If it is giving, give generouslyRomans 12:8
I wanted to take the time to add more on giving. Not that giving is a major thing. More that Jesus said “where you treasure is, there your heart will be also.” When your focus changes to the point where your wealth is just a means to an end, His end purposes, it is like God releases something more. Something extra in your life. God truly does want us all to come to the point of being generous with what He has given us. Hold it loosely and pass the blessing on. When you do He will always pour out His blessing on you more and more. At least that is our experience.
Two personal stories I want to share with you.
In 1980 I received a substantial amount of money from a salary rise that was backdated in high school teaching in New Zealand. We planned to replace our car. But we attended the Sunday night service and heard Eddie Cairns talking about the need for Bibles in China and how they were going to take one million Bibles into China for the believers there. We both felt convicted to give the whole of the amount that we received from the backpay to Bibles for China. I don’t believe it was a coincidence that from that moment on our life changed. Suddenly God seemed to take an intense interest in us and our attitudes and plans. He began leading us in very specific ways (see Bible Gem 197 & 198) the end result of which was to lead us to join Wycliffe Bible Translators. Interesting isn’t it? We give our money to Bibles for China and 18 months later we find ourselves joining Wycliffe Bible Translators. “For where your treasure is there will heart be also.”
Returning home to Matamata from our work overseas we had lunch with a couple and their family who were supporting us. I told them how much their support meant to us. He let me know in no uncertain terms that they were being blessed because they were involved in the work with us. He said to me “Oh no Ian. It is us who should thank you. Being involved with your work has brought blessing to us and has enable us to see things that we would not ordinarily have seen.”
He told us he was on the farm one day and his attention was drawn to two calves in his beef herd. The Lord seemed to speak to him about two specific animals among his beef stock. the thought came to his mind, ‘These two are to be set aside for God’s future purposes”. Instantly he thought, ‘OK, Lord I can do that’. He told his wife and she agreed. Closer to the time they were to be sold he felt the Lord say the money was to go to the Vails.
He duly took eight beef stock down to auction, including the two which had been set aside for us. All eight head of stock were in the cage at the same time. But he felt strongly that the two specified beasts were the first fruits. So he asked the auctioneer to auction the two specified ones first and to leave the others in the cage. As they went on the floor the bidding increased significantly above market rates. The two beasts were sold for over $500 each. This was twice the market rate at the time. People around him asked made comments like: “What is so special about those beasts?” “Why are people bidding that much?” “They’re not worth that much.”
Minutes later, when the other six beasts came up for auction, the price had come back down to what it was before the two beasts had gone up for auction. The other six sold for half of what the two beasts had sold. He said it encouraged his faith to see that indeed God had a special reason for asking him to set aside those two beasts. His own faith was strengthened realising he had indeed heard the Lord correctly in setting aside the calves. His comment “It is a privilege to watch it all happening before your very eyes. It blesses us to be supporting you. We know God is in it.”
Get involved in the main stream of what God is doing and you will astounded. Don’t hold back.
If I should die with more than 10 pounds wealth, may every man call me a liar & a thief.Charles Wesley
For some a cliche, for me a conviction: YOU CANNOT OUTGIVE GOD! I’ve lost the giving game for 34yrs, raising the bar every year.Rick Warren