Bishop Jordan Personal Articles to read and understand all about Prophecies.

Small Groups and Changed Lives

How Christ Changed Peter

A specific disciple whose life we can look at is the apostle Peter, who famously walked with Jesus on water. He is the perfect depiction of a three-dimensional human being who struggles with his own strengths and weaknesses. We see this conflict in him unfold when he encountered Jesus walking outside of their boat: 

28 Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” (Matthew 14:28-30). 

Jesus Was Patient With Peter

In the span of three verses, we see how bold, impulsive, presumptuous, and fearful Peter could be. Remember when Peter sliced off the high priests’ servant’s ear. Peter fought for Jesus when they were arresting Jesus.

Nevertheless, Jesus had to tell him to put his sword away. Peter’s interference is actually getting in the way of the will of God (Jn. 18:10). Every situation became a teaching moment. There was also an instance when Jesus started to prophesy about his future suffering and death. Peter rebuked Jesus.

Can you imagine that? Jesus sternly rebuked Peter in return. Jesus said he was a stumbling block and that he had no concern for the things of God (Matt. 16:21-23). 

In the Garden of Gethsemane, he warned his disciples that all of them would stumble and end up scattered. Peter, in all his sincerity, said that everyone else might stumble but not him. Yet Jesus continually warned him that. In fact, on that very day before the rooster crows, Peter would have denied him not just once but three times. Still, Peter could not reconcile himself with this and refused to accept it. Eventually, what Jesus said came to pass, and Peter was left hurt and in disbelief over what he had done (Lk. 22:54-62). 

Yet it was through this that he came upon his turning point. He understood the gravity of what he had done. When he came face to face with Jesus for the first time after the resurrection, Jesus asked him three times if Peter truly did love him. One for every time Peter betrayed him.

Understandably, he was hurt that Jesus asked him thrice. Yet, when Jesus responded affirmatively and told Peter to feed and tend to his lambs, Peter decided to hinge his entire life doing exactly that. He went on to continue serving the cause of Christ after the ascension of Jesus to heaven. Consequently, Peter set an example of what it meant to be a good servant-leader.

Leaders Must Be Patient Like Jesus Was

Leaders need to remember that Peter had to go through all these challenges to come out as the man he ended up being after the Pentecost. The change wasn’t immediate, and he made stupid decisions, but Jesus still restored him to the group.

In the same way, we as leaders must extend the same amount of patience and grace to our small group members. There will be times that the people in our small group will mess up as Peter did.  

In a small group, we establish friendships with others. Relationships are forged. As in any other relationship, conflicts and hurt can occur. 

We are all works in progress

There will be moments when we wonder why it takes such a long time for some people to change. Why are people so proud or stubborn?  Like the Twelve, we were still undergoing sanctification and transformation. 

They were still immature even after spending every day with Jesus for three years. Therefore, we shouldn’t be pushy with the members of our small groups.

We can sometimes find ourselves struggling with leadership and thinking of ourselves as unworthy vessels of Christ. But we can look to the twelve disciples. Remember, we’re not really that different from them.

The fact that Jesus chose ordinary, broken, flawed people to be his chosen twelve shows us that no matter how difficult some disciples are, they are still working in progress.  

As long as someone is willing to stay in a small group and wants to change, we should do our utmost best to lead them like how Jesus led the disciples. It was through the small group that Jesus largely taught and modeled what it meant to follow God, and it was through this close contact and interaction that the disciples ultimately changed. 

Jesus Cared About His Small Group

This is because Jesus didn’t view his small group as a mere organization model established to attain a goal. He didn’t do it to fulfill all righteousness. He cared more about the relationships being built and the spiritual foundations being established. More than anything else, the trust, love, and respect built that the disciples felt for him transformed their lives.

 Like the rest of us, Jesus could have chosen to stay neutral and detached, establishing his role in the lives of the disciples simply as a leader and nothing more. Yet, he allowed himself to be vulnerable to his disciples, allowing himself to be anguished and pained before them and asking for their support when he knew that the time for his arrest and crucifixion has come (Matt. 26:36-46). 

Foundations and Fellowship

Some of us don’t allow room for vulnerability in our relationships with the people in our small group because we want to be perceived a certain way. For certain people, it is their form of establishing their leadership over others, acting as if they’re too busy for small groups because they have so much to do in general ministry. However, this was not the model Jesus gave us, and this goes against how he designed and functioned in small groups. He allowed himself to move in a small group setting before moving into his more public ministry. And at the end of every big gathering held, he returned to mentoring his disciples and processing things with them after. 

