Monday, January 5, 2015

Give What You Can and How You Should - Martin Wiles

But Peter said, “I don’t have any silver or gold for you. But I’ll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk!” Acts 3:6 NLT

When the bottom falls out, the money often follows. Dropping from 50K annually to 13K was a shock…not only to me but also to my creditors. My bills were calculated around the higher number, so the appearance of the lower presented a challenge. I wasn’t Jesus. I couldn’t multiply the 13K and pay what the 50K once did. I struggled with a decision: give my tithes and chance a few bills going unpaid, or give and trust God to make up the difference. I consulted my pastor about my unsought after dilemma. He understood and assured me God did as well. Life can be sprinkled with those temporary times when I can’t give what my heart desires…but I can give something. 

Money would have helped this poor beggar, but Peter had none. What he did have, however, was more life-changing. Money would only have carried him through temporarily; healing—physical and spiritual, took him much farther. 

Regardless of how much I give, there are some elements that should characterize what I give. Cheerfulness is one. If I give grudgingly, the church can still use my money, but God isn’t pleased with the gift. I give happily because God has given me so much.

Regularity is another. Paying my bills and establishing a budget is easier when I have consistent income. God’s work is no different. Whether I give weekly, bi-monthly, or monthly is unimportant. Regularity is. 

Giving proportionately and sacrificially is also essential. Whatever percent I decide upon, it should be representative of my income. When it is, it will hurt to give it. The pain reveals I’m giving proportionally. 

Time and talents are also involved in my giving. God wants more than my money. He wants me…totally. He expects and enjoys it when I’m faithful with what he has entrusted to me. 

Are you thanking God by your giving?

Prayer: Father, Your mercies and gifts are new every morning. Prompt us to use them faithfully in Your service. 

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