I began to develop as a prophetic worshipper. It began as a wish I had, to be able to worship God as my vocation. It grew into God granting this wish, allowing me to give others the space to sit and seek Him while expressing His heart to them.

Plus, God gave me a keyboard! Zion (that’s her name) was one of God’s astounding confirmations that worship was to be my vocation. He moved people to give to the purchase, gave me two discounts and made up for an unplanned financial shortfall. By the time the keyboard arrived, I had a sense of awe – God was pulling out all of His stops to equip me to be a worshipping musician.

In January 2016 I went to IHOPU for a one week course. Before I returned to Jamaica, I knew I was to go back but I didn’t know when. During my time there, I knew I wanted to come back for a longer visit so I could sit with the Lord and strengthen myself as a musician, worshipper, intercessor, messenger of the Lord and most importantly, His beloved daughter.

About 2 weeks ago, I sent my application to IHOPU. What is now required is a bank statement as proof that I can pay for my tuition and living expenses while there. The US government requires this to prove that I will not try to seek my fortune there illegally. After the school gets the bank statement from me, once I am accepted, they will send me the form to apply for the student visa. I then need to fill out and send the form to the embassy, get the visa, then I’m off to IHOPU.

For this entire enterprise, I need to raise approximately $18,500USD/$2.4 million JMD. That figure accounts for the visa application, tuition, health insurance, airfare, living expenses (including food, rent, utilities, groceries, housing, transportation, etc), and other expenses for a year.

The figure of $18,500 USD covers the aforementioned expenses but to jump-start the school and visa application process I need $15,232 USD/$1.98 million JMD. This covers school and living expenses – the absolutely necessary stuff. This is the figure that the school needs to know I have. I will admit, initially, the figures daunted me. However, after months of God’s repeated assurance that this is His bill and my job is to show up and be obedient, I’ve calmed down.

As you read this, I ask 3 things of you:

1) Please pray for this enterprise – Pray that the resources needed for this move will manifest: finances, favour, grace and wisdom. Please pray that I’ll be obedient and faithful as God makes this happen His way.

2) Please pray about giving.

3) Please share this blog.

I’m excited to see how God makes this happen, it will be a story to tell!

Let’s trust God to make this happen. If you’d like to communicate with me about this endeavour and how you can support, you can leave a comment here or send me a direct message via Twitter or Instagram and I’ll get back to you.

Until next week,

Jodi.

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