Monday, July 12, 2021

A Cheerful Giver

A Cheerful Giver

Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. MATTHEW 19:17 

A person who is a good person is an individual of lofty ideals, noble purposes, strong character, reliable conduct, and trustworthy integrity. The only one who truly embodies all of those characteristics is Jesus Christ. We come to understand the word goodness as we see it alongside the word righteousness. Someone has said that justice is what God gives to us that we deserve. Goodness goes beyond that and is that which God gives us beyond what we deserve. The great characteristic of goodness as it is found in relationship with righteousness is generosity. It is what a person gets that isn’t deserved. It is what God gives to a person that could never be earned. Goodness in its relationship to righteousness teaches us about generosity. You don’t have to be rich to be generous. But what do you do with what you have? We need to take a good, long look at our lives and ask God how our attitudes have been to the needs around us. If we’ve been protective and closefisted, we need to say, “God, by the grace You will give me, I will change.” Begin to bear fruit in your life, the fruit of a generous spirit.

Dr. David Jeremiah Morning and Evening 

I have used the illustration before of a girl in front of Jesus holding something precious to her and Jesus is asking her to give it to Him. Behind Him is something much better if only she would let go an trust Him. 

I have seen examples of the line from the devotional too of people whom are closefisted and protective of what God has given them. Reminds me of the rich man laying on his bed pondering how he will be expanding his storage for more fortunes and does not realize his very life would be required of him that night. 

I then go to the Scriptures where it is plainly said that God loves a cheerful giver.  

We don't necessarily NEED the best of things. But Satan will certainly convince us we do.
We don't necessarily NEED to have the biggest house with the most going for it. 
We don't necessarily NEED a flashy new vehicle for all the world to see.

We don't need collections of stuff that amount to a waste of time, energy and money. 

This nation has a thriving business of storage spaces.  Places to put stuff that we forget we even know what it is. We waste what God has given us on ourselves. 

Some are even taken in by some misguided notion of preparation for what might be. Is there something that God Himself can't see coming? Has God at any point exclaimed "Wow! Where did THAT come from!?!"

The other day God had me write concerning how many professing Christians have never even tasted Spiritual warfare.  Why? They are already under lock n key by the seductive work of the enemy of God and don't even see it!

He has them living a selfish life in such a way that they don't even see the chains. 

They are locked up under house arrest. Can come n go as they please because they are no threat to his plans and schemes. 

Giving is more than material things. It's giving of self. In most of my Christian life I have heard dozens of sermons on giving.  Have heard of what it says in Malachi many times.  Of how men, living that selfish life, end up with purses full of holes because of neglecting God. 

As I was reading on Spiritual Warfare yesterday, people have this idea of doing what THEY want when THEY want and give God the leftovers. Maybe attending but never intending on serving.  It's what we read in the Gospels of giving lip service to God. They honor me with their lips but their hearts are far from Me. 

It's OK to be wise with your money, but remember it's not your money. 
It's OK to be wise with your possessions, but remember it's not your possessions. 

In downsizing I have come to be ashamed of my past purchasing behavior. 
Included in that is my procrastination, which caused greater financial problems. 
When I had so much stuff that I have no idea what I have or don't and end up rebuying what I already possess but lost in the heap. 

Someone made mention of where was my logo merchandise. I'll just say that, that way. 
I don't want to intentionally point people to false ideas and false gods. I have work shirts for work with their logo. Most all my others are God themed or are blank.  As a Christian I don't want people to look at me and see me. Or see something that points to someone worthless in God's eyes. I want them to think about Jesus if at all possible. 

I often get ribbing for all the above and beyond things that I do while at work.  "You're not getting paid for it!"  In the world's eyes, maybe not, I don't serve God part time. Colossians 3.

If you are going to live the Christian life giving is central to it. Not hoarding. 
Selfishness is one of the most denied attributes of most people. Christian or not.
The painful decision of that child before Jesus? To give Him her prized possession? Been there, done that. Many times. 

I don't need to prepare for what God intends to do. It's God's plan, God has what is needed worked out. Scripture says that there is no one who can thwart the plans of God.  Who will tell Him, "What are you doing?"

Look at your heart, look at your life. Are you being closefisted with God?

Are you honest with yourself about your selfishness?  Convinced of your need for luxury?
Are your homes more or less temples to idols?  If a home is decorated in anything but Christ, then you might want to look at your heart. Have more stuff than you know about or know what to do with? You might indeed be under spiritual house arrest and not even know it.

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