Devotional giving is the by-product of dependent giving. If you want the former you need to reverse engineer your generosity and start with the latter. Start to give in such a way that you are dependent on God. Give so it hurts. This is faithful giving and the only type God responds to. As God shows Himself faithful to you this will cultivate more devotional giving in you. You will begin giving out of love and awe and wonder for who God is and how He has provided in your past. You will be a cheerful, thankful giver. But, first you must become a faith-filled giver.
By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. – Hebrews 11:4
Stewardship is a spiritual issue with a physical response. Where you spend is the expression of what you believe. Where Biblical generosity is lacks the spirit is bankrupt. A look in someone’s checkbook ledger is a walk into the account of their soul; how they add up priorities, devotions, idols, and gods. So watch how you spend, it reveals more about what you worship.You might not be giving to God but you are giving to a god.
You cannot serve God and Mammon (money, fun, family, time, pleasure, sex…) Matthew 6:24.
God doesn’t play fair. In fact, God has a wicked sucker punch that has laid out and broken many a proud and undefeated fighter.
Brokenness confirms our dependence on God. You can wrestle out of many challenges in life but it won’t matter till you have wrestled with God. No opponent makes you cry mercy like Him. Brokenness also confronts our deceitfulness. Your short-comings come into focus when lying flat on the mat. Finally, brokenness changes how we walk. No one fought with God and left the same.
When God’s grace and mercy take you down hold on. He is humbling you to realize His provision and to teach you His promises. To cry mercy, you only need to let go of your pride and position.
Jacob was alone, and God wrestled with him till daybreak. – Genesis 32
I know how it started, someone hurt you. Intentionally, probably. At least you think they did. So, to be safe you have pulled back. No one really knows about it. It is a secret except to a few friends who you don’t want getting hurt either. But you hurt. Every time you see him/her you hurt all over again. You see and hear what they did all over again. Sounds like a serious infection you have- all covered up.
You have a grudge.
Left alone it will fester into rank unforgiveness. It will choke your prayer life. Cripple your maturity. It is a stepping stone to more serious diseases; slander, gossip, hate, rage, divorce, murder.
Get it treated. Go and personally give them grace before this kills you. And, keep it out in the open so God’s fresh air can get to it.
Joseph said to his brothers, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good.” – Genesis 50
No man is an island but every man is a king. Each person has a life to govern, shape, and fill. It is a kingdom divinely given by God and the crown comes at your birth. No one can rule it for you. God doesn’t even impose upon the decisions you are sovereignly free to make and the consequences you are free to live with. Your life is your kingdom.
The question facing you is not if you are a king but if you are a good king. Some kings start bad and move to worse. Others start great and move to tyrannical. As the king goes so goes the kingdom. If you are overwhelmed remember, you cannot abdicate your throne but you can align it under a Greater King. Move your life under His law and your kingdom will prosper in everything you do.
The LORD said to my lord, “Sit at my right hand…” – Psalm 110:1
We can get it wrong, apparently. We can get the big questions wrong. We can have a great idea for a new ministry, outreach, missional opportunity and completely miss God’s plan altogether. We can have our spiritual advisers back us up and push us ahead and end in the wrong place with the wrong conclusions.
God’s unique purpose for each individual supports God’s eternal plan. Just because you have a burden on your heart does not mean God has it on His agenda. Search God’s heart. What has He already prepared you to do?
“Go and tell David, ‘You are not the one to build me a house….’” – God (I Chronicles 17)
Many desperately try to get away from the world around them. Stay church-white clean of sinners. God planted his people, Israel, right in the middle of idolatry and filth. It seems that when God shops for real estate He likes to build between the brothels, bangers, and the bars. The last place most would visit a church is the first place God plants one. God goes to the middle of the mess and the other side of the tracks.
“Surely you don’t want to build here, Sir. Crime rate is up, domestic violence, bad schools, gang violence, adult stores…surely you don’t want your family around that, God.” God smiles and says “I’ll take it.”
God didn’t just promise Israel any old land, He positioned them with a missionary purpose.
“Abraham, go to the land I will show you. All people on earth will be blessed through you.” – God (Genesis 12)
Oswald Chambers caught my attention two days ago.“Drudgery is the touchstone of character. The great hindrance in life is that we will look for big things to do…There are times when there is no illumination and no thrill, but just the daily round, the common task.”
Can I be content today just doing the right thing, putting one foot in front of the other? There is no “God-moment” in it, only the quiet contentment I am moving forward and higher. Can I rest just knowing I made progress, I did what was needed whether or not I felt it?
May we all keep climbing.
How far you will follow God has to do with how far you have come with God. Some of us say “No!” because we can’t. We will stagnate our faith because we focus on our capacity and not God’s capacity. Some of us say “No!” because we won’t. We will shipwreck our faith because we focus on our authority and not God’s authority. When you are tested take a good look. God is showing off your heart.
Then God said, “Take your son, your only son…Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.” Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. – Genesis 22:2-3
You can only experience certain promises of God through hardship. God’s healing? You have to be sick. God’s provision? You have to need. God’s joy? You need sorrow. God’s deliverance? You need chains.
Before you attempt climbing out of life’s brickpit, look and see what divine promise, not yet fulfilled, God is about to share. You are getting a back-stage pass into the royal treasury of God’s graces. That pass is only given to those who can bare the wounds. Great promise only can come after great hardship. The more the cup is emptied the more it can be filled.
Know for certain your descendants will be enslaved and mistreated…afterwards they will come out with great possessions. Genesis 15:13-14