Memory verse: Philippians 4:19: "And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from His glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus." (NLT)
God promises to meet all our needs and He will do it in ways we may not expect. God tells us in Isaiah 55:8 "My ways are not your ways." (NIV) Do you have needs in your life that are not being met? Do you wonder why this promise isn't working in your life? Behind every promise of God is a premise, a condition that we must act on first. If we meet those conditions then God will come through. If we do our part, He'll do His. God's needs-meeting principle is outlined in 2 Corinthians 9. "When you have a need, plant a seed." In other words, whatever you're lacking, whatever you're needing, give away that thing. Need more money? Be more financially generous. Need more time? Spend more time working for God's kingdom. Does that make sense to you? Not if you're looking at it from man's perspective. God says "my ways are not your ways." God's way is to give. This applies to all areas of your life. Give what you want to get back. Make a statement of faith by doing the thing you humanly are least inclined to do and see what God does. God will bless you by meeting your needs. He promises to!
Giving with the right attitude.
Our attitude says a great deal about our heart. We could give a million dollars with the wrong attitude and it would mean nothing to God. Why? Because God doesn't care about the amount. He cares about the attitude behind the giving. God doesn't need our money, It's all His anyway. He's interested in why you give that amount. That is the heart of the matter, your heart. That is what God wants. 2 Corinthians 9:7 says "You must each make up your own mind as to how much you should give. Don't give reluctantly or in response to pressure. For God loves a person who gives cheerfully." (NLT) If we want God to meet all our needs like He has promised, then we have to have a good attitude about giving.
Dear God, help me to be a cheerful giver. Not just with my money but in all areas of my life. In Jesus' name, amen.
For the rest of this week we'll look at some attitudes that we need to have about giving if we expect God to meet our needs. All of these attitudes are based on 2 Corinthians 9:7: "You must each make up your own mind as to how much you should give. Don't give reluctantly or in response to pressure. For God loves the person who gives cheerfully." (NLT) First, we are to "make up our own mind" about what we are to give. That means we are to think about it. Not that emotion shouldn't motivate us to give, but it should not be impulsive, it should be planned and deliberate. Secondly, our giving should be with enthusiasm, in expectation of the great things God is going to accomplish through it. He tells us "not reluctantly, not grudgingly." Remember that God doesn't need our money. We should never give out of guilt or a sense of duty. Do you have the right attitudes in your giving?
Dear Lord, look inside me today and examine my attitudes. Help me to give in ways that are pleasing to You and that bring You glory. In Jesus' name, amen.
Do you ever feel like you have to give? If you do, don't give, God doesn't want your gift like that! 2 Corinthians says "not in response to pressure." So, willingly, voluntarily and of our own free will. Out of the generosity of our hearts. We should give out of love for God and in response to His great love for us. If that's not reflected in our attitude, then it's not for the right reason, not pleasing to God and wasted in vain because it's not coming from our heart.
Dear God, please let my attitude toward giving always be pleasing to You, as an overflow from my heart. In Jesus' name, amen.
Everything that we give to God, we are to give cheerfully. 2 Corinthians says "God loves the person who gives cheerfully." We're not just talking about a smile as we drop our check in the offering plate Sunday morning. We're talking about everything, not just our money. What about that friend who desperately needs to talk when you must get to the grocery store? Or a colleague who needs some advice in your area, but you're swamped with your own work? Cheerfully we are to give, voluntarily. Willingly and cheerfully setting aside our own needs for another's is giving to God. God loves to see us do that! Why? Because God loves to give. Because it's then that we are becoming more like Him.
Dear God, continue to grow in me a desire to be a cheerful giver like You are a cheerful giver. In Jesus' name, amen.
What if we're not naturally a cheerful giver? What if 'cheerful' isn't our natural inclination? It can be learned! Think about these 3 truths and they will help you become a cheerful giver.
- It all comes from God. God has generously given us all we have, so what we give is what he's already given us.
- Remember God's guarantee. He promises that whatever we give to Him, He will give back to us. Luke 6:38 says "Give to others and God will give to you. The measure you use for others is the one God will use for you." (GN) God guarantees it in 2 Corinthians 9:11. He says "You will be enriched so that you can give even more generously." (NLT)
- Remember the eternal reward. Every time we give, we are storing up for ourselves eternal rewards in heaven. How can we be sure of this? Read Luke 16:9. "Use your worldly resources to benefit others. In this way your generosity stores up a reward for you in heaven." (NLT)
It all comes down to attitude. God's promises are ours for the taking!
Dear God, I have the power to choose my attitude toward giving. May my attitude be pleasing to You. In Jesus' name, amen.
For most people, giving equals sacrifice. Whether it's time or money, usually some material thing has to be sacrificed to give. However, when we talk about giving, it's not really about that, it's about faith. The proof of our faith is in our giving. Our giving is a testimony to others that we believe God will take care of us by meeting our needs. We can expect God to take care of us, if we are doing our part (giving) because He promises to. So what is the sacrifice? Really? We don't own what we're giving and it can only benefit us in the end. If we consider Christ's sacrifice it changes our perspective. He sacrificed His life for our freedom, His life for our forgiveness, His life for our future.
Dear God, may I think upon Your sacrifice if I ever become weary of giving thoughtfully, enthusiastically, voluntarily or cheerfully. In Jesus' name, amen.