Good morning everyone,
All of us like to be praised when we do something that is 'good!' That is simply part of our human nature. But we have to be very careful why we do the things that we do. Matthew 6:1-3 points out the dangers of wrongful giving! "Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what you right hand is doing." Brothers and sisters, ask the Lord to give you a generous heart so that you give because it is the right thing to do and not simply a required thing to do! Everything you have been Blessed with up to this point is really what He has allowed. And remember that everything you have is really only on loan from Him in the first place. Most of us live on what we have and not on the 'faith' of what we don't have! To be generous with a heart like our Savior, we have to be willing to let Him stretch us to the point of truly following Him. When we give, Father help us to give with our whole heart; not for the purpose of getting praise from men but simply because we want to please You! Simply said, you can not out give the 'Giver!' I know a lot of you are wondering how you can tithe anymore than you currently are doing. There are many ways that you can tithe and my suggestion is to allow God to show you how He can use you more effectively. Ask Him to use you to be a deflector of who He is so that when you help someone, help them to see Jesus and not you the person! As we approach the holidays, may I make a suggestion that each of us seek His face so that we can see where He wants us to serve! Serve as in giving of our time so that we take our eyes off of our own mess so that He can show us how better to use the 24 hours per day that we have. Mess is the beginning of message, and God is capable of giving you a heart like His and He can turn you messes into a message of hope for others if you will allow Him!
Your brother in Christ,