"I bought a seven dollar pen because I always lose pens and I got sick of not caring." —Mitch Hedberg
More years ago than I care to count, I traveled as a young man to Bogota, Colombia with a sports team to experience the culture and immerse ourselves in local customs. So naturally, one night we ate at McDonald's. A beggar was sitting by the front door with his hand out. I passed him by at first, but a tug on my heart told me I should give him something. So I bought a Big Mac and gave it to him. I was expecting him to say thank you, but he didn't. Kind of awkward, so I started to walk away when Poompt! The Big Mac hit me in the back of the head. He didn't want a Big Mac? Come on! Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese... Did I forget to ask, "Do you want fries with that?" I was kinda puzzled because I assumed that, minimally, I'd get thanked for giving.
Looked like I was out the price of a burger, but I did learn a valuable lesson: When you do nice things for people, a lot of times you don't get anything in return, directly.
God's blessings aren't always what you expect them to be, but they are very, very real. God's Word identifies four blessings that will come as we surrender to the Spirit and allow Him to do this work of giving through us.
Giving blessing #1: A Heart Blessing. When we give in the power of the Spirit, our heart is free to be His.
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." —Matthew 6:19-21
Where do you want your heart to be focused? Put your money there first, and then your heart will follow. That makes sense, if you think about it. If you invest $150,000 in a restaurant, you're going to be pretty eager to make sure that restaurant does well. Listen. We are living in one of the most affluent nations on earth. It's so, so important you understand that money is vying with Jesus for your heart. Jesus teaches us: Pour your treasure into what I treasure and your heart will be free to treasure Me. That's the "heart blessing" of giving and one of the most important lessons we can learn. If you figure this out and then let the Spirit apply it, it will truly impact your life... even better than a Big Mac to the head.
Lord Jesus, open my heart to the possibilities here. Will my heart really follow my giving? Right now, in a big or small way, I ask that You would stir up Your Spirit in me, and show me where You want to take my heart. I now ask, by faith, that You would show me specifically how You want me to invest the treasure that You have lent me in the place You have prepared for my heart. I wait for Your leading, Lord. Amen.
Listen to Pete, Jill & Stuart Briscoe on the Telling the Truth broadcast at OnePlace.com
A Countercultural Life: Living Well in a Broken World
It’s a challenge for most followers of Jesus Christ to live in a culture driven by values and views that run counter to our faith and to the truth of Scripture. And we wonder how best to relate.
Should we isolate ourselves from such a world, trying to keep ourselves “unstained”? Should we be intimidated by what our secular counterparts believe because we feel “out of step”? Then again, maybe we should identify more closely with the values of our world in order to win more people to Christ.
Stuart Briscoe takes you on a journey to discover how to live as a Christ follower in our fallen culture in his new small book, A Countercultural Life: Living Well in a Broken World. By looking at the life of Joseph (Genesis 37-50), Stuart shows you an excellent model for how we should indeed live in our world!
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