The Phil Files

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Archive for the ‘giving’ tag


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Ouch! Grrr! I hate fox paws (faux pas) in my writing, especially when those paw prints make such a huge difference!

In this case, the difference was only one letter — I left out the letter “r” in the following sentence: “the offering to David for fee” in our SH!FT devotional (see at the bottom of this post) this morning. Little things can make a big difference just like there is a huge difference between getting something for “free” and getting something for a “fee”!

God gave Jesus as a sacrifice for us and the gift is freely given. That is what grace means: a free gift from the heart of God!

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23 NAS).

See also this same phrase in Romans 5:15-16 as Paul reminds us that we are saved by God’s free gift of grace and there is no “fee” for what we have received.

Some thing of giving or tithing or sharing their offering with God as a “fee” — the cost of doing business with God. But in reality, all of our acts of holiness and discipleship are responses to God’s gracious gift, Jesus’ incredibly loving sacrifices, and the Spirit prompting us to respond by taking on our Father’s character (2 Corinthians 8:9) and 2 Corinthians 9:15).

So I guess I will get forgiveness for my gooberheaded mistake, but I will never forget that there is a huge difference between “free” and “fee”!



Just for your insight, here are a couple of videos on giving we found to be thoughtful, humorous, and also convicting:




Shift Masthead


But King David replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on paying the full price. I will not take for the LORD what is yours, or sacrifice a burnt offering that costs me nothing.”

1 Chronicles 21:24


King David had sinned and God was dealing with David’s sin forcefully. In full contrition, David steps in and intercedes for the people of Israel, confessing to God that he, Israel’s shepherd, had sinned, not the people. He should be punished, but not them. God instructed David to build an altar and make a sacrifice at the threshing floor of Araunah. When Araunah saw the angels of God and David, he offered the threshing floor and the oxen for the offering to David for fee. But David refused. His offering to God would not have been David’s offering unless it comes comes from his hand, at his expense, as his gift to God. And so it is with us.


Father, you have graciously forgiven me at the great expense of Jesus’ life. You have blessed me incredibly with the presence of your Holy Spirit. You have given me many blessings, both physical and spiritual. So please accept my heartfelt offerings to you as I pledge to give to the work of your Kingdom generously, cheerfully, and thankfully, recognizing the privilege I have of being your child. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

_related scriptures

Core 7, give

Written by phil

March 4th, 2011 at 12:20 pm

Reverse Offering?

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Some folks thought it sounded crazy. Some folks thought it sounded crazy cool. A number of folks gave to the fund anonymously to help make sure it could happen. 85 folks left church with more money than they came with and they also left with a mission to share that money in ways that change people’s lives in the name of Jesus.

On November 23, Southern Hills members who attended Refresh had the opportunity to participate in a Reverse Offering.  Eighty-five envelopes containing a total of $2,500 (all of which had been given by anonymous benefactors for the purpose of the Reverse Offering) were handed out to volunteers. They gave their name and email and promised to share how they used the money to bless others. Every person I’ve heard from took the task very seriously, looking at people in a very different way and prayerfully going about finding the right person in answer to prayer. One of the exciting things about this is that we have heard from people from all sorts of age groups who picked up one of the 85 envelopes to help. Generosity and concern know no generational limitations in the Lord’s family.

Read some of the stories about the reverse offering.

Like most churches, our finances have been extremely tight as the economy issues have settled in, so there was some wondering about how smart it would be to give money to folks to give money to the needs they saw in our community. However, the stories of how this has impacted both giver and receiver, and the anticipated stories we believe we will be able to tell about how it has impacted our church family, are incredible.

Paul knew a statement Jesus made that wasn’t recorded in one of the four Gospels. He shared this statement with men he was seeing for the last time. He was close to them and was pointing them to God’s way of leading His people:

In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35 TNIV).

So maybe we shouldn’t call it a “reverse offering,” maybe we should call it a “blessed offering” for our church and those who participated.

As Paul said as he wrapped up his instructions about giving to the Corinthians, “Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!” (2 Corinthians 9:15)

Written by phil

December 5th, 2008 at 8:47 am