How Does Your Giving Reflect God's Grace?
“Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:7-8 NIV).
If you want to measure how much you understand grace and how much you’re living by grace, look at your giving.
The Bible says, “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:7-8 NIV).
Notice the “alls” in that Scripture: “all things,” “at all times,” “having all that you need.” Those are the promises related to the person who becomes like Christ. What is Christ like? He is a giver. God loved the world so much that he gave. Until you learn to be generous with your time, money, resources, and opportunities, you’re not going to be like Christ. Nothing is greater proof that you understand grace than being lovingly gracious and generous to other people and to God.
If you’re uptight or defensive when your pastor starts talking about giving, it means you don’t understand grace. Look at the Scripture again. It says if you give cheerfully and liberally, God will take care of all your needs—all the time, in every way, however you need them.
Here’s the question: Are you going to trust the God who gave his life for you? If you can trust him enough for salvation, can’t you trust him in your finances?
The truth is, you really don’t own anything. God just loans it to you for 70 or 80 years. It’s all his in the first place. If my daughter, when she was very young, comes to me, and I give her five bucks to buy me a present, where’s the money really coming from in the first place?
God does that with us. He gives to us generously. Then he says, “Lead a life of gratitude. Be generous in giving, including your tithe.” Does God need the money? No. He wants you to become like him. He wants you to have a heart that says, “I can’t wait to give in every area.”
Romans 8:32 says, “Since [God] did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?” (NLT).
The fact is, you can say you love God and sing that you trust God and put him first, but your checkbook is where you can show just how much God’s grace means to you.
Talk It Over
Would you call yourself a cheerful giver? Why or why not?
How have you seen God bless your finances or provide for you as you have been faithful to tithe?
In what ways does your life reflect gratitude for God’s grace?
Are you ready to invite Jesus into your heart?
Are you ready to receive God’s gift of grace to you? It’s a simple prayer that will tell God you accept the gift of Jesus.
“Dear God, I’m scared, but I want to get to know you. I don’t understand it all, but I thank you that you love me. I thank you that you were with me, even when I didn’t recognize it. I thank you that you are for me — that you didn’t send Jesus to condemn me but to save me.
“I admit that I never even realized I needed a Savior, but today I want to receive the gift of your Son. I ask you to save me from my past, my regrets, my mistakes, my sins, my habits, my hurts, and my hang-ups. I need you to take away the stress and fill me with your love. I need to be at peace with you, and I need you to put your peace in my heart.
“I ask you to save me for your purpose. I want to know why you put me on this planet. And I want to fulfill what you made me to do. I want to learn to love you and trust you and have a relationship with you. I prayer this in the name of Jesus, amen.”
If you prayed that prayer, please write and tell me at Rick@PastorRick.com. I’d love to send you some materials as you begin your journey with Jesus.
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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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