Monday, December 11, 2006 

What do you mean it's not mine?

I think that for allot of people that are not Christians that one of the things that can turn then off from Christianity is the topic of money. All you have to do is turn on your T.V. set and you will understand why. There are many ministers today (as well as in the past) that see the possibility to make allot of money as their ministry puts them into a unique position of power. The unfortunate thing is that these types of ministries are very much in the minority and yet because of what they do they will always get allot of attention. The focus of writing this article is not to talk about those people but to attempt to bring out the Biblical facts of what the purpose of giving is all about. For a committed Christian this is true Joy in giving yourself to God. This includes every area of your life. A Christian must understand that everything that we enjoy in this life is really God's. Giving is so much more then simply putting money in the collection plate. It is learning to step by step turn our lives over to the Lord.


What does this mean?

I find one of the most striking examples of this idea is found in
Matthew 25:14-30
The Parable of the Talents
14"Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. 15To one he gave five talents[a] of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. 17So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. 18But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money.

19"After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. 'Master,' he said, 'you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.'

21"His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'

22"The man with the two talents also came. 'Master,' he said, 'you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.'

23"His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'

24"Then the man who had received the one talent came. 'Master,' he said, 'I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.'

26"His master replied, 'You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.

28" 'Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. 29For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. 30And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'

We have been entrusted with life and life's resources and given the privilege of responsibly and joyfully managing them for Him.

What else does God's Word say about this?

Gen. 2:15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.

Ps. 24:1 The earth is the LORD'S, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.

1 Chron. 29:14 But whom am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand.

Luke 12:48 From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.

1 Tim. 6:17-19 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.

How is this done?

As children of God and people that belong to Jesus Christ, and with the Holy Spirit's help, we can:

• Learn how to properly manage our life and life's resources for God's

• Live to live joyfully as we learn what proportionate living and giving in all
areas of life really means for our live.

• Receive and use God's gifts with thanksgiving.

Easier said then done!

One day it will not matter the size on our bank accounts on this Earth, only the treasures awaiting us in Heaven. The less time it takes us to understand this concept ,the more time we will spend being the kind of givers that the Lord desires us to be.

Saturday, December 09, 2006 

The little things...

Have you ever had one of those moments? Those moments that can only be described as Holy. I had one of those moments this past Friday. One Thursday I got a phone call from a woman that called our church first requesting money. I am unable to give away money as I don’t have access to the church treasury and I will always keep it that way. I am thankful for the elders and my congregation and their wisdom in the way that they use the funds given to the church. When people call asking for help I either offer them use of what we have in our food pantry which we usually keep well stocked or I ask them to come to one of our worship services where they can meet with our elders to discuss their needs. On Thursday a woman called asking for money and I explained why I could not immediately help with her need. She wanted some money to go on a trip to see a dying relative and at least in some ways it was a strange request. I told her that I would call her back after I talked with my elders for her. I did and later that afternoon I called her back. I told her that we might be willing to help but that we would like to come to her house and visit her. She agreed but then she admitted that really she just needed some things and was not really going to be going on a trip. Surprised by her honesty I asked her what she really needed. She replied, “It has been really cold lately and I do have heat in my room. It would be so nice to get a few more blankets and perhaps some socks.” (It had been cold. Really cold for Louisiana. It had been 26 to 28 degrees for the past three nights and while that may not seem that cold most people in Louisiana do not have the best cold climate protection as most of the time it is just not that cold here.) I was stunned and I told her that we would be over to see her in a couple of hours.

We got there and the house was no bigger then most of our living rooms and four people lived there. They had one very small gas heater that would not do too much good for the whole house. I went inside and that is when I had this moment. As we are talking to this woman about how we can help her a young boy enters the room and after about five minutes. I would guess that he is probably 16 or 17. After a few more minutes as we are talking with the woman the boy begins to cry and I can’t help but ask what is wrong. Things are just so tough right now. I want to help everyone and get us what we need but I just can’t do it he says. The hardest thing is seeing her suffer he says. As this point I am fighting to hold back my tears. I let him talk a little more and then with a huge smile I am able to look him straight in the eyes and say Don’t worry, we are going to help you today. It felt soo good to be able to say that because I knew without a shadow of a doubt that at that very moment that my elder and I were doing the will of God. I don’t claim to always know that but this was a special moment, and yes a Holy moment for me. Not because I was there or because I want to pat myself on the back but because I had the awesome privilege to give something to someone in the name of Jesus. That is one of the huge blessings of being a minister. Being able to focus on doing God’s work on this Earth. I don’t mean to say that only ministers do God’s work. I know of many people that do God’s work in many ways. These people are the hands, the feet, the mouths of Jesus on this Earth. I just needed to have that moment where I could feel the holiness of doing exactly what God wanted me to be doing. I will never forget that day and that moment as long as I live.

Words are just so small to try to describe how much it really means to be in the position to help others in the name of Jesus Christ. So what does all of this mean for you? I guess I f anything I just want to encourage all of you to know that the little things do matter. That we serve a God that is interested in the little things that we do. He is interested in helping people that no one else wants to help. I love God for so many reasons but one of my favorite things is how he loves us all equally. I want more then anything else in my life to show that love to others. To help them see, even just for a moment, how much God really loves them.

I would love to hear about your “moments” with the Lord.

About me

  • I'm Michael Potthoff
  • From Lake Charles, Louisiana, United States
  • My name is Michael Potthoff and I am 27 years old. I was raised in League City, Texas (close to Houston) I have a beautiful, godly wife name Ruth who makes me a better man! I have been in ministry close to 5 years now and Jesus Christ is my passion. Preaching His good news is something that I truly love! I am blessed to be able to do something that I truly love.
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