Category Archives: Jesus and a donkey

Immediate Responders

A man had a donkey. It was a significant asset in the first century. Jesus needed a donkey and he sent his disciples to find one. In the final part of this series we draw our attention to one very important word.

Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Loose them and bring them to Me.  And if anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of them,’ and immediately he will send them.” Matthew 21:1-3

Jesus knew that the owner of the donkey would give immediately – no hesitation, or hand wringing. All he needed to hear was that the Lord needed it and it was a done deal.

So what is it that generous, cheerful, prompt to do it givers know and believe that allows them to be immediate responders?

Giving is a matter of the heart –  Giving is another way to worship and give thanks. If you follow your finances you will find your heart. 

 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Mathew 6:21

God owns it all – Remembering that everything we have belongs to God makes it easy to give.

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it. Psalm 24:1

Giving makes a difference – The gospel is a free gift, but it takes resources to get the message out.

You can’t out give God – God exists on a much larger scale than we could imagine. God challenges us to give and test his intent on blessing us in return. (Malachi 3:10, Proverbs 3:9-10, Luke 6:38, 2 Corinthians 9:6

God is glorified through giving – As Jesus entered the city on that donkey people worshipped him. They spread their coats and palm branches on the ground before him and shouted Hosanna! Jesus was glorified as the Messiah through one man’s immediate giving.

You can still be a part of our Heart for the House special offering. Make your pledge today.

This is the final part in a series
Click here to read Part 2 The Lord Has Need of Them
Click here to read Part 1 The Art of Stewardship

The Lord Has Need of Them

Last week we talked about God’s perspective on acquiring donkeys or resources, because you can’t give what you don’t have. This week we turn our attention to another phrase in the same passage.

Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.” Matthew 21:1-3 NIV

We know God doesn’t really NEED anything, but he created the world with partnership in mind. Sometimes our part is small, sometimes it is sacrificial and sometimes it is completely illogical. The primary way God resources his kingdom is in and through us. It’s a partnership with a promise to bless called the tithe.

The tithe is 10%. Whatever your income, we all bring the same percentage.

Bring the whole title into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Malachi 3:10

God needs food in his house so he can expand the kingdom through his house.

The title is Holy to the Lord. When we tithe, we bring to God what already belongs to him.

 ‘“A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the Lord; it is holy to the Lord. Leviticus 27:30

The tithe comes first. First fruits belong to God and the clean redeems the unclean.

The Lord said to Moses, ‘Consecrate to me every firstborn male. The first offspring of every womb among the Israelites belongs to me, whether human or animal.’ Exodus 13:1-2

You shall set apart to the Lord all that open the womb, that is, every firstborn that comes from an animal which you have; the males shall be the Lord’s. But every firstborn of a donkey (an unclean animal) you shall redeem with a lamb; and if you will not redeem it, then you shall break its neck. And all the firstborn of man among your sons you shall redeem Exodus 13:12-13

We see this first fruit idea throughout the Bible and on the grandest stage of all when God give his firstborn son.

Back to the donkey in our story, gospel author Mark adds another tiny detail to his account. (Mark 11:1-3) Jesus tells his disciples to fetch the donkey on which no one has ridden. Jesus was the first person to ever ride that donkey!

Before you use your donkey for anything else, Jesus has need of it.

Remember, the title is a percentage. So bring God a percentage. Start where your faith is at, whether it is 2% or 5%. Work your way up to 10%. Give to God first!

This message is not about the church. It’s about you. Your commitment to honor God with your resources opens a window of blessing in your life! You will help make a difference in the lives of others and enjoy the promise of God’s blessing in return.

 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:36

As we prepare for our yearly Heart for the House special offering on November 22nd, we encourage you to pray and ask God to guide you as you give and make your pledge.

The Art of Stewardship

Jesus sent his disciples on a mission, giving them very specific instruction on what he needed.

As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.” Matthew 21:1-3 NIV

Just in case you missed it, I have to state the obvious. A man had a donkey.

Jesus needed a donkey and there was someone who had the resource he needed.

In order to give something, you must first have it to give.

So, what attitudes and perspectives should guide our thinking about acquiring resources? I call it the art of stewardship.

Embrace God’s desire to bless you – God is not a taker. He is a giver! When he delivered the children of Israel out of slavery in Egypt he brought them to a “good land” filled with provision (Deuteronomy 8:7-10)

Moses challenged the people to always remember it was God who blessed and provided for them.

But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth Deuteronomy 8:18 NIV

God gives the ability to produce wealth. That requires action, initiative and development on our part.

Embrace God’s wisdom on earning it – God’s wisdom identifies two temptations in our approach to money. The lazy irresponsible perspective always leads to less. The all-consuming lust for more often leads to a crushing burden of debt. Two questions will reveal your heart when it comes to money.

  1. Am I content?
  2. How do I feel when challenged to give?

Embrace God’s plan to manage it – It’s God’s plan that we live with margin. He asks for 10% of our increase. We encourage people to save 10% and then enjoy the remaining 80%.

It’s a simple plan that will help you give significantly, save wisely and enjoy life.

God wants to bless you because he loves you. When you have resources available, you are free to partner with God to make a difference in the world.

As we prepare for our yearly Heart for the House special offering on November 22nd, we encourage you to pray and ask God to guide you as you give and make your pledge