One thing I find so refreshing as I study (not casually read) the Scriptures especially the Gospels (John is my favorite) is that the ministry of Jesus was revolutionary and hard to handle by those who were a part of the established religious sects. Jesus’ ministry did not placate the traditions and rituals of men, but it revealed them for what they really were before God and man. We too must love God and man enough to be willing to call a spade a spade and tell the truth. But we seem not to want to do this. But Jesus had no problem with telling the religious folks of his day the truth, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. 28Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.” (Matthew 23:27-28) If Jesus would do this today he would be run out of most churches I know. I wonder why we dance around the truth not wanting to offend? Believe it or not the answer may surprise you. Why we fail to keep the standards God has established is because we lack truthfulness and integrity within the Body of Christ. I will be the first to say oh me here at times. If we really cared we would be quick (by loving them enough) to let our brothers and sisters know when they are getting off track. Do we not do this with our own children? And does God do this with us? Yes! The Writer of Hebrews shares, “And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 6For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 7If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 8But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.” (Hebrews 12:5-8) Jesus endured chastening by His Father and is the servant greater than the Master? Please make no mistake my friend I take no pleasure in tickling your ears with denominational falsehoods and plain lies, my goal is to share things with you, God has worked into my life that will help you to grow in the grace and the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. My friend when it is all said and done this is God’s goal in our lives and if we have not allowed Him to do this in us then we have failed, not succeeded. If we truly want to serve God we will have to step outside the accepted religious norms and all of the busy work that goes along with membership at a church and be led by the Holy Spirit. We cannot follow (Matthew 7:13-14) the crowd, remember it is the broad road that is crowded with people fighting to get ahead in a world of business, religion, and traditions, but this road leads to destruction. This road is filled with many deceived people my friend. The other road Jesus talked about the narrow road (which leads to life) take heed my friend Jesus also said, “few there be that find it” Find what the road? No the life of God which is only found on the narrow way, the restricted, and limited way we must walk to be able to enter into God’s life. Yet today in most big churches we have “new member” classes when someone gives their hearts to the Lord. Why? Are we indoctrinating or sharing the Gospel? Are we not one body? Paul thinks we are, “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. 13For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 12:12-13) Who are we trying to fool, certainly not the world, they know better. Even those in the world can read between the lines and see how we have set up ourselves ahead of God in so many ways. We are not to be so concerned with making peace with man that we forsake the requirement to make peace with God. It seems many Christians today are more concerned and would rather disappoint God for the appearance of unity and peace, so people will come, give money, and fill up their building, than to be honest before God. Why are there so many different denominations? I have been asking this question for years and no one can answer my question.

In the church today this deception and disillusionment is easily seen between the two groups of people Givers and Takers. We can further break them down into carnal and spiritual if we want. Now from the start we must establish how important giving is. Giving is the heart of the Gospel message. John captured this truth well when he recorded God’s heart, “for God so loved the world that He gave . . .” (John 3:16) Giving is at the heart of all we do in God. And if God cannot teach you to become a Giver He cannot use you. I will even go further and say we cannot be a real Christian unless God can teach us to be Givers. Now giving is much more than throwing in a few bucks in the offering plate when it passes by. God is not after our money this is a selfish and self-centered worldly concept that gets its power from our greedy carnal unrepentive nature. I am amazed at the number of messages I have heard in my life about giving money to the church so God will bless me. Is God’s blessing tied to money? How vain and presumptuous to think so. Being blessed by God in American means you drive the right car, wear the right clothing, or live on the right side of the tracks, how shallow. If this be true all of the Christians I have met in Africa and Asia who have no money must not be blessed. Well, my friend I would say they have been blessed far beyond (the Western churches standards) measure with: hope, peace, contentment, joy (not happiness), and so much more. Who would want money when you can have all of this? And I find it amazing these people who have nothing would give you the last bite of bread. Maybe they have learned something about giving. Pastors and preachers who preach on money are Takers. God is not interested in our money oh no God is interested on us giving ourselves unconditionally to Him. He knows if He can win our heart then our wallet will follow. Charles Haun always said, “once God gets a hold of our wallet He has all of us.” But our wallet is not God’s target it is our heart broken and submitted before Him. We Christians in America need to forget about money and start focusing on God what is truly important what God wants to do in our lives. Here are some points that highlight the difference between Takers and Givers. I am sure you can think of more, but I would ask you to prayerfully evaluate your self against these points.

Taker verses Givers

1. A Taker is more concerned with what they get from their giving, but a Giver is only concerned with what God is doing.
2. A Taker counts the cost of his giving while a Giver gives beyond his ability.
3. A Taker always looks for a return on his investment while a Giver does not care what they get back they has been taught it all belongs to God.
4. A Taker can tell you every time they gave and did not get something in return while a Giver never keeps track.
5. A Taker delights in reducing men to service for their personal gain while a Giver just delights in serving.
6. A Taker enjoys the power of authority, being in the limelight, and directing affairs of others while a Giver likes the back seat of the car.
7. A Taker goes for comfort while a Giver does not mind enduring.
8. A Taker likes surrounding himself with people (who look to him as the leader) while a Giver gets the bags while the Takers looks on.
9. A Taker acts like they care, but in reality they are only concerned about how things impact them while a Giver does what it takes to ensure success.
10. A Taker is out for himself while a Giver always thinks about others.
11. A Taker thinks he has a deep revelation from God while he Giver just lives his life for God.
12. A Taker does not know he is a Taker, but the Giver does.

Givers please be careful Takers will eat your last bite of joy that God has been able to work in your life and consume it before your eyes. If we look at numbers of Takers and Giver we will find eight out of 10 Christians in the church today are Takers. No small wonder relationships in the church are a struggle at best. In every relationship we enter into we will find ourselves as either a Taker or a Giver, amazingly enough the choice is ours. I wonder what Jesus was a Taker or a Giver?