DATE POSTED Wednesday, 2022-08-10
WRITTEN AT: O’Brien, FL
SCRIPTURE FROM: 2 Corinthians 9:7-8; 11-13;
TRANSLATION: Good News Translation (GNT)
BIBLE TEXT: 7 You should each give, then, as you have decided, not with regret or out of a sense of duty; for God loves the one who gives gladly. 8 And God is able to give you more than you need, so that you will always have all you need for yourselves and more than enough for every good cause.
11 He will always make you rich enough to be generous at all times, so that many will thank God for your gifts …. 12 For this service you perform not only meets the needs of God’s people, but also produces an outpouring of gratitude to God. 13 And because of the proof which this service of yours brings, many will give glory to God for your loyalty to the gospel of Christ, which you profess, and for your generosity in sharing with them and everyone else.
APPLICATION: There are many negative ideas out there about giving to the church. So, let’s remind ourselves that ‘the church’ is considered ‘the Bride of Christ’, as referred to in Scripture. Churches are made up of sinners saved by grace, just like you, if you claim Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Just as you find yourself doing or saying things that may not be pleasing to God, you will also find that church members, and even church leaders, sometimes fall into that same trap as well. So, remember to look at the four fingers pointing back at you when you cast judgment on the unfortunate actions or words of your fellow church members or leaders. Satan will tempt you to find excuses on why you shouldn’t give to the local church, because his job is to kill, steal and destroy the work of our Lord, especially through the local church. Be reminded that in our Scripture verses today, there were no filters offered by God on why, when or how you should refuse to give to His work. But there is a promise – if you do your part and give freely to the work of God in His church, He will bless you in your earnings and He will pour out even more blessings for you to share! Know that God has a promised accountability for His children. Scripture records how: He will crown those who have accepted Him and live according to Word; He will judge us all and will give us what we deserve; etc. He will judge those who: have disobeyed His Word; stole from His treasury; been a stumbling block to those seeking to Know Jesus; gave to His church as instructed by God; grudgingly give to the church; refuse to give to the church; meet the needs of those who need a hand up. etc. So, let’s try to get away from trying to do God’s work for Him, for He is more than adequate to be our Judge, Jury and Sentencer. We have more than enough to worry about in our own lives, much more than trying to be God in sentencing our pastor, elders, deacons, church, etc. Dear friends, each of us will appear before God to give an account of our own lives, not as a witness or tell-tale of those we’ve been watching here on earth. In giving a gift, we often prefer to have guidance on how much to give. This is also covered in the Bible – 10% of your income, is our guide. Some may ask: ‘Of my gross or net salary?’. Notice that the Bible to specifically check our conscience. This is where the Holy Spirit resides, and He will guide us to the Scriptures for our answers. The Bible tells us make our gift to God from the ‘first fruits’. In farming, that equates to the first 10% of your harvest. In a paycheck, I can only share with you what I felt God nudging me to do – 10% of the first fruits – the amount before anyone else gets anything from my income, or the gross amount of my check. Let me challenge you dear friend in reminding you that we cannot outgive God. If He said that He will multiply our harvest so that we could give even more, then He will do that, whether we give 10, 20, 30% or even more. In the Scriptures, we are told to try Him and see if He won’t bless us with more than we could handle! If my suggestion sounds outrageous, let me suggest that you have a little talk with Jesus and share with Him what your reservations are in obeying any of my above guidance. A heart dedicated to God, caring about His work in our lives and in the lives of those around us, will give willingly, freely and exceedingly. Where do you stand if you had to explain to God what’s impacting Your heart to give freely in return for all He has blessed you with? I believe that’s where our giving originates, is from a heart filled with love for God and appreciation for all He has blessed us with. As covered already, the excuses and reasons that interfere with our giving is prompted by Satan – as it opposes what is taught in God’s Word.
BLESSING(S) NOTED: God will always make you rich enough to be generous at all times, so that many will thank God for your gifts! What an awesome inducement to give even more to God’s work, including to His children in need! Praise and thanksgiving will go up for us as others are blessed! Wow, no wonder we get unexpected raises!
PRAYER: Lord, we realize that there is no way that we could repay You for the many wonderful gifts that You make available to us, especially the gift of Your precious Son given for our eternal salvation. Please help us to always give thanks for the ways that You bless us, and to always share of those gifts with others in our circle of friends and family. What a joy to be reminded by Your servant, Paul, that recipients of our earthly gifts find reason to praise You, and to ask for Your continued gifts to the giver. Praise You Father, Son and Holy Spirit for invoking in us a heart of giving, in recognition of, and in celebration of the many ways that You bless us. As vessels of Your love, please teach us to be open to the ways we can give to bless your children in need, and the ongoing work of Your church. 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. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. 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 making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!