SUFFERING or OFFERING?

Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into without thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. (The Message)

Still talking about me and my offering, a while ago, I brought out my N1000 to put in the offering envelope and felt good about giving the highest denomination but during the Sunday school, I struggled to bring out a miserable N200, I quickly pushed it into the enveloped so that nobody will see it. I felt I was being a great giver, at least people around will now know that I have tried, a whole N1,200 in one Service? However, looking at this critically, I discovered that this is the system of the world. Rom 12: 2 says “Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into without thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God……. Unlike the culture around, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. (The Message)”. How can I go to an eatery and spend N1,200 for a plate of rice and chicken and bottle of soft drinks without even thinking I spent a fortune and then the same N1,200 now becomes a big offering that I can flaunt in church? I have just been dragged into the level of the world’s immaturity.

Who was I deceiving or trying to impress? Definitely not God! The Bible says “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow and is a discerner of the thoughts and the intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do”. (Emphasis mine).Why do we humans, especially Christians think we can hide anything from God. I am so in awe of God because he sees right through me! If I like, I can deceive others or even succeed in deceiving myself, but God is not mocked!

Like I was sharing with some people in my believers’ class on sometime ago, we tend to give excuses and think God is impressed. We do this because we don’t fear God. Isn’t it scary to lie to your Maker? To pretend you are offering your best, whereas, your best is reserved for your children’s new clothes, your spouse’s designer wristwatch, your latest handbag and your family’s next summer holiday? Is it because God is not a task master that bangs a stick on your head whenever you don’t offer your best, so we take him for granted? Most of us dare not absent ourselves from work without due notice to our employers but we will absent ourselves from workers meeting in Church because nobody is going to sanction us! We receive calls or ping during church services whereas our phones dare not ring when in a meeting in the office. God sees us and knows what goes on in our hearts. He cannot be mocked!

Some other people play with sin and say, ‘I have tried to stop the bad habit but I think it’s my cross, after all, nobody is perfect” but deep down in their hearts, they still enjoy the dividends of sin. They have refused to appropriate all the provisions God has made for them in the grace available through the blood of Jesus. Whereas, this same people are ‘performers’ in their places of work. They exhaust all the options and resources available to them to ensure that their tasks are completed. Are you truly and thoroughly spent for God? There is no hiding place, He see all things including the intents of your heart. Give him your all. When you do this, you’ll be amazed at the level of maturity and God’s wisdom that will be at work in your life. When you talk, wisdom is seen, when you relate with your colleagues or family members, an unexplainable maturity is displayed. His word says, “Unlike the culture around, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you”. Rom 12: 2(The Message)

Be a living sacrifice, offer your best and see God move you to a new level of maturity in Him. Remember, God cannot be mocked or deceived! Shalom!

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