God-Like Generosity

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.

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 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!

Means + Motive = True Generosity

Although Jesus had the advantage of knowing the heart and the intent of each person that gave that day, yet He saw a very obvious lesson in all this for His disciples, and consequently for you and I. Jesus was not dependent on the money that was given, for He proved over and over that He could do a lot with very little, or with nothing at all. He was more concerned about the heart of the giver.

Post Date:

Friday, 2017-05-26
SCRIPTURE

From:

Mark 12:41-44 (ERV)

Text:

41 Jesus sat near the Temple collection box and watched as people put money into it. Many rich people put in a lot of money. 42 Then a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth less than a penny.

43 Jesus called his followers to him and said, “This poor widow put in only two small coins. But the truth is, she gave more than all those rich people. 44 They have plenty, and they gave only what they did not need. This woman is very poor, but she gave all she had. It was money she needed to live on.”

OBSERVATION:
Although Jesus had the advantage of knowing the heart and the intent of each person that gave that day, yet He saw a very obvious lesson in all this for His disciples, and consequently for you and I. Jesus was not dependent on the money that was given, for He proved over and over that He could do a lot with very little, or with nothing at all. He was more concerned about the heart of the giver.
APPLICATION:
I believe that one of the excuses most often used by those who don’t attend church, is that all the church or pastor is looking for is your money. It is very obvious that people find it very challenging, at best, to give charitably from their hard earned money, so let’s look closer at this in our study today. When you stop to consider the unemployed neighbor, or the hospitalized friend who has been out of work for six months, why do you suppose God saw, in His great mercy, to allow you the good health, and the job opportunity to earn a living for your family? So how much of that income can you give Him thanks for? So why again do you feel 100% of it belongs to you, with your choice about where to spend it? And why again do you feel like it is so unfair of God to even suggest that you give 10% of that income to His work? Friends, God has a plan for your life, and for His church. I am convinced that His work will be accomplished with, or without you or I, however I am also convinced that God would rather see nothing more than His children participate in His work and celebrate the blessings as He pours them on us. Don’t let Satan mess with your mind and try to convince you that $100 of that $1,000 bonus you just got is too much to put into the hands of your local church. Don’t believe Satan’s lies that the church is just greedy for your money, more than anything else. When you start looking at that, you have lost sight of the reason you are giving. If you withhold from, or lose the joy of giving, because of all the lies Satan will try to convince you of, will you also look to Satan in your time of need? May I suggest that you consider giving God ALL of you, then you will appreciate the 90% of your income that He allows you to manage your earthly affairs with. It’s all about your relationship with God, friend, and what God will do for you, and absolutely nothing at all about what you feel He wants to rob you of. God’s in the business of blessing His children, not robbing them. Give Him yourself, and watch His blessings flow into each area of your life, even in your finances. 
PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, You gave it all for us, even to Your very own life. Please open our eyes and remind us once again that it takes all of us to get all of You in return. Most of us really don’t like to do things half heartedly, so with Your help may we recommit ourselves to You in totality, especially in the one area of our life that seems to bug us most, our finances. Lord, we desire more of You in our lives and in our family and in our church. Please begin with us, even now. 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 could 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 to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

A Warning To Those Who Have Much

THE HOLY BIBLE (Good News Translation – 1 Timothy 6:17-19): 17 Command those who are rich in the things of this life not to be proud, but to place their hope, not in such an uncertain thing as riches, but in God, who generously gives us everything for our enjoyment. 18Command them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share with others. 19In this way they will store up for themselves a treasure which will be a solid foundation for the future. And then they will be able to win the life which is true life.

THOUGHTS: Way too often we attribute ‘riches’ to mean those who are rich financially, and yes I agree that this could very easily apply to them. But I believe that deep within the meaning of this we must be careful to never lose sight of everything that God has truly blessed us with! We must also be very careful to not get satisfied in our blessings, because that becomes challenging to appreciate what another person might be going through. For example, one might be crying out for help in dealing with family issues, but if we are content and ‘rich’ in peace in our family, it might be hard to identify with the need. I believe the point that God is relaying to us through Paul is that we must learn to put our faith in the Giver of all good things and not in the riches we feel secure in, for it is God who gives the gifts/riches to us. Let’s remember that everything we are blessed with comes from the generosity of the gracious hand of God. He blesses us with such gifts to enable us to help others. I believe that a kind heart and a generous hand is demanded of all God’s children, for this is what Jesus exampled for us to follow. It is not sinful to be rich, and it is not godly to be poor. Some are blessed with resources that could serve well in the ongoing ministry of the church. Often with these resources comes the temptation to misuse them, for some will demand leadership in the church, or a major say in where the finances must be used. There is nothing biblical about that kind of giving friends, so be careful to always give from a heart of love to the work of Christ in and through His local church – your church. If you have been diligent in electing church officials according to God’s design, then the funds will be properly allocated and used for His glory, not yours. The joy of the giving Christian comes from the treasure they are laying up in heaven through obeying God and investing their gifts – monetarily or plain life-talents here on earth for the glory of God. I believe that the take-away on this scripture today, is that we give of ourselves and our resources generously, just as God generously gave to us at Calvary, and through all that He blesses us with daily here on this earth. The Bible gives us guidelines on the minimum amount we should give financially, but it also teaches us to give from the generosity of which we have been blessed. Is that truly measurable? Just learn to give friend, and then watch the blessings of God that is out-poured on you! You just can’t out-give God!

PRAYER: To the Giver of all life and all good and perfect gifts, Jesus my Lord, thank You for Your generosity in all that You have blessed me with. So undeserving, yet You loved me beyond all measure. I am rich in Your awesome blessings, way beyond anything I deserve. Thank You! I pray that You might open my heart and my mind to the riches that I have yet to share with others. Lord, I want to show Your goodness so that You may be lifted up, and recognized as the loving, tenderhearted and understanding God that You are. Please lead me and guide me to do better at this. My friends who will read this devotional might also be faced with similar challenges, please speak very boldly to them as they meditate on Your Word and cause them to know the path You would have them travel today, and the attitudes necessary to allow others to know that You are God, yet working through mere humans that love and serve You. Father God, may I ask that You continue to pour Your riches on our lives, but also ask that You give us renewed hearts so that we may pass those riches on to others – many of whom need an urgent touch from You today. In appreciation for all You have done, and will continue to do, I bring these petitions before You, in thanksgiving, and through Your precious Son, Jesus, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will 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 blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!