Jesus built the very first small group by building the important foundations in their lives. He cared for them, he shared his lives with them, he served them and served with them, then he went on to empower them to make disciples even after he had gone. And it was because of this, what began as a small group of twelve turned into the billions of Christians that we have today. 

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Jesus Called The Twelve – First Small Group Ministry

Small Groups Were Fundamental

When we study the structure of how the early church did ministry, we will find that small groups have indeed existed since the time of Jesus. They did not tag them as “meetings.”

When Jesus started his ministry on earth, he sought out several people. They are twelve disciples – Christ’s own brand of a small group.

Jesus gave these men the honor of being the first disciples and Jesus’ ministry. They paved the way for Christianity to be as it is now.  

In the Bible, the first mention of anything is considered monumental. The first mention of the word dictates its true context. In the same vein, Jesus introduced discipleship in the context of a small group.  When Jesus called the 12, it represented the first form of small group ministry and discipleship in the Bible.

A Small Group of Disciples to Mentor

During the first century, it was common for leaders – be this in religion, philosophy, or politics – to have a dedicated group of followers and apprentices.

In Judaism at the time, it was common for rabbis to have their own set of apprentices following after their footsteps.

Normally, interested students would approach a rabbi they admire and ask if he would mentor them. If he agrees to take them on, they will only be considered a part of the rabbi’s group.

However, Jesus did the complete opposite and chose seemingly random people with not particularly noteworthy occupations. It was common for the rabbis to mentor the brightest pupils about the Jewish faith, so having a group with many fishermen was outside this norm.

Jesus’ Small Group Had Different Personalities

At the time, there must have been plenty of men who were seemingly qualified, educated, and teachable, so there must be a reason why Jesus chose these particular twelve. Interestingly enough, they came from backgrounds various enough for us not to detect a pattern.

The first he called out were brothers Peter and Andrew. They were fishermen. Jesus called the brothers James and John next.  Jesus came across them when they were still fishing with their father.

Though their occupations were not blatantly mentioned in the Bible, Philip, James, and Thomas, there is evidence they were also fishermen since they were fishing when Jesus showed himself to them after his resurrection.  

On the other hand, Matthew was a tax collector. In that culture, Jewish people despised this profession. Jewish people considered them traitors. They believed tax collectors were corrupt. 

Meanwhile, Simon used to be a zealot, a religious sect that instigated protests and rebellions to overthrow the Roman government.

The opposing views and personalities in this group show us that Jesus did not choose them based on their credentials or righteousness.

Bible commentators can say that these disciples lived rather ordinary lives before they chose to follow him. Advanced studies of the Gospels show that none of them were especially students of the law. 

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Highlight: Beware of the Birds

Highlight: Beware of the Birds

God is the Sower. Ultimately, nothing grows if He did not plant it. He uses people to establish His purposes. Most of the time, He can use you to share the Gospel with your friend. However, it’s also only God who can make things grow. 

Sometimes, we are the field by which God sows things. Unfortunately, there are times when we become the birds who snatch away the good that God has planted in the hearts of others.

Who are the Birds?

The church can attract different sets of people. Sometimes, the people are like the birds in the parable of Jesus.

Jesus uses these parables to warn us. There would be members of the church who can steal or kill or destroy what God has been doing. The enemy is like a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Every Christian must be vigilant. In fact, even Christians can be stirred in the wrong direction and become birds at one point in their lives.

Some people may also take advantage of the church community. They become members not because of their faith but because they want to be served. They want to benefit from belonging to the church. However, since there is no genuine repentance and Lordship in their lives, it ends up in chaos. Church leaders must be vigilant that “birds” do not steal the seed that has been planted for the church to grow. Birds snatch up the seed. They steal the seed so they cannot take root and bloom.

As true believers, we can take comfort in the fact that we can ask for wisdom from God. We must be careful to weed out such people so that they don’t steal away the fruits that have the potential to grow in our lives. God can sow a prophetic word in your heart, but birds (fear or doubt) can snatch them away. Nevertheless, birds have a purpose in the story.

Jesus still allowed the presence of Judas Iscariot as one of his chosen twelve even when he knew that Judas was bound to betray him (Jn. 6:70). This shows us that Jesus, in fact, allows or permits evil to coexist with good under his sovereignty and use it for his purposes. 

