31 Jul Giving Generously
When God blesses you financially, don’t raise your standard of living; raise your standard of giving.”
We were excited! My husband received a promotion. All his hard work and studying had paid off, and we decided that we would use his pay raise to buy me a NEW car! I drooled over this car for months. I had even realized that I did not need it, but all logic left once our monthly income increased. We traded in our reliable five-passenger Ford Escape for a brand new seven-passenger GMC Acadia, for a family of four. So, just like that, our increase in income was spent over the next five years. No praying, no consulting God on the matter. We did not think for one moment what His desire was for the increase He allowed us to have? I am not saying that buying things for yourself is wrong.
There have been many times that God has blessed me with something I wanted, but what I learned about the purchase of the Acadia is it is always good to ask God first. Why? Because He knows it all, our future, the needs of those around us, and where we need to grow spiritually. The Acadia was a beautiful SUV that was a part of many memories. We drove across the country, and I was a soccer, baseball, gymnastics, and basketball chauffeur to my children and many others, but I do believe we could have experienced all these moments in our cute little Ford Escape. So, what was our motive in getting a brand new SUV? Honestly, I desired to have a specific car, maybe even a lifestyle. Today, I do think more about what I can give with what God has given me. It states in Acts that “ It is more blessed to give than to receive.” I do pray that God will help us to raise our standard of giving when blessings flow our way instead of our standard of living. Here are some reasons why.
Why Give Generously?
WE SHOULD GIVE GENEROUSLY BECAUSE OUR HEAVENLY FATHER IS A GENEROUS GIVER.
He gave us the most precious gift of all, His Son. He gives us all that is good in our lives (James 1:17). Our homes, our families, our friends, even our businesses. Have you ever thought about how God could use your business to thrust you into being a generous giver? What products, talents, opportunities can you provide to meet the needs of struggling, hurting lives around you like the homeless, veterans, and orphans. How has He provided you with an abundance that can flow over into the lives of those in other countries? Can you provide income, equipment, time for mission trips, to bless those who are sick, and ensure daily necessities?
GIVING CHANGES YOU
Giving is truly a gift to the giver and the one receiving the gift. When you give to someone, it changes you. I am amazed at how unselfish a person can be when led by the Spirit of God. Individuals rejoicing as they give furniture, cars, and even savings to help someone in need. I am not saying that you have to do these things, but when God leads you, it’s incredible the joy it will bring and how it changes who you are. And you don’t have to give away things that would be of great value monetarily. Whatever God leads you to give, even if it is $5, will be stretched and used to change someone’s life considerably. When we give, for altruistic reasons and not out of pride, we cannot help but become better individuals. We begin to see that life is more than possessions and more about people.
“Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be” (Matthew 6:19-21).
WE HAVE RECEIVED MUCH
Do you remember the woman who anointed Jesus, if not, you should read her story in Matthew chapter 26. She poured onto Jesus’s head costly perfume, some of the disciples even thought of it as a waste of a year’s wages, but this woman who had been given much blessed Jesus with a heart full of Joy. We should want to give back in response to what God has given us. God pours His generosity on us daily. It does not matter the conditions or situations we face. We are blessed, because, “has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which He has promised to those who love him.” (James 2:5) And “As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasures for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.” (1 Timothy 6:17-19)
Did you know that 80% of the world lives on less than $10 a day? Did you know that on any given night, 553,742 people are without a home in America? Did you know that around 4.8 million people, especially women and children, are victims of sex trafficking?
Many people in this world and America need help, financially, physically, and spiritually. May I challenge you to ask God where does He want to place you to meet a need. I heard a speaker for Convoy of Hope say, “ One drop of the blood of Jesus saves the Least, Last, Lost, and the Lowest.” How do people begin to know about Jesus? By us being His hands and feet. Today can be a day of a new beginning in how you view your business, finances, and your time. We must ask ourselves, what is our purpose in life? God has answered that question, and Matthew 28:18-20, you have to ask God how He wants you to do it. It just may be from the very business, dream, hope He has laid upon your heart, that which He has placed in your hands.