Showing items filed under “Marc Stern”


2 Samuel 24:24 (NIV)

24 But the king replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen and paid fifty shekels[a] of silver for them.

When WE use terms like offering and sacrifice, what exactly does that mean to GOD? We give God our time, we serve in our churches, and we give of our finances, but how does God view these things? I would venture to say, if what we are offering means little to nothing to us…it probably means little to nothing to God. It’s like the concept of regifting things that we didn’t want in the first place. If the receiver of the gift knew that it didn’t cost us anything to give, the gift would probably lose some of its’ value.  Sometimes we rush through the routine of giving and miss the fact that what we are giving is slowly losing its value.

David had sinned in numbering the people of Israel, and judgment had come.  David’s heart was now repentant and tender before God, and so Gad the prophet tells him to build an altar unto the LORD. Instead of offering something that cost him nothing, he paid for it.  He bought the threshing floor and the oxen, when he could have gotten it for free.  But so what...David was a king with virtually unlimited funds.  You see, David’s heart valued his relationship with God.  He was brought to a place of TRUE remorse and repentance, and that is what gave value to what he offered.  The fact that he WANTED to pay meant more to God than the fact that he paid.

The value of what we give God doesn’t come from the cost or size of the offering. It comes from the heart of the one who gives it

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In John 12:20-25, we see the reach and impact of Jesus' ministry.  These Gentile converts and even more so, the world, was ready to see Jesus. They were hearing and seeing and experiencing the impact of His ministry and they wanted more. 

Our world wants and needs to see Jesus, whether they realize it or not.  This is evident by ALL that we see around us.  The addiction, the depression, the pain, the hatred, and on and on...all speaks to the fact that..."we would like to see Jesus."   It's like the person who is hurting, and instead of saying I'm hurting...they hurt other people.  The world is hurting, they need everything that Jesus is, and they express this hurt every night on the 7 p.m. news.

So, where is HE?  Where is Jesus?  He is hiding!  Jesus takes a kernel of wheat and the process that it goes through, to explain how HE would reach the world.  A kernel of wheat is more than just a kernel of wheat.  An apple seed is more than just an apple seed.  Inside ONE apple seed apple tree, apples, more seeds, orchards, apple pies, apple cider vinegar, apple sauce...and etc...  Get the picture?  The seed must be buried in the ground and die in order for the potential that is hidden inside to come out, and this is exactly why Christ died.  He wanted a harvest and He was the seed. 

The world needs what Christ has hidden inside of us.  The problem is that many times we are so afraid of dying, of disappointing people, and of being perceived as religious, that we just play it safe.  We protect and preserve our life, and keep Christ hidden.  We keep our talents hidden, and we keep the things He speaks to our heart to do, hidden.

When the truth is, if we sow our life for the kingdom of God.  The world will be the harvest!

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