This is what the LORD says: “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Where is the house you will build for me? Where will my resting place be? Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?” declares the LORD. Isaiah 66:1
There are times that it is difficult to purchase a person a birthday gift. They seem to have everything that they could possibly want. Looking at wealthy people, this even seems more so. Getting a gift for someone who has all they desire can be quite a challenge. A lot of it will depend upon the heart of the person. What does a person get the person who has everything that they want?
Most people do not have the problem of having so much that there is nothing left to possibly want. Nearly every person can think of several things that they desire. Most of those things will most likely be physical things, while some will also be non-physical things, such as peace, joy, happiness, or health.
One thing that many people will like, but not necessarily ask for is something hand-made or time with that person. This shows something that was made and given from the heart.
God is the one who has made the heavens and the earth. Since He has made everything that exists, He also owns it. Now God is looking for something. He is looking for a place to rest. This shows His heart’s real desire.
As a human being, you may wonder what can you give God, since He owns it all already. God created you to have fellowship with you. He wants to sit down and rest with you. Even though God made everything there is, He wants a place to rest and be still.
The place He desires is in you. It is in your heart and life. God wants to spend time with you. Of all the things that you can give God, this is the only one that God does not already have. God made your heart, but gave it to you. Now it is your turn to give it back to Him.
Allow God to make your heart His temple. This will be the best house and gift God can ever have.
Will you build a house for God today?
I pray today that you will dedicate your heart to God; that God will find a place to rest in your life; that your heart will be a welcome spot for God to live; and that you will know God’s presence in your life.
One person gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. Proverbs 11:24
Giving something away does not appear to be a way to gain more. Everyone is encouraged to save more and more in order to gain more. Giving everything away generously goes against the norms of this world.
Take a look at financial investments. If all a person does is give a little bit one time, the investment will not be very great. More than likely the person will lose in the end. However, if he gives generously into the investment, with time it will bring back a good profit.
God’s kingdom works on the same principle. God gave Jesus, who gave all that He had–His life–so that He could gain a lot more. God gave in order to gain His people back. He provided salvation to everyone who would accept it.
In life on this earth, everything that a person has, has been given to him. Nothing is just taken. All the things on this earth were provided for by God. God gave extremely generously to a people who did not want anything to do with Him.
Keeping this in mind, as a believer, you should realize that all that you have was given to you. Hold it loosely. Be willing to give it away to someone else who is in need of it. Use what God has given you to build His kingdom.
If you hold on to everything as the world does, you will lose everything as the world will. In the end everything on this earth will be destroyed. The only thing left will be the souls of the people. Those who have accepted the salvation Jesus provides will be given life for eternity. Those who have not accepted His salvation, will have all life taken away for eternity.
When you give freely everything you can to everyone who is in need, God will provide abundantly for your every need. You will gain more in the end. It may be physical things, but if nothing else you will have peace and life.
You will gain the knowledge that God used you to help someone else.
You will gain joy in knowing that you helped meet another person’s needs.
Don’t allow yourself to be put into true poverty by hoarding all that you have, give today.
I pray today that you will know what God has given you; that you will use what God has given you to build His kingdom; that God will help you give generously as He has; and that you will trust God to meet all of your needs.
“I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity. All these things I have given willingly and with honest intent. And now I have seen with joy how willingly your people who are here have given to you.” 1 Chronicles 29:17
David was getting all the supplies together for his son Solomon to use in order to build the new temple to God. David started by giving out of his own money. The people also gave abundantly to the building fund. He knew that God tests the motives of the heart and wanted to see integrity. Both he and the people had given generously, willingly and with great joy.
A lot of people give to many different needs. This even occurs in the world, outside the church. There are many people who do not believe in God at all, that give millions of dollars to good causes to help other people out.
Although some of those people do it joyfully to help, many in the world do it to look good, or to get a tax write-off. On the outside it appears good, but when God looks at the heart, He is not seeing integrity. They are saying one thing, but in the heart are saying something else.
This even occurs inside the church. A missionary comes to the church to speak, and then comes the time to ask for an offering to raise needed financial support. Some will give willingly with great joy, but there are others who give only because that is what they are supposed to do. Others feel guilty if they do not give. And, yet, others will give to look good to everyone else.
God sees the heart and why you give what you do give. This giving is not just in money, but also in time, physical work, and any other abilities to God or to others.
As you give of anything you have to give, do it with a heart full of integrity. This is doing the right thing, with the right motive, though no one but God can see. Paul said that God loves a cheerful giver.
How are you giving today?
Are you giving to look good to others or to God?
Or are you giving because you want to bless others and God?