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The Sower, The Mustard Seed, The Field, The Tree, and The Birds

Variables in the Parable of the Mustard Seed

Five variables made up the parable:

  1. the sower,
  2. the mustard seed,
  3. the field,
  4. the tree,
  5. and then the birds who come over to live in it.

Bible scholars agree that the sower in this scenario is Jesus, while the mustard seed is the Gospel. 

The parable speaks of how the seed grew into a tree, and science shows us that it can grow up to twenty feet tall.

This is substantial growth considering that it came from a seed with the size of just 1 millimeter in diameter.  

And once the tree grows big and sturdy, birds start to flock to it and build their nests in it. Interestingly enough,  the author referred to the birds as the wicked ones in another parable (Matt. 13:4, 19). We must take note of these as we will address their vitality later on in this chapter. 

Some preachers take this parable and make it a case for how God will grow big things out of the small that we plant. And to an extent, this concept is Biblical.

In another parable recorded in the Gospels, Jesus makes it a point to say that those who can be entrusted with little will be entrusted with much (Lk. 16:10). This means that if we stay faithful with whatever has been given to us now, God will eventually expand our capacity and entrust us with more. 

The Field

However, if we take it strictly, we will find that we are not the sowers. Rather, we are the field in which the mustard seed has been planted.

Once Jesus plants the seed of the Gospel into our lives, it will grow within us and take deep root in our lives. What is important to note here is that the mustard seed is pungent and fiery. And in many ways, this is an accurate depiction of the Gospel once applied to our lives.

The Bible contains many commands and passages about God, what is expected of us, and what He created humanity to be that we wrestle with it. In fact, it is the reason why many people who encounter it choose to turn away from it – it burns, and it makes us squirm. 

The quality of the field when the sower plants the seed is crucial. Here, we can draw a parallel to another insight given to us by Jesus through the parable of the sower: 

3 And he told them many things in parables, saying: “Listen! A sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. 5 Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. 6 But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away. 7 Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. 8 Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9 Let anyone with earslisten!” (Matthew 13:3-9) 

The Farmer or the Seed Won’t Matter If the Soil is Bad

If the farmer planted the mustard seed on any other soil other than good soil, it wouldn’t really have borne good fruit.

We see this in the numerous people who attend church but don’t really stay.

God can use you to the tiny seed of the Gospel in other people’s hearts. However, if the state of their souls makes it impossible for these seeds to really take root and grow, then it won’t.

This can be discouraging for Christians to watch, especially if the fields still appear dry. However, we can rest in this: we can faithfully water the seeds God plants, and God will make them grow.  

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Breaking Down the Parable of the Mustard Seed

What does the mustard seed teach us?

Countless churches and Christians today look to the parable of the mustard seed. We must take cues from the values that Jesus was presenting to the early believers when he spoke of it.

Still, the parable has important facets that we can only understand if we have the same context and knowledge as the ones who initially heard it.

While most had come to understand and appreciate how the mustard seed was the smallest seed known when this parable was given, there are elements that we do not inherently know due to cultural differences.

Agriculture was an important topic for the listeners of Jesus. The listeners knew the specific traits and functions of the different kinds of seeds.

For instance, apart from the fact that the mustard seed was known for its size, its quality was also something that was to be noted. Apparently, it is also famous for being an irritant.

Should it touch a person’s skin, it can cause contact dermatitis. The place of contact will turn red and feel as if it is burning. In modern times, we mix it with vinegar, oils, wine. People need to mix other spices with it before the public can commercially consume the seed.

Small in size but with great potential

Legend tells us that when Darius, the king of Persia, invaded Europe with his army, he sent a bag of sesame seeds to Alexander the Great to symbolize that there are as many soldiers in his army as there are seeds in the bag. Stepping up to the plate, Alexander sent back a bag of mustard seeds to Darius as a way of saying that while their army may be many, his army is biting and fiery. Such was the case for the mustard seed – small in size but large in potential. 


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The Principle of the Mustard Seed

Everything Starts Small

Every large corporation that exists today started with a group of people who had a dream. Apple started with three friends in one garage. They started simply building computers as a hobby. One day, they decided to sell several units to distributors. They initially had trouble going up against Microsoft. They struggled with getting customers. But they kept on pushing until they came out with the ingenious iPod. As a result, they changed the entire landscape of portable technology as we know it.

