Friday, December 30, 2011
GIVING CAUSE YOU WANT TO( NOT JUST FOR THE YEAR END TAX BREAK)
The end of the year is fast approaching as are the final few days to mail a year end donation to a favorite charity, ministry or religious organization. Usually at this time of year your mailbox is filled with last minute pleas to get that valuable year end tax deduction. Of course this is the wise thing to do to help out at tax time on April 15th but we should be giving out of the generosity of our hearts to something we have a passion for and not simply because we can write it off at the end of the year.
Where is your heart today? Do you have a love of giving and sharing what God has blessed you with? It is His money anyway you know and we simply are to be good stewards of it (think of that when you gamble or play the lottery). He gave you the talents and skills you need in life to be able to earn an income. All we have is His so why keep it all for yourself? You should want to give. There is talk circulating now in the US about the government wanting to 'redistribute' the wealth of those who are fortunate to those who are less fortunate. This is a sort of Robin Hood mentality or class warfare. That is the wrong thing to do as people deserve to keep the money they work hard for and they should be able to choose who to give that money to. Our country currently allows us that precious freedom. The government does not own our money although they would certainly like to. But it is up to you to decide where you want to give your donations to and no one is forcing you, which is good. That is the way it should be. No one is telling you that you even have to if you want to be stingy it is your right. Welcome to America.
As a believer you should 'want' to give and share with others though. Tithing is mentioned in the Bible but also it speaks of being a cheerful giver and not out of compulsion. 2 Corinthians 9:7 says "Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver." Do you desire to give or do you hoard your wealth?
Luke 6:38 says "Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Proverbs 19:17 says "He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward him for what he has done". Deuteronomy 15:10 says "Give generously to him and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to." Proverbs 3:27 says "Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it." Deuteronomy 8:18 says "But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today." Proverbs 11:24-25 says "There is one who scatters, and yet increases all the more, and there is one who withholds what is justly due, and yet it results only in want. The generous man will be prosperous, and he who waters will himself be watered." So it is the principle of sowing and reaping in a way. You give and it is given back to you in your time of need. Proverbs 22:9 says "He who is generous will be blessed, for he gives some of his food to the poor."
This is a time of year more folks think of giving probably because of the year end campaign for donations by many groups. But before you give, pray and see what God would show you on how to give. Perhaps you have a worthy ministry such as Gideons for instance that could use your year end donation to help supply more Bibles in hospitals, military bases, or hotel rooms. Pray and ask God to make you a cheerful giver or as one version puts it , a 'hilarious' giver. Remember to take care of your local church first then to give above and beyond to Christian groups who may be ministering to you in a special way.
Malachi 3:10 says "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows."
PRAYER: Lord I realize what I have is really yours. I know there are many ministries who could use a donation this time of year to stay afloat. There are many missionary families who could use an added bonus for the end of the year. You have blessed me beyond compare so help me to reach out and share what you have given me with those groups or people needing a helping hand at this time of year. Put on my heart a group that needs a donation. I know there are many worthy ministries so guide me to one or several who could use a helping hand. Help me though be faithful with my giving throughout the year and not wait til the end of the year when people are pleading for donations. In Jesus Name. Amen.
I have included links to several worthy ministries in case you need an idea who to give a donation to. There are many more than this but these are some that come to mind.
www.uso.org (not a Christian ministry but worthy service member organization)
www.ecfa.org is a group that monitors Christian ministries for the ethical use of their monies .
www.cmf.com which ministers to those those in the Armed Forces
I am simply providing you a list of ideas. There are many, many more fine ministries which I am sure you know of as well. Be blessed to be a blessing .
Disclaimer: These are not necessarily the best but only ideas for those who need an idea.