"You will be enriched in every way to that you can be generous on every occasion,
and through your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God."
2 Corinthians 9:11
"Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly, or under compulsion,
for God loves a cheerful giver."
2 Corinthians 9:7
My husband is generally more of a generous giver than I am. I love to give, but usually my first idea of what to give is less than his. I love this about him - he doesn't hesitate to give. We have tried to be careful to give out of what we have, and not give away what we don't have to give (as much as we would like to). This is a temptation in our culture to borrow from creditors, and we have had our share of bumps down the road of learning to budget.
But we love to give what we can. We had the privilege of attending the Clay County Young Life fundraising banquet recently, and it is always such an encouraging evening. We loved attending this same banquet up in NC, because we were able to hear from the students about their lives. Their love for Christ & the change they experience through the work of YL is wonderful. I am so thankful to our Lord for placing loving leaders in our lives who give generously OUR OF THEIR LIFE to these students.
Giving does not mean just money. Giving can be time, energy, prayer, money, & support for those that give their lives. Just simple encouragement to those that are pouring out their energies I know is meaningful. The Lord uses us all in different ways, and gives to each of us uniquely. We must give out of what we have been given. My favorite verse, my life verse, says that beautifully.
"Be hospitable to one another without complaint." ((yesterday's verse ;-)) 1 Peter 4:9
"As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God..."
1 Peter 4:10
For our sons, we focus on the verse about how God loves cheerful giving. We try to model giving with a happy heart & they have such excitement to give away. Of course it is tougher when we ask them to give out of what they have- sharing with each other or giving away toys to other boys & girls. We hope they can learn how practice to give as children, and then they will be able to learn more about the heart of giving as they grow.
Lord help me to give generously & cheerfully. Give us eyes.to.See chances to give to others in need. Let us be good stewards of your grace given to us. Thank you for all you've given us; it is more than enough. Let us not become greedy, but continue to help us give freely in balance with our income. Keep us all from growing in our appetite for more 'stuff', and let us continue to find new ways to give away out of what we have. Thank you God, you are so good. Amen.