Now, MacBooks and iPhones are viewed as status symbols. They have permeated the market in ways that were initially deemed impossible for them.

Facebook started with several students deciding to make an online community platform originally limited to Harvard. This expanded to different universities until it opened to the general public. It was not without its fair share of challenges and controversy. Right now, it continues to be the most-used online networking site with over 2 billion users.

Coca-Cola started with a curious pharmacist developing a unique-tasting soda and a partner deciding to market it to soda fountains. When it was just beginning, it only sold nine servings per day. Now, an astounding 1.9 billion servings of Coca-Cola are sold every day.

The Megachurch Started Not-So-Mega

In the same way, every megachurch that exists now started with a small group of believers who wanted to do something for the Lord and their community. They knew that they were faithful in what has been entrusted to them. Moreover, they must have had no clue that the church was going to blow up the way it did – and yet it did. Growth can attribute this fruitfulness to the amount of passion, toil, and sincerity that they put into the work of the Lord. It also says a lot about how great things come from small beginnings if these small things are entrusted to the Lord. 

A good story to look at is that of Ralph Moore, a 70-year old pastor. In 1971, he felt the Lord speak to him about planting a church, so he did. The Hope Chapel movement began with just him, his wife, and nine other people. He just did what he knew to do: speak about Jesus, who he is, and what he has done.  

Once the church became a megachurch that had already planted 29 other churches, he felt God call him to start another congregation, and so he obeyed once again. Before long, this congregation grew into a flourishing church planting movement, so much so that right now, there are 2,300 churches. About 220,000 people can attribute to this one man’s seemingly small act of obedience. And yet, for all he has accomplished, he can only attribute it to this: not a great strategy, but a great Savior.

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why the megachurch is criticized

Why The Megachurch is Criticized

The Risk of Disengagement

Despite these efforts, the megachurch has been constantly criticized for the sheer number of attendees per service would mean that there will be people who won’t get engaged or given enough attention.

Additionally, the setup of the worship service with a high stage and a large number of congregants can give off the impression of a concert.

Consequently, the attendees are mere spectators and faces in a crowd. Thousands more choose to attend for the thousands of people who choose to commit to the megachurch and get involved. They do so simply because they get to live in some anonymity. They cannot do that if they join a smaller church.

A large number of attendees attend each service. Therefore, some locations can host more than 5,000 people at a time. The multiple services run each weekend.

The majority of the people are scrambling out of the venue even before the service has ended. There isn’t really time to talk with friends afterward, nor can people loiter inside the hall because everyone has to be cleared out, and the room must be re-done completely within 15 minutes.

 Some consider megachurches’ worship time as mere experiential performances. Similar to rock concerts, the music team leads worship with fog machines and synchronized lights.

We are guilty of pointing a lot of fingers in the way of megachurches for their strict programs. The traditional churches would claim that these megachurches leave no room for the Holy Spirit.

Moreover,  they would accuse the megachurch of the “specularization” of something that is supposed to be sacred.

Is it too personality-driven?

A harsher criticism is that megachurches follow a largely questionable ideology. 

For instance,  megachurches are largely leader-driven, with one specific point person that most churches look up to.

This can be the senior pastor or the president of an organization of ministries. But while this leader is almost certainly of ministerial position, this leader is a minister who cannot attend to everything. Most attendees have probably never met the leader in person.

The purpose then of the leader is to embody a vision and get the members to act on this. The criticism for Christian celebrities is present. It adds to the seemingly impersonal setup of megachurch services. 

Opening Doors for More People

At the end of the day, megachurches have done their part in making ministries and discipleship available for all who attend. To balance out the distance between the senior minister and the general attendee, they have employed small groups, also known as Bible studies, care groups, or fellowship groups.

As a solution to the increasing number of attendees, the megachurch has chosen to empower its leaders and allow them the authority to shepherd and disciple their communities within these groups. In this context, they really get to build relationships with each other and discuss their personal problems, along with Biblical truths. Those who attend small groups are active members. Most megachurches make it a foundational requirement for volunteers and leaders. In this scenario, the small group leader then takes on the role of being a minister to his or her members.  

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The Bible has repeatedly stressed the obligation of the believer to aid those who are in need.

