“Though He was rich, for your sake He became poor, so that by His poverty you might become rich.” 2 Corinthians 8:9
In this verse, the Apostle Paul is describing the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. After all, who in the history of this universe has shown more grace and generosity?
I wouldn’t have described myself as generous prior to accepting Christ as my Lord and Savior and inviting the Holy Spirit to dwell in my heart and soul. However, it wasn’t long after I invited the Jesus into my life that I began to realize the fruits of the spirit. Suddenly, I felt compelled to help others, especially those who appeared to be less fortunate. Almost immediately, I wanted to help the guy holding the sign on the corner. I didn’t do it because I wanted something in return. I did it out a sense of compassion and because doing so felt right.
Rick Warren taught us in our recent “Transformed” study that giving back to God is one of the seven habits of experiencing financial health. I must admit, I used to cringe at the thought of tithing. Where would it come from? I’m barely making it as it is. Oh, we would give here and there, but not consistently. It was during our “Transformed” small group that one of the couples shared their commitment to tithing. I was impressed that through financial hardships including unemployment, they were diligent in their tithing. Though they never expect anything in return, they have experienced God’s provision through some sort of miracle over and over again during the times they needed it most.
Their story convicted my wife and me to finally commit to a goal of tithing 10% of our gross income beginning immediately. Why? It’s because as followers of Jesus Christ and believers of the Truth in God’s word, we are called to do so. It is out of obedience, faith, love for Christ, and the desire to be more like Christ that we are committed to giving back to God first.
Recall the story of The Widow’s Mite (Mark 12:41-44). The widow gave everything she had!
Why would she do that? It is the strength of her faith in God’s provision that leads her to give so generously. Does this mean to be strong in faith, we have to give all we have to the church? Of course it doesn’t. The Bible instructs us to give our first fruits, not all of our fruits. Why our first fruits? So that we are reminded always that God is first in our lives.
Questions & Applications
What role does money play in your life? Are you dependent upon it, or is it simply one of many means to serve others and see God’s will come to fruition in your life?
God, thank you for what you’ve blessed me with. Thank you for entrusting me with your resources for the short time I am here in my temporary home. I trust you to continue to provide for me as you faithfully have. Please give me a generous heart and give me opportunities today to show your love to others through generosity. Amen.