Giving

How good of a giver are you?Giving
 
Do you give of yourself and your resources very often?  Do you do it with a glad heart?  Do you enjoy doing it?  Do you look for opportunities to give?
 
The Bible tells us how much God loves a cheerful giver.  I think sometimes we are tempted to GIVE, but we neglect to do it cheerfully.
 
“I guess I should give this money to the church missionary,” we think begrudgingly.  Let someone hint that we ought to give more selflessly and cheerfully, and we instantly become defensive.  “No way!  I’m already GIVING…don’t ask me to do it cheerfully, too!  That’s just too much!”  But God asks us to do it nonetheless.
 
Why?  God owns the cattle on a thousand hills…He doesn’t need us to give.  But He asks us to, at least in part, for our own edification.  Every time we give, someone once said, we sever the ties that bind us to this earth.  When we selflessly give away the money we were planning to spend on ourselves, we put our heart (and therefore our treasures) in heaven.  When we donate our time to a needy individual, we are doing the same thing.  We are looking to heaven, instead of earth, for satisfaction and joy.
 
The Lord asks us to give cheerfully.  Just as obedience to our parents with disrespect is no good, because it is not true obedience, so giving without gladness is worth nothing, because it is not truly giving.  It is paying dues…like paying a bill that we feel we owe.  It is of no real or lasting value.  So is giving just for “bragging rights” (“guess how much I gave??”).  The Lord tells us that those who give for earthly attention and human recognition should not expect any heavenly blessings…for “they already have their reward in full”.
 
Instead we are to give TO God, FOR God’s glory and others’ good, without expecting laud in return.  And we are to do it cheerfully.  A big order but with God’s help we CAN do it!
 
This week, look for ways to train your heart in giving.  Stop being selfish.  Let go of those things you clutch with all your might, and breathe a sigh of relief as you give it to the Lord.  Don’t neglect your responsibilities or stop being a good steward.  Give with wisdom, but give liberally, as your resources allow.  And know that, even if no one else sees, Jesus sees.  And you will be blessed, if not on earth, than in heaven…where “not moth nor rust destroys, nor thieves break in and steal”.  That is, after all, the only kind of treasure worth having anyway.
 
As Jim Elliot once put it, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”

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