"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give." —Winston Churchill
Money. There has been so much abuse of the topic that the modern church is sometimes hesitant to bring it up at all. It's like the last thing presented in the whole discipleship journey, and even then, it usually comes across like, "Well, um, you know, there is this giving thing. Maybe, like, if you have a couple billion extra, you should give a few away, sort of?"
Why does it have to be like that? God has attached mega-blessings to giving. It blesses our hearts, and it blesses our siblings. But there is also a missional blessing that comes with our giving, and it's really critical to how Christ wants our heart.
We are part of an organism, the "Body of Christ." When we share with each other, we are really sharing with ourselves (but that's beside the point, actually). What I'm really trying to communicate is this: When you give as the Spirit leads, the Body grows, God's Kingdom expands, and you are set free from all sorts of material and monetary things that can enslave you. It's good for everyone and it's good for the cause.
Consider this letter from Paul to the Philippians:
Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles... for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid more than once when I was in need. Not that I desire your gifts; what I desire is that more be credited to your account. I have received full payment and have more than enough. I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. —Philippians 4:14,16-19
Paul includes a critical reminder here, because anyone who does the math knows that you have less after you give, right? So Paul adds, "God will meet all your needs." That's huge. At the core of our freedom to give is the faith that God will provide. God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus. When you follow the lead of the Spirit in giving, the Father will supply. There's no shortage of resources available to Him, and His heart is good. You can take that to the bank.
Father, You are Jehovah Jirah, my provider. I place my trust in You to supply all I need. Deepen my faith in You and my intimacy with You as I step out in faith, following the lead of Your Spirit in me. I ask again that You would show me today where You wish to give through me. 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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