SOCIAL JUSTICE: The Bible has repeatedly stressed the obligation of the believer to aid those who are in need. The purpose why the Lord provides for us is for personal sustenance, and to help others who need it. When we only use our income for personal gain, then we are moving into social injustice. We are not doing our part to contribute to society. Even when the bible stressed this obligation to help the less fortunate, there is no specific term for it.

Tzedakah is something the Rabbis adopted to apply to charity, in the context of social justice.

Tzedakah’s literal meaning is “righteousness” or “justice,” as in the famous biblical phrase, “Tzedek, Tzedek, tirdof” (“Justice, justice, shall you pursue”; Deut. 16:20). Charity is not merely a generous or magnanimous act.

For the Israelites, giving is the performance of a religiously mandated duty to provide something to which the needy have a right. By providing the chance to carry out an important mitzvah, the poor man gives the giver more in accepting the alms, than the giver does for the poor man in giving him charity. How come? The poor man allows the giver to be blessed a hundredfold.

The blessings come according to the individual’s obedience to God’s divine laws and commands.

God determines who He is going to bless with wealth and who is going to be poor. He is the ultimate owner of all human possessions. The blessings come according to the individual’s obedience to God’s divine laws and commands. Understandably, the one who has faith in the Lord would obey, and be blessed. On the other hand, the one who doubts the Word of God would ignore His commands and would find himself in lack. A person who believes in the Lord should be willing to give whatever he or she has to fulfill the divine will of the Lord.

Leaning towards social justice:

There is a need to consider the Jewish view of charity. Christians focus on charity as motivated by the love for fellow human beings. The Jewish view is more realistic and leaning towards social justice. They believe in giving to those who need help and doing it because it is right — as they have the resources and they have the need.

It does not mean that Jewish ethics have no concept of love or philanthropy. Instead, they believe in going above the requirements of the law, as an act of lovingkindness. As in the last chapter, there are different kinds of givers. Aspire to be the generous giver and set apart a portion of what God has given to you to bless others.

A Divine Attribute

Having the tzedakah spirit, or a philanthropic spirit is a divine attribute since God upholds the cause of the fatherless and the widows (Deut. 10:18). If God does so, then the one who gives to those who need it partners with the Lord. Giving to the poor is regarded as an essential element of the righteous life. It is not enough to simply fast and do your devotions. What good is that if there is no fruit?

Action must back up your faith. Action reveals the faith of the person.

The prophet Isaiah castigated those who fast and do nothing afterward. He is telling the believers to fast and share their bread with the hungry or take the poor into your home. Action must back up your faith. Action reveals the faith of the person.

The Prophet Ezekiel (16:49) prophesied about the destruction of Sodom because of its lack of charity: they “had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy.” King Solomon talked about the noble wife giving generously to the poor, her hands being stretched out to help the need (Prov. 31:20).

Here’s another passage that is interesting, “Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and will be repaid in full” (Prov. 19:17). How amazing is this Word? When you are generous, it is the Lord whom you are lending to, and it is also the Lord who would pay you back in full. King Solomon also wrote to do what is right (tzedakah) is more desired by the Lord than sacrifice (Prov. 21;3). The Lord values the one who goes beyond what the Law says.

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The Tzedakah Spirit

“The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And, the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference. Because of indifference once dies before one actually dies.”

Elie Wiesel

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:13 NRSV

The distinction of Tzedakah (צְדָקָה)

There is a different kind of giving that emerges from the bible. Târumah can be considered tzedakah, especially when it is in the context of taking care of your leaders — people whose duty does not allow them to make a profit for themselves.

The word tzedakah (tsuh-DOCK-ah) is a Hebrew term that literally means “righteousness”. In the Jewish culture, tzedakah pertains to charitable giving or philanthropy. In Judaism, the weight of this word goes beyond charity. It refers to doing good to ensure that the needs of others are met.

In the context of the târumah, the giver does not only give to fulfill traditions or duties. Instead, there is a spirit that has compassion for the well-being of the priests, as servants of God. They are doing their part to serve their spiritual leaders. The tzedakah offering does not only include the târumah, but it refers to what we now know as a benevolence fund.

Tzedakah is a foundational spiritual practice. Tzedakah was a central obligation of Jewish life, whether the person is rich or poor.

The practice of giving is not according to a person’s economic station or spiritual accomplishments. In the Jewish culture, life begins and ends in tzedakah, and so it must not be an issue or a struggle. When a child is born, the Jewish father pledges a certain amount of money for the distribution of the poor. At the funeral, the mourners contribute coins to the beggars who swarm the burial area.

