Luke 21:4 Giving Generously

A Few Coins.jpg

“All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” Luke 21:4

One day as Jesus was in the temple, He saw many people giving their offerings. The rich were giving large amounts of money. One poor widow came in and put in two small copper coins. Jesus then points out that she had given more than anyone else had. The widow had given all she had, while the others gave out of their extra wealth.

Giving is something that a lot of people do. However, most people give out of the extra that they have on hand at the time. People will make sure that all of their own personal needs and desires are met first. Once that is done, if there is anything left, they will give some of that away. This is not really giving from the heart or a desire to give, it is giving out of duty or to look good to others.

Others, like the widow, give from the heart. They do not look at their own needs first or just give what is extra. The widow did not have anything extra, nor a way to make any more money to provide for her needs. She gave all she had.

People like this see a need and do whatever it takes to help meet that need. Some may completely meet the need, while others just meet part of the need. They are will to give each and every time, and not just out of their abundance.

This giving does not even have to just be with money. It can also be with time, effort, energy, and other things. Everywhere a person looks, there are always many needs to be met. There will never be a lack of need for a person to give something.

Every believer should be giving like the widow. Give generously and trust God to meet your own needs. God owns it all, so He can easily provide for all of your needs and you seek to meet the needs of others.

As you look at your life, how do you give to others in need?

Do you give out of your abundance and just to look good to others?

Or do you give generously from the heart, giving God all that you have to help others and His church?

I pray today that you will trust God with all you have; that you will be led by God on what to give; that you will give generously from the heart as Jesus gave for you; and that God will use you to build His kingdom daily.

 

Advertisements

Proverbs 30:8-9 Truth And Contentment

Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the LORD? Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God. Proverbs 30:8-9

Agur makes two requests of God to be granted. The first is very understandable and many will ask of it also: to be kept from falsehood and lies. Many understand this and do not want to be in lies. Telling lies gets a person on a slippery downward slope that is difficult to get back up. The farther from the edge of that slope a person is the better off he is.

The other request is to have neither poverty nor wealth. Many struggle with this one, because most people want wealth. There is nothing wrong with wealth, in and of itself. The problem comes in that when a person gets wealthy, he will usually forget about God. The reliance on God will go away.

It will cause many people to stop relying on God for their provision and rely on their own works.

Along side of not wanting extreme wealth, Agur does not want to be extremely poor. He fears that he will end up stealing to survive, which dishonors God.

His request is to have just enough for his daily bread.

The challenge with having just enough for your daily bread, is that you cannot directly see what there will be for tomorrow. It is a walk of faith, not by sight. It is trusting that God will meet all of your needs from day-to-day. It is not worrying about tomorrow.

This can be a scary journey, if you do not realize who God is, how much He loves you, and how much He can do. God is the master of the universe, He loves you with an undying, perfect and eternal love, and He is all-powerful and can do anything needed.

How is your trust in God today?

Are you trying to get rich, to provide for yourself?

Are you stealing to provide for yourself?

Or are you trusting God to provide just what you need, when you need it?

I pray today that you will know God’s love for you; that you will see God’s provision for you; that you will trust God for day-to-day needs; and that you will not try to do everything on your own.

Proverbs 14:23 Work Versus Talk

All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty. Proverbs 14:23

It can be easily seen that hard work will usually bring about a profit for a person. Being dedicated to the job and getting the job done in the best way possible, will allow a person to get promoted to a better position with better pay.

Those who do not work or do not work hard, fall into poverty. This will include people who do work, but do the absolute minimum work possible. They try to cut the corners to get out of working hard. Doing this will keep the employer from giving any pay raises or promotions and will keep them in poverty. They only talk the talk.

Looking at hard work and the rate of pay is the most common way to look at this verse. However there is the spiritual realm of a person’s life to be looked at.

In the same way that people refuse to work hard at their job, there are many people who refuse to work hard on their spiritual growth. Becoming a Christian believer in Jesus is very easy to do. Growing and maturing in Jesus is another thing. It is something that takes hard work and dedication.

Paul said in Philippians 2:12, to work out your salvation with fear and trembling. He told Timothy to fight the good fight and to take captive every thought. You are also told to put on the full armor of God so that you can fight the battle.

