2 Corinthians 9:6-7 (NLT)
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. You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.”
When I went to the bank yesterday to make a deposit, I was surprised by the number on the receipt until I remembered that it was time for a direct deposit. The school that I work for uses direct deposit to send my monthly paycheck directly to the account. My husband’s company uses the same payment process. It is very convenient minimizing my trips to the bank significantly. Once it is deposited in our account, many times we use our debit card to make transactions or even setup automatic payments to take care of the monthly bills that are recurring. It’s crazy that we don’t actually see our money anymore, but know that it is there. We keep track with a ledger the deposits and withdrawals so we know what we have in our account. Recently, my daughter and her husband were robbed. Not at gunpoint or anything like that but someone obtained the number to their debit card and took all the money from their account. When they went to dinner at a restaurant, their card was declined the first time but went through fine the next time when ran as credit which activated their overdraft protection. However, when they went to check their balance the next morning. All of their money was gone. Companies began contacting them about payments and other transactions that were made under the assumption that they had funds in their account. What do you do when you do not have enough? Do you ever wonder why as a believer there are seasons of lack? Why despite our “faithfulness” in tithing and returning to the Lord His Portion do we still seem to barely make ends meet? Well, the problem is not on God’s End I assure you. He is ready, willing and able to daily make direct deposits in our life. Perhaps we have lost our connection with Him or begun hoarding His Blessings all for ourselves. There are many reasons why we lack prosperity, I for one intend to discover them and eradicate them altogether from my existence one by one. See God has promised me many things that are not currently established as a mainstay in my life that I want to have. I want to be a living sacrifice to the Lord. I want to be filled to overflowing with ever gift and anointing that He has designated just for me and secured by the Cross.
One area in our life that usually lacks is generosity. I have every intention to be generous but then get tied up in fear of lack. Farmers who live in fear plant few seeds just in case the others do not grow. Such farmers produce small crops with barely enough to feed themselves. But those who are willing to put more seed in the ground will get a bigger crop. Those who give all they have in planting will receive all that God has in His Storehouse. We must trust the Lord. We must take Him at His Word. He invites us to test Him to see just how serious He is about blessing us. What will you do with what He has already given you is the question?
Philippians 4:19 (NLT)
And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.
God supplies everything that we need according to His Glorious Riches. He gives it all to us when we accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Just like our employers make deposits in our account, we must know how to get it out and use it. Otherwise, it is useless to us and does not benefit our life. We are called to be righteous. We are given such an opportunity through the Grace of God and Jesus Christ. With our salvation come many precious promises instantly deposited and made possible for those who believe. Do you believe? If you believe, you will have faith. Faith begins looking for the Promises of God no matter what the situation. Confident hope keeps us in hot pursuit of God’s Plan because we want all that He has promised and believe it can be had. We must be willing to follow Jesus and live a righteous life to have all that God has promised we could have.
Psalm 112:4-9 (NLT)
Light shines in the darkness for the godly. They are generous, compassionate, and righteous. Good comes to those who lend money generously and conduct their business fairly. Such people will not be overcome by evil. Those who are righteous will be long remembered. They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the Lord to care for them. They are confident and fearless and can face their foes triumphantly. They share freely and give generously to those in need. Their good deeds will be remembered forever. They will have influence and honor.
I once visited a church for a children’s program that did not take up an offering. Instead, at the back of the church there were tall stands that you placed your tithe and offering in either coming or going. No pleading, begging and “guilting” the congregation into paying God what He requires. I liked that a lot. We are tithers. We are givers. When a preacher spends more time talking about giving, offering, tithing and money then the Cross or Jesus Christ, I have a problem with that. Talking about tithing does not make me uncomfortable, but I do not believe that it is the most important seed we plant or the highest yielding gift we offer God. I truly believe that if a pastor truly has faith in God and lives what He believes and teaches only what God lays on His Heart, then if they only receive $10.00 in the morning offering that God will provide whatever they need to continue spreading the Word of God which is the seed that yields in our life. (Matthew 13) We are called to generous, compassionate and righteous. Faith allows to give our life as a living sacrifice to the Lord placing all of our personal expectation in Him and laying aside our own agenda and needs to give to others. Generosity comes from a compassionate heart. Such compassion for others more than ourselves can only be allowed by faith in Jesus Christ that anchors us in confident hope as we plant seeds of righteousness and await His Harvest.
Psalm 112 talks about the Light that shines in the darkness for the godly showing us the way to be generous, compassionate and righteous. I believe these three characteristics are partners that work together so we love others as Jesus commanded us to do. I do not believe they are money motivated, but will provide all that we need according to God’s Riches.