I pray today that you will have a heart of integrity before God and man; that you will do things with an honest heart; that you will do all things knowing God is watching; and that God will be pleased with your heart.
“This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.” 2 Corinthians 9:12
Paul had been encouraging generosity in giving to the needs of others. AS a person gives to someone, God in turn gives to meet the needs of the one who gave. Doing this type of giving does two different things: it meets the needs of others, and it brings many thanks to God.
It is easy how giving can supply for the needs of others. The main reason for giving is to provide something for someone that the person cannot provide for himself. It can be simple things, such has a cup of hot coffee or a ride, to great things such as a vehicle.
The thanksgiving behind the giving is not so easily seen. Not every time a person gives, does the person receive thanks for it. The thanksgiving that Paul is talking about is not to the individual who gave it but to God.
Believers are praying to God for a need to be met. When another believer hears God and provides for that need, the one supplied will give thanks to God for meeting that need. It is God who gets the credit, not the giver. God will then meet the needs of the giver.
Along with giving thanks to God, often people will tell others how God met the need. They in turn will give thanks to God for meeting that need. The amount of thanks to God continues to grow more and more. God receives more praise.
When God opens an opportunity to give to someone, give thanks to Him for the opportunity, give thanks for the person’s need being met, and give thanks for God’s generosity to you and the other person. Do not hold back on your giving of thanks to God. He is the One who provides for every one in everything that they may need.
I pray today that you will find ways to thank God for His provision in your life; that you will thank God for His provision for others; that God will use you to meet the need of others; and that God will be glorified in both the giving and the receiving.
“In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity.” 2 Corinthians 8:2
Paul is talking about the churches in Macedonia. He states that God has given them a large amount of grace. They were undergoing an extremely severe trial, yet were overflowing with joy despite extreme poverty. They did not use this joy for themselves, but gave to others as much as they were able to do. They were willing to give their last shirt and food for others to meet their needs. They were extremely generous.
Most people do not like to be extremely generous because they are concerned for themselves. If they give all their money, how will they pay for their bills? Or put food on the table? Or what if the vehicle breaks down? Or how will they purchase the clothes their children need?
These are legitimate concerns people have. They are not frivolous, selfish type of desires.
While there are others who have more selfish concerns. Some such as how to pay for the vacation coming up? Or how to purchase that new car? Or new television?
Both types of concerns are things that as a believer you should not be concerned about. You are supposed to trust God in all of your needs. You are to be led by God’s Holy Spirit in what you are to do in your life. If God opens the door to give to someone in need, take it. Trust that He knows your needs and will provide for them.
All believers should be first generous in everything they have. God was extremely generous in sending His Son to this earth for you. Jesus was extremely generous in laying down His life so that you may have life. Jesus was extremely generous in forgiving you of your sins so that you could live for eternity.
In light of the grace God has given you, be generous to others. Be willing to give, even beyond your ability. Trust that God is in control and will take care of your needs. As you meet the needs of others, others can meet your needs.
I pray today that God will show you ways to be generous to others; that you will know how generous God has been to you; that you will trust God for all of your needs; and that God will build His kingdom through you.
“Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.” Luke 6:30
Jesus gives a command that many do not look at. He tells you to give to anyone who asks you.
There are people who love to help out and give of their time, strength and money on a regular basis. Occasionally some of those people get very discouraged about having to give so much. They feel that other people are taking advantage of them.
Here, Jesus is telling you to give and keep on giving and never stop giving. Look at what Jesus gave–ultimately His life for you.
You are to not worry about how much you gave or how you will make it if you give everything. If someone asks of you, you are supposed to supply their need if you have it. You are to trust God to meet your own needs. You are, also, to trust God in what you give to someone else. It is not your job to worry about how they will use what you gave them.
Along with unlimited giving, Jesus also stated not to demand back anything taken from you.
Whenever someone has something taken from him, the first thing he does is demand it back. The person may do the demand in person or through a court, but the demand is still there.
You are supposed to let the person have what they have taken. A harsh reality of this is seen when a thief steals something from you. Even though you have a legal right to demand it back, Jesus says not to do so.
Jesus gave without any limits to everyone. He also laid down His life for them to take it. He did not demand any of it back.
God may use you to touch the life of someone else through your giving, and not demanding anything back. Maybe God is using you to meet a need in someone else. Maybe God is using your allowing the person to have what was stolen to touch their life with Jesus.
Are you willing to give to others? Are you willing to let others have what they have taken from you? Are you willing to trust God for all of your needs?
I pray today that God will show you that He will meet all of your needs; that you will have the heart of God to give; that you will not demand back anything; that you will reach out in love to meet the needs of others; and that God will use you to build His kingdom.