Many view Jesus and God as a stern Lord or slave master, but it could not be further from the truth. Yet, many Christians are very focused on what they must do for Jesus, or whether they are doing everything right. They might think: Have I committed some sins that have made God angry at me, and in some way he wants to punish me?
What are Jesus and God calling us? Is it slaves and servants? Or is it his friend and son or daughter? I want to share with you two scriptures today that will show very clearly how God looks at you.
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Many Christians often pray this prayer: God use me! I myself have prayed this prayer, especially when I were in my teens.
One of the reasons was that I were afraid that I could not be used for anything, and I attached my identity to what I could do and to be used for.
I have one year and 3 months old daughter (when I write this) and I love her over all on this earth. But my thoughts are not this: What can I use my daughter for, or what can she do for me? Had I been thinking so, I would have been a selfish, self-seeking and evil father.
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Perhaps you have heard: You steal from God if you don’t give the tithe, or you are under a curse if you don’t give, or God will punish you if you don’t give the tithe, or God will not heal you if you do not give. These two things are usually not said directly, but it can often be perceived in this way and maybe someone thinks this way too? In fact, I’ve heard someone say it like this: If you are stingy (“and do not give to us”) then you will go to hell, for those who are stingy will not inherit the kingdom of God.
I get very upset when I hear statements and teachings that are manipulative and that give you guilt, condemnation or fear like this! None of these things are compatible with God’s character, and some can easily take scriptures out of context and misuse them.
In this teaching today I hope I can give you some clarity and also free you from condemnation and guilt especially in connection with the tithe and money.