The tzedakah is practiced in order to remind the individual that at every turn of one’s life, giving is present. Every celebration or holiday is usually accompanied by gifts. In Jewish culture, generosity is a way of life. During holidays, they would pass around a box wherein coins are dropped for the support of different charities.

The well-off home has a series of boxes for different purposes. If something good or bad happens to the family, a coin is dropped in the box. The children are also trained in the habit of giving.

The father would encourage this habit by having his son give the alms to the beggar, instead of handing them over directly. Jewish people grow up with the gesture of giving becoming almost a reflex. How blessed is a person whose habit is to give, instead of to take?

Jewish people grow up with the gesture of giving becoming almost a reflex.

If we study the proper context of “love your neighbor as yourself” (Lev.19:18), it is not a command to feel as loving toward another as you do toward yourself, but to love your neighbor as part of yourself. Love is an action. It is about taking care of others, as you do yourself. Thus, giving tzedakah leads to the realization that there is no self or other —  giving to the needy is like taking money from your right hand and placing it into your left.

Tzedakah is a practice in which anyone can engage. Unlike the word “charity,” which has its origins in the Latin Caritas, “heart,” tzedakah comes from the Hebrew word tzedek, which means “justice.”

Charity is done by someone whose heart is awakened (Ruach), something not everyone has experienced.

Tzedakah, on the other hand, challenges you to be just. Even the person who has a scarcity-fearing egoic consciousness (Neshamah) can support this principle, since creating a system of just earning and use of finances protects you as well as others.
According to Moses Maimonides, a great medieval philosopher, there are eight degrees of tzedakah (with number 1 being the ultimate and number 8 being the most basic) still followed today:
  1. Seeing to a person’s independence by providing a person with a job, entering into a partnership that allows the person to establish a business, giving an interest-free loan, giving a grant.
  2. Giving tzedakah anonymously through a reputable third party and without knowing who will receive the aid.
  3. Displaying anonymously to a known recipient.
  4. Showing publically to an unknown recipient.
  5. Offering without being asked.
  6. Allowing generously after being asked.
  7. Awarding gladly but not generously.
  8. Giving grudgingly.

The highest form of charity is when you prevent others from ever becoming poor, such as by offering a loan or employment or investing in someone’s business.

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THE THREE KINDS OF GIVERS:  In the Rabbinic tradition, the proportion by which a person gives reveals the person’s heart. The generous man — the man with a good eye — gives 1/40 of his income to the priest. In other words, he gives 2.5% to the priest, on top of the 10% he gives as his tithe.

If the income of this generous man is $10,000, then $1000 is given back as his tithe, and $250 is given to the priest as a heave-offering.

The fair man gives back 1/50 or 2% portion of his income outside of the tithe. Whoever gives 1/60 or below above the tithe is referred to as a stingy man or the miserly. In other words, someone who gives 1.6% or less of his income, outside of the tithe is considered tightfisted.

The generous man — the man with a good eye — gives 1/40 of his income to the priest.

The Târumah Offering Principle No. 11

A         [This is] the [required] measure of heave offering:

B         [If a man is] generous, [he separates] one-fortieth [of his produce].

C         The House of Shammai say, “One-thirtieth.”

D         And [if he is] average, [he separates] one-fiftieth [of his produce].

E         And [if he is] miserly, [he separates] one-sixtieth [of his produce]

A blessing is declared upon the entire increase by separating the târumah from the rest of the income.

The Târumah is producing that is separated from the harvest and given to the priest as a gift, and it is a personal thing for the giver. A blessing is declared upon the entire increase by separating the târumah from the rest of the income. Ideally, the person reciting the blessing must be able to hear himself say it.

Once it is separated the târumah is consumed by the priest and their families alone, and this food could not revert to the status of Hullin, or the food that is consumed by non-ministers.

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God gives you the heart to be generous

God gives you the heart to be generous, and the means to be generous. God covers all grounds. When you limit your giving based on your current circumstance and the money in your bank account or your wallet, then you would be paralyzed. You are unable to part with your material wealth because you are relying on your own ability.

However, when you fix your eyes on the power and love of the Lord, then this opens your perspective to see the bigger picture. You are not the source of your generosity. Paul reveals the secret to generosity is simply stepping out in faith and giving.

Decide in your heart to be a cheerful giver.

God is the One who will bestow gracious abundance on those who give generously as it is that He will bless the generous with resources to give generously.

