Beyond Challenging? by Pastor Chris

Beyond…Challenging?

Proverbs 3:27–Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it’s in your power to help them.

A different version reads this way: “Do not abstain to do well to the needy.”

Quite a statement.

Proverbs 3:28 goes on and states:  If you can help your neighbor now, don’t say, “Come back tomorrow, and then I’ll help you.”

1 John 3:17-18– If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person?

Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.

How do we do this?  We need to keep ourselves open to the Holy Spirit prompting and talking to us.  And then simply obey.

I recently had the opportunity to do the K-3rd-grade chapel at Maranatha.  At the end, they had an offering for an orphanage in another country. It was so neat to see these kids go up and put money in the offering!  They were giving, and putting to action what is said in Proverbs 3:27.

They were putting feet to their faith.  Sure, some of them were probably putting in some money from mom and dad.  That doesn’t change it for me.  They were gladly giving to others who had a need.  They were giving what they had the power to give.

Childlike obedience. Childlike faith.

Have you ever wanted to give something, but waited to give something?  Or told God you will give once you have enough?  That “enough” never comes.  It’s like waiting to have kids until you can afford it.  That is one elusive carrot.

I came across this statement:

Procrastination is especially fatal to the giving “impulse”.

If we give ourselves time we can come up with many reasons why NOT to give.  It would be so awesome to have the mindset of why TO give.

As I recounted Sunday, my wife’s parents were and are givers.  They model a life of “not withholding good to those who deserve it.”  And they are blessed.

We don’t have to be rich see an opportunity arise to do good to those less fortunate.

The children at the Chapel service were not rich.  They gave what they could when they could.

In reading these verses and the previous devotions this week it is quite a challenge to my/our giving habits.

We should take joy and pleasure in giving to others.  If we care only about ourselves, exclusive of others, we have placed our focus in the wrong place.  We are encouraged in these verses to give to those who have need, when they need it, and not to wait.

Basically, this is enforcing what the Bible tells us in that we are but stewards of what God has given us.

Then when I see a need I am more willing to give.  I understand that I am just a steward of what He has blessed me with.

If we are not careful, our mindset begins to echo a quote I came across from Tim Keller: A lack of generosity refuses to acknowledge that your assets are not really yours, but God’s.

Giving puts action to our faith.

Continue praying this week about what God would have you to give–and where!

 

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