Friday, June 16, 2017

Faith is Giving When I Don't Have It)

Chuckle: Troy: “I spoke at the Boston gardens to thousands of people.” Paul: “Really? What did you say?” Troy: “Get your peanuts and popcorn here.”
Quote: "Whatever we hold to ourselves is loss. Whatever we give to God is gain." --Gilbert Shaw

"Now I want to tell you, dear brothers and sisters, what God in his kindness has done for the churches in Macedonia. Though they have been going through much trouble and hard times, their wonderful joy and deep poverty have overflowed in rich generosity. For I can testify that they gave not only what they could afford but far more" (2 Corinthians 8:1-3 NLT).
Our passage about the Christians at Macedonia reminds me of my childhood days. I grew up as the son of rural pastor who often ministered in areas where most of the people were poor and barely eked out a living on less than ideal land. Even, as a teenager, I was impressed by the kind generosity of these humble and loving people. As the saying goes, "they would give you the shirts off their backs," and rejoice at the opportunity.
It has always been God's plan and desire that faithful giving by His people would provide the means for accomplishing His work here on earth including caring for the poor. For a church to reach people for Christ, disciple them into mature Christians, provide ministries to those in need, send missionaries around the world and provide adequate worship, educational and fellowship facilities, financial resources are required. If you enjoy all your church has to offer but do not give sacrificially for its support, your enjoyment is being subsidized by the faithful giving of others.
God has made us stewards of all the money and possessions He has entrusted to us. I believe God uses our finances to test the dimensions of our faith. We can give either by fear or by faith. If we give by fear, we say, "how much can I afford to give?" If we give by faith, we say, "How much does God want me to give?" God knows we have trouble with greed and selfishness and His Word has much to say about it. It tells us that God's minimum standard is for us to return the tithe (ten percent) of our income to Him for His work (Malachi 3:8-10). Offerings are gifts over and above the tithe. For your consideration, here are some additional Scriptures about giving.
Jesus said, "Freely you have received, freely give" (Matthew 10:8 NIV). "Go, sell your possessions and give to the poor" (Matthew 19:21 NIV). "Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap" (Luke 6:38 NIV). "It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35 NIV). "Silver and gold I do not have, but what I have I give you" (Acts 3:6 NIV). "Each man (person) should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver" (2 Corinthians 9:7 NIV).
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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