Yesterday, Pastor Chris preached a great message on giving. In his sermon, he referenced a Harvard Business research article written by Michael Norton which suggests that the old adage, “Money can’t buy you happiness,” is wrong. Money can in fact buy you happiness if you spend it right. In Michael’s TED talk he describes the happiness one receives in giving rather than receiving.
Mr. Norton, whether he realizes it or not, is highlighting a 2,000 year old principle that Jesus preached to His followers,
“It is more blessed to give than to receive” Acts 20:35 NLT
In the original Greek “blessed” can also mean happy. In other words, Jesus tells us– you are more happy when you give than when you receive. I’m sure many of us would agree that giving is a wonderful thing in which to participate. Yet, the action of giving is more difficult than meets the eye.
Why is it that giving is so hard to do?
Because giving requires sacrifice. And by and large we don’t like to sacrifice. Sacrifice costs something. It isn’t free. It comes with a price.
A certain joy therefore only comes about by sacrifice. Some happiness is wrapped up in surrender. Jesus also taught us, “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal.” Matt 6:19-20 NLT
The act of storing up treasures in heaven is partly done in the way in which we give. We store up by giving away. It’s a paradox. But Christian spiritual principles usually are. The first shall be last, the humble are exalted, the meek inherit the earth. God urges us to experience true happiness through sacrifice.
This week I’d like you to spend 5 minutes a day in prayer to God. The focus of our prayers this week will include us asking God what He would have us give. What is He asking you to sacrifice? It’s a difficult question to ask, yet for those who are willing to be obedient, I guarantee that you’ll experience great spiritual joy! Go ahead, I double-dog dare you!!
At 6:48 AM or PM, (set your phone alarm) I’d like you to:
Ask what you should give
Thank Him for His blessings in your life