Paul defines the blessing of grace as having all sufficiency in all things. The term “Sufficiency”, which came from the Greek word autarkeia, is the state of possessing all that one needs so that he is able to manage without any help or support from others. Philippians 4:11 distinguishes the idea of “contentment” (as in Phil. 4:11).

However, it is an indirect result. The idea implies that the generous man curtails his own wants that he may be able to give to others, thus not being in want any longer.

A generous man is motivated by God’s own spirit of blessing.

The truth involved is probably close to that of Philippians 4:19, which is also expressed in the context of the Philippians’ generosity. Said in another way, a generous man is motivated by God’s own spirit of blessing. This man does not fear that God will leave him penniless. The God who puts it into a man’s heart to be generous with his material wealth will also ensure that his needs are supplied so that this man abounds in every good work. In other words, he is always able to contribute to the good work God intended for the church to do on earth

How to Give Your Heave Offering

Is the tithe the same as the heave-offering? The short answer is no. The heave-offering is often given in conjunction with the tithes (Lev. 7;14, 34) as a provision for the Levites. The Levites are the priestly tribe the Lord assigned to be ministers. They have no land of their own, and could not grow their own food.

Their life’s calling and vocation are to serve the Lord. They depended on the Lord’s provision through tithes and heave offerings (Num. 18:24, 29).

The heave-offering, like the tithe, is given from the person’s first fruits, that is, out of the first portion of the produce harvested each year (Num.15:21).

The heave-offering is designed and permitted to be consumed only by the priests.  According to Jewish traditions, only the proprietor was allowed to set apart the târumah. In other words, it is the giver who intentionally gives the târumah set apart for its purpose as a heave offering.

In ancient Israel, there was a sacred character to the târumah.

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THE KIND OF GIVING GOD COMMENTS: Paul wrote to the church in Corinth about the generosity that pleases the Lord. Generosity is a heart issue, not a money issue. A person’s generosity is measured against his willingness to give, and not in the amount that he is giving. A person can give a million dollars with a reluctant heart, and the Lord would be displeased and dishonored by it. Compare it with a person who gives a hundred dollars for his tithe, which is double what is required of him, because of his willingness to give to the Lord and his desire to please God. The Lord would be pleased with the $100, and displeased with the $1,000,000.

Paul wrote, “Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor. 9:7).

In the passage, it is clear that Paul addresses this letter to “each of you”, suggesting that the amount given will be different from one individual to another. The amount does not determine the attitude of the heart when it comes to giving the offering.

The amount does not determine the attitude of the heart when it comes to giving the offering.

Paul notes three important things about the giver. First, he should give according to as he purposes in his heart. We see a parallel to this in Exodus 25:1-2.  The giving must be free and deliberate, not under compulsion. It is not on a mechanical scale that one gives. It must be absolutely voluntary, and it must be the man’s worship to his God.

Another thing Paul listed here is that the give must not give grudgingly or out of necessity. The giver must not be grieved by his sacrifice. A person’s grief is based on his perspective. If he feels he is losing money — period — then he would be sorrowful. If he knows that God is faithful to reward those who are faithful and obedient to His word, then this would be a joyful process.

Finally, the giver must be cheerful in the process.

The word “cheerful” (Greek hilaros) implies that one is quick to act because he finds joy in the action. Paul further reveals how our generous God also loves a cheerful giver. He approves and chooses this kind of giver. How come? Because this giver reflects the nature and identity of the Lord. God is cheerful when He blesses us. He absolutely enjoys it. When we have the same attitude in giving, He loves seeing His image in His children.

God is cheerful when He blesses us. He absolutely enjoys it. When we have the same attitude in giving, He loves seeing His image in His children.

The Source of What We Give

Giving is a faith issue and not a supply issue. The giving is not dependent on what you currently. Instead, it is based on your heart to believe in God. What did Paul write, “And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work” (2 Cor. 9:8). Every word of the first part of the verse alone speaks a lot about how the ability to give comes from God:

God is able to provide

God is able to provide you

God is able to provide you with every

God is able to provide you with every blessing

God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance.

The second part of the verse reveals God’s purpose. First, so that you can always have enough of everything. Second, so you may share abundantly in every good work. The purpose of the blessing is to bless you and to enable you to contribute — to give your offering.

The purpose of the blessing is to bless you and to enable you to contribute — to give your offering.


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