Live to Give

The world continues to change, and with each day it seems the cost of living goes higher. We rarely leave Walmart for under $300 anymore, and to fill the pickup with fuel costs well over $100. We know everyone around us is also feeling this pinch, and it is something we have discussed often amongst each other. Money is not the first thing any of us want to address though, and we definitely don’t like to discuss what is the “right” way to use it with fear of being seen as a hypocrite. But a question I am sure we are all trying to answer is, “How do we keep giving to the church & those in need when we have less and less ‘extra’?” We can find several references to money throughout the Bible, and we can also find that the hearts of men have not changed since the very beginning. In reading about Cain & Abel this week, the Lord makes it very clear how seriously he takes our offerings.

Genesis 4:2b-7

Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.

Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”

‘The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering’; so, what was so different from Cain and Abel’s offerings? Abel gave his FIRSTborn while Cain only gave SOME. This can be applied to several areas of our life, but in particular what of our goods (today that would be mainly our money) are we giving to the Lord. Are we giving first and taking for ourselves second? Or are we only giving when we have “extra.” This could also be a lesson in how we spend our time and our energy. If we are not diligent, we will put our time, energy, and resources (money) towards other things first, and not even realize we are dishonoring God.

2 Corinthians 9:6-8

6Remember this:  The one who plants few seeds will have a small harvest.  But the one who plants a lot will have a big harvest.  7Each one of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give.  You should not give if it makes you unhappy or if you feel forced to give.  God loves those who are happy to give.  8And God can give more blessings than you need, and you will always have plenty of everything.  You will have enough to give to every good work.

As I write this, it is a lesson we have to learn in our own home, too. We are not always giving first, although it is very clear throughout the bible that we should. We live in a society where selfishness is glorified and we need to practice being more selfless. As uncomfortable as money conversations can be, it is clear we are all living in the same world where decisions have to be made; and as we talked about during CED last week, God takes all of our actions and thoughts very seriously. Ananias and Sapphira (Acts chp 5) were struck dead for being dishonest with the Lord about their money (the price of the land). We must to be honest with our money, as the Lord knows all. He gave His life for us; what are we willing to give for Him?

By Andrew Hervey, Spiritual Ministry Team Member


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