Each of these verses show that you must work hard. It is a battle to control your thoughts. It is hard work to fight against the schemes of the devil in this world. It takes dedicated focus to flee all sin.

If you are faithful in working hard at growing and maturing in Jesus, God will ensure you success and profit in the spiritual realm. You will hear the voice of God and God will do great things in and through you.

If you slack on it and do the minimum, you will be in spiritual poverty. You will not hear God’s voice and He will be unable to do great things in and through you.

Do not just talk about being a Christian, work at it and be one.

How hard are you working today?

Are you giving it your all?

Or are you doing just the minimum?

I pray today that God will show you areas to work harder at in your life; that you will dedicate your life to being like Jesus; that you will make every effort to grow in God; and that God will give you great spiritual success in this life.

Proverbs 13:8 The Curse Of Great Wealth

A person’s riches may ransom their life, but the poor cannot respond to threatening rebukes. Proverbs 13:8

Gaining great wealth is the focus of many people. The desire to have more money in order to have more things and be able to do more is what many want. There are some who want it just to have a large bank account.

In order to get that extra wealth, there will be some who will get an extra job and study books or articles that tell how to get that money. They will go to great lengths in order to have all that they want.

Solomon says that having all that wealth can ransom a person’s life.

Having great wealth sounds great on the surface, but many do not see the problems that come with having that wealth. Once a person has great wealth, he has to protect and keep what he has. This can cause the wealth to become a curse for him.

The person who is driving a ten year old Chevy car will not attract the attention of a car thief like the one who is driving a brand new high-end Mercedes. The person with a huge bank account will not attract all the “friends” who would like some of that money in either begging for it, or by lawsuits. The person with a small two room, empty, run-down house will not attract the thieves as much as the one with a mansion with a large flat-screen tv in each room.

Those with little to no physical wealth do not have the worries and cares that those with great wealth do. Yet, they can have great wealth in a different form. The wealth of the poor can be in having a close family, no worries of theft, joy in life, and reliance on the presence of God.

There is nothing sinful about having great physical wealth, nor is there anything sinful about being physically poor. The important thing is that God is the center of your life. Seek Him and what He wants and desires.

Learn to be satisfied with what God has already blessed you with. Do not strive after greater wealth as the world does. You may get it, but then have the concerns and fears the wealthy have. God may give you great wealth, or He may not, but trust in God, not the wealth.

I pray today that God will bless your life; that you will see how God is already blessing you; that you will trust in God and not things; and that you will see how wealthy you are in God.

Proverbs 11:24 Giving Away Will Gain More

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.

Revelation 2:9 You Are Rich

“I know your afflictions and your poverty–yet you are rich! I know about the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.” Revelation 2:9

John writes some words to the church in Smyrna that seem to contradict each other. He writes that Jesus said that He knows about their problems and poverty, yet He also says they are rich.

This church had been suffering some extreme persecution and slander. There were people who claimed to be Jews but were not. These people would then slander them and try to give them a bad name.

When a person is given a bad name it is difficult to do anything. No one wants to give him credit or hire him, because he is a “bad” person.

In churches today there are people who claim to be Christian. They know all the right words to say to appear to be Christian. Yet, they do not really live for Jesus. They will slander other believers. Often it is done in a way of saying that true believers are too close-minded, or are too legalistic. They will also point out any faults in a person very quickly to every person they see. Others will also promote living in ways that is against God’s Word.

These types of actions can hurt true believers and the church. It makes others look bad, even though they may be doing the right thing.

Jesus said that you are rich when this happens. Even though you may not have any money or credit, you are rich. You have something the world does not have and money cannot buy–it is life. You have eternal life.

The next verse says that to continue will get them the victor’s crown. A crown is usually made of gold and is of very high value. They were a lot richer than they thought.

You have this same wealth. You have life for all eternity in Jesus. When Jesus returns you will also receive a crown, if you are living for Him. Stay true to God and He will remain faithful to you. God is watching and knows what is happening to you right now. He will not let it get overlooked. Trust Him.

I pray today that God will strengthen you to stay true to Him; that you will not give in to the pressures of this world; that you will know how much God thinks of you; and that you will be His witness everywhere you go and in everything you do.

2 Corinthians 8:2 Generosity

“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.