Proverbs 11:24-25 (NLT)
Give freely and become more wealthy; be stingy and lose everything. The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.
I was watching “Gold Rush” a television series about gold miners the other day, and I began to wonder who decided gold was worth so much. I did not historically research this topic, but I began to mull over it in my mind. The Word of God tells that wisdom is more valuable than gold so it clearly wasn’t God. Man decided that gold is the most valuable resource that we can have. Money and currency is supposed to be backed up by gold which is another long story that is completely off topic. The truth is that man decided gold to be worth more than any other precious medal yet God chose to pave the roads of Heaven in it. We have decided that money holds great value and worth in our life but it is limited. The most valuable asset we have in this life is our faith in God. In exchange for believing, He automatically gives us seeds to plant prosperity in our life. We choose the outcome. Do we believe and give or doubt and withhold? Give freely and become more wealthy. This is what the Word of God says and many people immediately mark this verse with dollar signs but really that is not the case when God does not consider money to be wealth but rather wisdom. Knowing Him more prospers our life according to His Currency.
Romans 12:6-8 (NLT)
In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.
We all have been given gifts by God that will prosper our life. Called to be “living sacrifices” living holy and acceptable lives for Him (Romans 12:1-2) is talking about the “gifts” God gives us to bless others. The ability to prophesy, speaking with faith, serving others, teaching, encouraging, giving, leadership and kindness, any gift born of His Spirit is the sacrifice that He desires of you. Money should only be another way we bless others. We become so caught up in God taking care of us that we neglect our responsibility to care for others which demonstrates total faith and confidence that the Lord is taking care of us. We do not believe if we cannot give our life away without expecting a monetary return because money is our God. I do not see the money come into our account but I check my balance and know it is there. I pay bills with confidence that the bank will take our money and give it to those companies that I designate for payment. God has given me gifts to use to love others. (Romans 12:9-16) Those gifts are blessings for His People. It is my obligation to love others. He is taking care of my needs. If I believe, then I will live in constant peace that He is doing all that He has promised so I can give my life away freely knowing that there is always enough for me!
Acts 10:1-6 (NLT)
In Caesarea there lived a Roman army officer named Cornelius, who was a captain of the Italian Regiment. He was a devout, God-fearing man, as was everyone in his household. He gave generously to the poor and prayed regularly to God. One afternoon about three o’clock, he had a vision in which he saw an angel of God coming toward him. “Cornelius!” the angel said. Cornelius stared at him in terror. “What is it, sir?” he asked the angel. And the angel replied, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have been received by God as an offering! Now send some men to Joppa, and summon a man named Simon Peter. He is staying with Simon, a tanner who lives near the seashore.”
In medicine, there are things called case studies to explain different medical conditions and treatments, etc. It is a practical application used to teach and instruct others sharing a wealth of wisdom. I believe that the story of Cornelius is a case study in the Bible. He was a Roman officer who believed. He demonstrated his love for God and belief by giving generously and praying regularly. One day an angel came to him and said, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have been received by God as an offering…” He was told to send for Paul. Read Acts 10 for the full report but essentially even Paul was surprised as a Jewish man because he was not supposed to go to the home of a Gentile. But Saul was now Paul and the Holy Spirit moved him to go anyway. Cornelius entire household would be saved and filled with the Holy Spirit. Giving and praying can change your life. Generosity allows the Lord into our once hard heart and now we are renewed and refreshed in our effort. Generosity can and will open our life to a greater calling when it applies to more than religious practices such as monetary tithing and becomes a way of life as our heart opens to others, meets them where they are, giving them what they need which is Jesus Christ.
Isaiah 32:8 (NLT)
But generous people plan to do what is generous, and they stand firm in their generosity.
It is only by faith that we will ever be truly generous with our life beyond money. We honor the Lord by tithing our time, talent and treasure. Generous people are intentional believers who intend to give their life as living sacrifices to God the way that He wants. We do not have to be begged or coerced but by faith are constantly looking for ways to supplement the life of others with God’s Love. Plan to be generous as God desires from compassionate hearts and living righteous lives. Stand firm in your generosity when the enemy tries to scare you away. Protect your identity. You are a Child of God. All that you want and more than you can even think to ask for can be acquired by faith that plants seeds of love and life waiting for His Harvest to come. Be generous with your life today. Love others as passionately was you want them to love you. It will make a difference in your harvest today. You will prosper. (Deuteronomy 15:10) He promised.
Proverbs 22:9 (NLT) Blessed are those who are generous, because they feed the poor.