The greatest barometer of our belief in Christ is our giving. Our theology can be correct, our knowledge of scripture can be plentiful, but our giving habits tell all. As we begin our season of generosity, we step back from our series in Acts to consider our generous God and the generosity we show to others. Let these devos seep into the cracks and crevasses of your soul to widen the spirit of generosity in your life.
I tell you, use your worldly resources to benefit others and make friends for eternity. In this way, your generosity stores up a reward for you in heaven . . . but if you are unfaithful with your worldly wealth, who will trust you with the true riches of heaven? You cannot serve both God and money. (Luke 16:9-14)
The first step in a spiritual revolution is not making moral resolutions to avoid our worst selves, it’s not promising to stop deceiving others, it's the decision to stop deceiving ourselves. Jesus gave His all. Unless we have the same passion of generosity seen in Jesus’ life, we are undermining our faith and deceiving ourselves. Self-deception is the enemy of generosity. It divides our loyalty, permits living with mixed motives and prevents us from making God-honoring decisions. Self-deception masks our lack of spiritual growth in the spirit of our generous God. The pursuit of truth and authenticity means looking at our cravings.
The true test of generosity comes when we don’t have a surplus. Do we still give what little we have to help somebody else?
What if we’re in a recession and things aren’t going well, or we are out of work, or we are out of money and we feel like we have no more time, or money, or energy to give? How can we be generous when we’re stretched thin? The real test of how much one trusts God is the way we handle our treasure, time, and talents.
What has God given us that we could freely give? Is it time? Has God gifted you with a particular skill or trade that could be used at our church? Has God blessed you financially? We can look at Paul as he gave a personal challenge to each believer. He asked each one to examine what they have and give accordingly.
Lord, help me to look at my finances, time and talents and use them for Your glory, not for my pleasure in a personal way. Amen