DATE WRITTEN: Thursday, 2021-01-14
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS
BIBLE REFERENCE: Matthew 5:42
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)
BIBLE TEXT: 42 Learn to generously share what you have with those who ask for help, and don’t close your heart to the one who comes to borrow from you.”[bd]
OBSERVATION: One of the things that Satan uses to turn people off from churches and church leaders is that they are always after their money! In fact, one church did such a fine job in teaching about tithing that community members warned others from going to that church because you had to ‘pay’ in order to attend!! Today I want to encourage you to search deep inside God’s Word as He speaks through His Son, when He taught His disciples on the edge of the mountain. It’s about generously giving to others.
APPLICATION: In the serenity of the mountain, Jesus spoke to His disciples, and I believe that it was on subjects that He knew they were struggling with. I wonder what our list might look like? I believe that if a pastor kept a list of Christian principles that he was questioned about, he would have a long list to sit down and expand on, as he teaches us. So what do you suppose God would have to say about your giving: Generous? Looks like something a child of the Kingdom would do? If he/she gave any more, they would probably starve their own family? While I believe that God gave us principles to follow on the subject of giving, I believe that He is speaking here about the heart principle behind our giving. Imagine someone growing up in an environment where they were given a quarter to throw in the offering plate. Can you imagine what they must think as an adult when taught in the Bible to give 10% of their income? I’m sure there would first be a sanity check, as Satan tries to distract the individual from giving to further the work of the Gospel in their community! Of course Satan wouldn’t like that, and of course Satan will immediately cause your eyes to be turned towards your net expenses and how this type of giving would totally destroy your budget. But do you recall the Gospel message where Jesus said that if we do His perfect will and obey His commands, that all these things will be given to you? In other words, I believe Jesus is reminding us that if we follow His commands and do what He tells us, that we wouldn’t have to worry about anything else financially. Now let me be quick to remind the child of God, that this doesn’t mean that the minute you start tithing, its ok to commit to purchasing that boat, or a nicer car, or a bigger house, because God said He would take care of us. A child of God should trust in the Master to help them properly budget the income He has blessed us with. If you have been blessed to earn $1,000 per week in gross income, you may be obligated to the government to pay taxes, and God said that we should honor those He has placed in charge of us. Let’s assume that after taxes you have $800 remaining (net). I believe that God directed us for the first fruits of our income, so 10% of your gross income would be $100. I believe that God is true to His word and will help you pay your budgeted expenses, purchase groceries and gas, and still have a few dollars left from the $700 that remains. I am living proof of it, and I could vouch to you that God is true to His word. Your prayer life will be enriched by asking God to help you control your spending so that you stay within budget. Now, where I believe generosity comes in, is that in addition to the above, you may be approached by an individual in need. Instead of instinctively saying that you have no extra income, that you look to God and have peace about trimming your expenses that week so that you could help that person, or asking God to please provide the money so that you could give a certain sum to that individual. Friends, I truly believe that when we let go and let God, He will let go and shower the blessings on us that may be more than we could handle. He is a giving God, remember He gave His only Son for us while we were yet sinners. If He said that He will provide our every need, then as His precious child, I could only trust Him at His word and ready myself to receive His gift. We must be willing to look beyond what our human eyes could see, for with God, all things are possible to him who believes and trusts in Him. So be generous dear friend, just like a child who knows that they are cared for by the God of the universe, who promised to care for our every need. Allow God to be praised by the recipient of any gifts you may give. You are just the messenger, God is the giver of all good things.
PRAYER: You gave us Your very best, Your only Son, even though we were undeserving of such love. Thankfully You have also given to us – perhaps way more than we deserve, but with those gifts of love, You have commanded that we share with those in need. Please help us to discern abuse and evil intentions when approached by the ‘needy’, and please open our hearts to give generously when the need is legitimate. I sincerely believe that You stand ready to help those in need, and You also placed us here on earth, exactly where we are for the purpose of working through us to meet the needs that exist. Lord, we wait on Your direction, and stand ready to be Your hand extended to the needy, so that You may be glorified by them. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while you be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!