Trail Guide–Directions for the Journey of a Lifetime X
The Fourth Step on the Trail – Sharing What You Have in Your Pack
A few years ago I read an article that was titled “Money Talks.” It opened up with the following:
“ I know that money talks, I hear mine say goodbye all the time.”
One of the hardest things in all of life is sharing what we have with others. Whether you are an infant arguing over your stuffed animals, or an adult looking at the balance in your checking account. There are a lot of different motivations for that, but most of them fall back to the ugly specter of greed in our lives.
One of the members of my church shared the blessing of giving with me recently. She recounted how she had arrived at church and realized that what she had committed to give was going to leave her significantly short for the coming week. She struggled with that for a while, but when the time came she gave what she had committed whispering a prayer that God would help meet her needs that coming week. Later that day she found money in her washer, even after having checked pockets and such. She also found money in the seat cushions. In addition she discovered several new items of clothing that were expensive articles that she could give to her grand-daughter further saving her money. God returned what she had given and then some as she was faithful in giving.
I’m not saying that this is the experience all the time. There have been times when we have committed to give something, but we haven’t found money lying around to fill in the gaps. Sometimes we have discovered that the gaps simply are filled in. Sometimes we find that as we are faithful and patient God reveals He had a different plan for us.
There are a wide range of Scriptures concerning sharing our resources with others in giving to God’s work. It’s clearly something that the Lord placed a high priority upon. Here are just a few of the key passages:
Malachi 3:8-10 (NLT)
“Should people cheat God? Yet you have cheated me! “But you ask, `What do you mean? When did we ever cheat you?’ “You have cheated me of the tithes and offerings due to me. You are under a curse, for your whole nation has been cheating me.
Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the LORD Almighty, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Let me prove it to you!
Proverbs 11:25 (NLT)
The generous prosper and are satisfied; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.
Proverbs 22:9 (NLT)
Blessed are those who are generous, because they feed the poor.
YOU CAN’T OUT-GIVE GOD!
2 Corinthians 9:6-15 (NLT)
6 Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop.
7 You must each make up your own mind as to how much you should give. Don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. For God loves the person who gives cheerfully.
8 And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.
9 As the Scriptures say, “Godly people give generously to the poor. Their good deeds will never be forgotten.”
10 For God is the one who gives seed to the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will give you many opportunities to do good, and he will produce a great harvest of generosity in you.
11 Yes, you will be enriched so that you can give even more generously. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will break out in thanksgiving to God.
12 So two good things will happen—the needs of the Christians in Jerusalem will be met, and they will joyfully express their thanksgiving to God.
13 You will be glorifying God through your generous gifts. For your generosity to them will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ.
14 And they will pray for you with deep affection because of the wonderful grace of God shown through you.
15 Thank God for his Son—a gift too wonderful for words!
Some Thoughts About Sharing What’s In our Pack
- Generous Giving is a Response to What has Been Given to Us!
- Generous Giving is a Reaction to the One who Has Given to Us!
- Generous Giving is a Revelation of What is a Priority to Us!
- Generous Giving is a Realization of Who Holds the Deed to Your Heart!
- Generous Giving is Rewarded as one who Plants is rewarded with a Harvest.
(More to come…)