God Loves a Cheerful Giver
edited: Tuesday, August 04, 2009
By Terry Scerine
Rated "G" by the Author.
Posted: Sunday, June 14, 2009
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There are many forms of giving from the heart. Financial giving is only one of them, but to some it can mean everything!
"But there are those who are conscious before God that they are rich. And, doubtless, some among you are of the number. You have more of the goods of this world than is needful either for yourself or your family. Let each consider for himself. Do your riches increase? Do not you understand that plain expression? Have you not more money, or more of money's worth, than you had ten or twenty years ago, or at this time last year?" ~ John Wesley
"Craving clarity, we attempt to eliminate the risk of trusting God." ~ Brennan Manning
There are very many forms of giving from the heart. Financial giving is only one of them.
I have been blessed with an opportunity to give direct financial support to a servant of God who works to spread the true Gospel of Jesus Christ in an very underprivileged third-world country where the harvest is ripe and plentiful. I am privileged, through the internet, to personally know of several poor and struggling bretheren in foreign lands who have devoted their lives to sharing the love of Jesus with the lost, and to profiting the Kingdom of God. However, in their service to Christ they live with their sweet families in one room apartments in slums, struggling each day for their basic needs, their loved ones sharing the affliction of their extreme poverty as the price of their devotion to lead the lost to Jesus.
"The next best thing to being a missionary in a foreign land is to help support one who is." This is a truth I've held in my heart for many years. The harvest is plenty, but the workers are so few!
I believe that the truth about the requirements of our giving today can be found in the New Testament which applies to all of us reborn believers as much now as it was then, and the two commandments Jesus gave us upon which hang all the law and the prophets - the spirit of the law of Christ rather than merely the letter of the old law that Christ fulfilled!
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself."
In studying the New Testament, I see the evidence of the believers in the early Church which I firmly believe is the exact model we are to follow today as well, beginning in the book of Acts, when they gathered each week to give of their abundance to distribute to the needs of the saints. They cheerfully gave of their abundance. Many, I'm sure, cheerfully gave ALL of their excess above their own basic needs (which God has promised us He will always supply).
10% tithes given purely out of a sense of obligation and a fear of "robbing God" and being punished by Him is, in my opinion actually an abomination unto the Lord, a clanging cymbal.
Whatever we give cheerfully and abundantly out of love, rather than giving out of fear, we cannot possibly outgive our loving Father in Heaven! I believe He will always give us more than we can cheerfully give away in love.
God loves a cheerful giver. Jesus commanded us to "Love your neighbor as yourself." Wouldn't that mean to bless the underprivileged needy with the financial blessings we ourselves enjoy in abundance?
He lovingly gave us many more ordinances to follow for the sake of our own abundant Joy in this life on earth, one of which is "Whatsoever you do for the least of my bretheren, that you do unto me."
Does that mean that whatever I give to anyone out of love, including to our poor bretheren carriers of the Gospel in other lands, I give directly to Him? Yes, it does! It is a miracle immediately available to every one of us that is beyond our own imaginations!
To think that I am actually able to bless Jesus Himself personally with my own abundance, the abundance I've originally received from His own hand! Do I love the opportunity to love my Lord Jesus by sacrificing my riches directly into His own hands? You bet I do!
I read the black-and-white examples of the life of Jesus Himself, and of Paul His faithful servant and the other Apostles, the greatest examples of love the world has ever known, who purposely had nothing in terms of earthly riches for themselves, and trusted our Father completely and whole-heartedly to always meet their needs daily, which He never failed to do.
For example, I am convinced that if every born-again believer in Christ in America alone gave only half of the excess they enjoy, excess past having their very basic needs met, there could be enough orphanages built and funded to house, protect, and provide for all the innocent and terribly exploited orphan children under the age of 18 not only in our own country, but also in the whole rest of the world!
I pray our Father in Heaven that the eyes of all the financially blessed and privileged members of Christ's Body here in America and around the world, including my own, be fully opened to these truths, and that they will forsake their own earthly riches and give plenty of their excesses to the needy through Christ's true servants, for His name's sake, for the sake of God's innocent children on earth, and even for their own sakes, however they may be prompted by the Holy Spirit to do so.
I know I am confirmed to pray this in full accordance with God's perfect will for all, even for the sake of the givers, knowing that those who give lovingly, cheerfully and abundantly will one day find the eternal treasure house of riches that will be stored up for them in Heaven where moths, rust, and theives can never destroy!
These are the last days. Soon, our opportunities to minister to others financially for His name's sake will be closed forever. We members of the Body of Christ are His hands and feet in the world while we are here.
Can you imagine how Jesus must have felt to be able to heal the blind, sick and crippled, and free people from demonic posession, and even raise loved ones from the dead on the spot with only a spoken word? Have you ever wished you could do that? Can you imagine what pure Joy that must have given Him? Can you imagine what pure joy is immediately available to us in relieving others of their financial afflictions, even if only temporarily?
And I know that saving my excesses to ensure my own financial security now and in my old age only displays my lack of trust in my Father to always amply meet my needs. Yet, I haven't quite found the courage and abandon to "sell all you have and give it to the poor, and come follow me" as Jesus told the wealthy young man who asked, "What must I do to enter the kingdom of Heaven?"
However, lately I've been trying to trust and honor Jesus more in my giving. I have found that in giving to those much less fortunate than me, I immediately receive back a hundredfold, not only in eternal treasures which moths, rust, and thieves cannot destroy, but also in the riches of Joy in my heart right now, knowing how much more the money means to them than it does to me! Even a mere hundred dollars that, though it is still very significant to me I can comfortably do without, can be an immeasurable blessing to one who has nothing above their most essential needs barely being met!
This, I'm sure, is why God's Word says that "It is more blessed to give than to receive." And yet, my own needs are still more than amply provided by my Father. I've never once since my salvation had to wonder what I will eat or what I will wear today, even when I've been at my "poorest" financially, no matter how much I've given away in His name.
I pray in the name of Jesus Christ that all God's orphaned children around the world will be loved, protected, and provided for safely. I also pray that all our impoverished brothers and sisters spreading the Gospel abroad are in the Truth and persevere in the Truth for His name's sake, and that God will abundantly bless their true service to Him for the sake of His Gospel, to profit the Kingdom of God beyond measure!
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|Reviewed by m j hollingshead
|enjoyed the read|
|Reviewed by Terry Scerine
|Dear Trask, If I never know the meaning of the word Impoverished, it will only be by the grace of God, I know.
But I will never believe there are 60 million USA citizens who are homeless. You'd better re-check your figures.
I don't believe I'm idealistic, either.
I do have to wonder about anyone's salvation who is wealthy and enjoying their wealth ALL FOR THEMSELVES when there ARE so many totally impoverished, especially innocent children, all over the world. Little children actually starving to death while even evangelical Christians enjoy MORE RICHES THAN IS IMAGINABLE for most of the world's population!
Did you actually READ this article, or were you just assuming what it says?
|Reviewed by - - - - - TRASK
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