Month: April 2019

The Cheerful Giver

2 Corinthians 9:7
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.

Written by: Larry Van Laar

In the first chapter of the first page of scripture we read the God of creation chose to create humans in His image or likeness (Gen 1:26). This set humanity apart from every animal in creation. It even set humanity apart from the angels. An unbridgeable chasm has been created between all of creation and God—except for humans. If fact, God said, I will create humanity to be like Me. This means humans embody God’s personality (knowledge, feeling and will), morality (ability to make moral judgements), and spirituality (we are made for communion with God).

One of God’s most endearing traits is that He is a giver. He is a cheerful giver. Just like a human father that gives good gifts to his children and smiles, so too does the Lord.  It’s more than a simple act of obedience which can sometimes be with a begrudging or reluctant heart (although that is usually where we begin). The word “cheerful” comes from the Greek word hilaros which is the root word for our English word hilarious. God wants our giving posture to be one of ecstatic delightfulness because that is how He gives. And we have that ability because He created us to be like Him.

There are few things in life that can transform us into His image and likeness more steadily than when we give with cheerful enthusiasm.

19-Devo-4.3Thought of the day: Some people have more to give than others. The amount is not the point. The point is that whatever we give is given with a cheerful heart. If you want to give more, then ask the Great Giver Himself for more so you can give more.

When you do give your tithe, a giggle will rise from within—it is the fingerprint of God on your being. It is a gift from the Holy Spirit.

Prayer: Lord, I want to be a cheerful giver. I pray that when I give You would nurture and cultivate absolute giddiness in my heart. Whether it is a tithe at church or a tip at a restaurant, make me a person that exemplifies Your generosity with ecstatic delightfulness. Amen.

Test Me

Malachi 3:8-12
 “Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me.
“But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’ 

“In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,” says the Lord Almighty. “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the Lord Almighty.

Written by: Robert Watson

If you have ever felt reluctant to give away resources, then you are in good company. This reluctance can be traced back thousands of years.

In the 8th century BC, Israel was facing uncertainty with political turmoil and war surrounding them. In fear, the people clung to whatever they could and developed a strong reluctance to share.

There is only one situation in the Bible where God says to put Him to the test and it is found in the above passage. Everywhere else the Bible says NOT to put God to the test. So why make the exception here?

The Hebrew word that is used to describe testing God in a negative way is “nasah” which means to tempt or put to the test. The word used here is different. It is the word “bachan” which means to examine. Nasah comes from a place of doubt. Bachan comes from a place of faith.

God invites us to examine and see that we can trust Him with whatever He has given us to manage. To the reluctant Israelites He gave a challenge followed with a promise. “Test (bachan) me in this, and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.”

19-Devo-4.2Thought of the day: What would it look like for you to examine and study God’s faithfulness and goodness when it comes to your finances? Does that make you uncomfortable to think about? If so, why? If not, why not?

Prayer: Father, help me to trust You with everything. You are the source of all things, so I say “thank You” for all you have entrusted to me. Give me confidence in You so that I can be generous toward others with what You have given me. As I give, would You pour out Your blessing. Amen.

Giving out of Gratitude

Leviticus 27: 30, 32
A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the Lord; it is holy to the Lord. Every tithe of the herd and flock—every tenth animal that passes under the shepherd’s rod—will be holy to the Lord.

Written by: Chris Moss

The Old Testament scriptures demanded a tithe on everything. The Israelites were required to sacrifice the first and best of their animals, wine, flour, and oil. Sacrifices occurred daily, weekly, monthly, and at festivals.

It was a give-a-thon! It was rigid. It was much more like taxation than it was an offering. As Christians, we are supposed to be cheerful givers, but many believers have been harmed and disheartened by tithing messages given by well-meaning pastors.

Can you relate to this? There is healing for those hurts.

Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University is a sound, biblically-based way to “tell your money what to do.” It’s affordable, and Ramsey has a lot of crossover appeal to non-believers, non-tithers, non-money managers, and disheartened givers. The finite value of the numbers and Dave’s fun approach make the system easy to follow.

Instead of feeling like you are being “taxed,” Financial Peace helps you learn to give out of your gratitude.

  • Here are some of the important concepts I learned from his teachings years ago and continue to implement in my life and marriage daily:
    When it comes to disagreements about money, look at what the Bible says. The biblical principles are universal.
  • Pay cash as you go and save for large purchases, rather than incurring debt.
  • Saying “this is very important to me” is key in a marriage. By discussing money in this way, you learn more about the values of your husband or wife.
  • Give first, save second, and live on the rest.

Financial freedom and peaceful security are available if we learn language around the principles of money together.

19-Devo-4.1Thought of the day: Make Jesus the prize, not the battlefield.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for loving us so much! You care more about our relationship with You and each other, than You care about our resources. We love You and want to give our offerings, not because You need our stuff but because we are grateful. In Jesus’ name, build respect and trust between us and our partners, and faith in our homes. Amen.