When we see materialism as the means to happiness and success, any hint of giving is met with emotional denial. We have become idolaters.
No one spoke more about giving generously than Jesus, because giving unveils one’s true heart.
In Luke 18:22, Jesus challenged a rich, young ruler who mistakenly thought he was obeying the Ten Commandments: “You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” The young ruler sadly walked away. He was very rich and had put his trust and affection in his wealth. He was a covetous (tenth commandment) idolater (first commandment) and did not know it.
If you feel agony over giving, this is a symptom of misdirection of your affection and trust. If you believe that God will provide all you could need—-especially if you provide for the needs of others—-giving away your resources should not be so hard. When the Philippian church sent Paul an offering, he knew the sacrifice behind their generosity.
This prompted him to write an eternal principle: “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:19). The “need” referred to in this verse resulted from their sacrificial gift, “a sweet–smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God” (4:18). This is not a promise to provide whatever you may need (or want); rather, it is like a reimbursement for generous giving.
Our text tells us to “habitually and be continually giving to everyone who asks you.” Obviously, this does not happen every day, but when it does, it should not encounter a resistant spirit from your heart. It is not whether or not you should give, but how much you can give.
Furthermore, you are to give without any hope or expectation of being repaid in any manner, “and do not ask for your possessions back.” Give it up and let it go. Learn to be a giver and enjoy it. Don’t forget: you still have Jesus! Rejoice in Him.
“Lord, it is hard to give of one’s resources continually. Don’t let me think of being generous to get a future favor in return. How self–centered I am! Make me more like You.”
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