Generous Givers May 10, 2019
Warm hellos dear brethren, and spiritual family here on the Gulf Coast, and scattered children of God.
My wife and I pray and hope this finds you all doing well, and that again your week has been blessed.
Someone once came up to me, and said, “Here, I would like to give you something”. It was an act of generosity indeed. What I was given was deemed special to me for a number of reasons.
I’ve showed the gift to many others over the years and am happy to share that someone would care in this manner.
I know this person enjoys abundance, because both they and their mate practice giving—a biblical principle that bears fruit…and their lives have been blessed.
Sharing, or giving, comes in many different sizes, shapes, and packages. Sometimes it is the simple act of kindness that is the most rewarding. Which reminds me of this famous quote, “Man there was, and they called mad; The more he gave, the more he had.”
The 17th century writer, John Bunyan well illustrated a principle from God’s Word, the Bible that rings loudly.
The world’s way of gaining wealth and security is by keeping, hoarding, and trying to gain more for self. But, what is a wise man’s way to security? “He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will reward him for what he has done.” (Proverbs 19:17 NIV) “A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor” (22:9), “He who gives to the poor will lack nothing, but he who closes his eyes to them receives many curses”. (28:27)
The Bible clearly explains that the most important aspect of giving is the attitude of the giver. The man or woman who hoards or accumulates everything for himself, is miserable and cheats himself, and many who do give, forfeit the benefits and joys of giving because of their begrudging attitude.
Recently in a Bible discussion many of us examined II Corinthians 8, where the apostle Paul commends the believers in Corinth because they had helped Christians in difficult times in Jerusalem. “For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have” (verse 12)
In II Corinthians 9:6, Paul reveals yet another spiritual principle concerning giving. “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.” Verse 7 then addresses the importance of the attitude of the giver. Finally, verse 8 assures you and me that if we give generously we don’t have to fear need ourselves. “God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”
We all can recall the example once as Christ walked through the temple in Jerusalem, He saw wealthy people gathered in the city, bringing in their offerings. A poor widow gave as her offering only two small coins. Obviously it was not a huge amount! What was the profound lesson Christ teaches us about this woman’s gift? (Mark 12:41-44).
Verse 44, says, she offered all she had to live on. Some would say she was foolish to give her last penny. Did she plan properly for this time in her life? Did this woman later starve because of this gift? What was she thinking? Hello?
According to the promises of God, we see what happened to the life of this woman. Her needs were supplied! The inference is even more.
Have you or I ever dared to completely trust in the sufficiency of God as this widow did? We have widows in the church who do. They give what they have. What would begin to happen if we started to give cheerfully when afforded the opportunity?
When I say “give cheerfully” I mean our time, talents, love, or prayer…I am not talking about just money or things. We all live in a pretty busy world don’t we? There never seems to be enough time to “do” what needs to be “done”.
In Romans 12:1 we see the first and most important act of giving…the one that gives meaning to all other gifts, giving ourselves as living sacrifices to God. There is a reason the word “sacrifice” is used.
Are you and I generous givers?
…as I close this letter, as I do every Friday evening…as we enter His Sabbath…reflect on this with me, will you?
Again, may God continue to richly bless you. Our prayers and thoughts are with you daily! Please do pray for us as well.
-Scott (and Gayle) Hoefker (Pastor and wife, The Living God Ministries Gulf Coast)