Sunday, April 29, 2012
Are you a giver or a taker? When it comes to giving money in church or hearing sermons about tithing do you cringe and say "Hear goes the money talk again. The preacher is begging for money". Giving shows the attitude of our heart. We should want to give. It is up to the ministries you give it to and between them and God if they misuse it. It is all God's anyway as it is He who gives the talents and skills to get work. We are to give it back and be good stewards of it. Many find that if they tithe first like you should that you have plenty of money left over for other things.
When our sons were small we tried to instill the 'God first' mentality in their little heads. I had 3 small Tupperware cups. One had a cross on it. One had a dollar sign on it. Finally the last one had a picture of them on it. We taught them the J.O.Y. principle in giving or in other words, 'Jesus First, Others Second, Yourself Last'. The three cups symbolized giving to God, then saving money and their fun money. We pray as adults they still have that in their minds today.
The Bible has much to say about giving. Giving should not be just so you can get a tax deduction but should be because you want to. 2 Corinthians 9:7 says to us "Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver." If your heart is not in it keep your money because it is given for the wrong reason.
When we do give we are blessed for it. Scripture says in Luke 6:38 "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." Scripture also tells us about helping others when it says in 1 John 3:17 when it says "If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?" In Proverbs 19:17 it says "He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward him for what he has done." Now this verse may be wrongly used by a tyrannical government to justify redistributing wealth but that is not what it is saying because it also says in 2 Thessalonians 3:10 "if a man does not work he should not eat." So those who think government should give them everything are wrong.
Your treasures should be laid up in heaven where your real reward will come from. Things down here on earth perish and decay. You should take care of the men and women of God who feed you God's word. The Bible says in Matthew 6:21 that "Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be."
1 Chronicles 29:12 says "Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all."
Are you stingy and keep all your money for yourself or do take care of the body of Christ and ministries where you are taught the word of God? Examine your heart today. Are you are giver or a taker? Now go prove it and write a check and drop it in that offering plate or send it to your favorite Christian ministry today, but only with joy and not compulsion in your heart and not to prove something to whoever is sitting next to you. God knows your heart.
PRAYER: Father it is my desire to share what you have given to me when I have the opportunity and to also be faithful in tithing to the kingdom of God. I know I will reap what I sow financially. I know you want my heart to be right. Forgive me for hoarding all my money and thinking I am doing a favor to God by putting one dollar in the offering plate. Give me a heart that wants to give. In Jesus name. Amen.
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