Will you tip God this Sunday?

wordswag_1536750266759

Our church is in the middle of the “Matthew 25 Challenge” in cooperation with World Vision. Two goals are in view – to raise our awareness of the need that millions of people experience every day, and to open our wallets to become part of the effort to provide clean water, basic food, and education to parts of the world that are desperately poor.

The idea that fasting for a day, drinking only water (yes, I sure did miss my coffee!), sleeping on the floor, and such minor inconveniences could even begin to approach the hardships that those in grinding poverty live with is absurd. However, it is a way to drag us out of our apathy.  I’ll admit this about giving! Generosity that is just based on sympathy or pictures of children in rags won’t last!

A far deeper change in attitudes about our ‘stuff and store,’ about the money in the bank, must take place for real God-honoring giving to become a way of life.  Giving that is sustained grows from the faith that sees God as our richest Resource, our Supply.

Here is how Paul explains that to us. Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written: “He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.” Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.” (2 Corinthians 9:6-11, NIV)

Let me put it this way  – is your Christian giving more like an investment that you expect to return a dividend or a tip for efficient service?

Every month I take a sizable chunk of money and send it off to an institution where it is invested, used by churches and other organizations that pay me a small fee in return that is called interest. I ‘give’ that money away with the full expectation that the funds will be there for that time in my life when I am unable to produce an income.  When I am served, in a restaurant, by the barber, for example – I add a percentage to the total on the check that is called a ‘tip.’  It is a way to say ‘thank you’ for serving me in this way.  A tip is given out of some generosity, I suppose, but I do not expect much of a return on it.

God invites us to give with the full expectation of a return. He says that our generosity is an investment. “He gives you something you can then give away, which grows into full-formed lives, robust in God, wealthy in every way, so that you can be generous in every way, producing with us great praise to God.”  Some of you are gasping with shock!  “Jerry, are you teaching that old lie about seed faith, telling us to give to get?”  No, not at all. God says, “Invest in Me, every part of life, given away generously because I am Your rich Resource, your true Security.”

Much Christian giving is more like a tip than an investment.  God gets a $20 bill on Sunday with the idea that He’ll be good to us on Monday.  When we really want a big favor, we increase the tip.

I give because I love and trust Him, because I believe, at the core of my being, that He is my life. Beyond money, I invest time and effort in the work of the Lord, fully expecting that He is able to take what I give, hold it securely, and prepare what I need for days to come.  Jesus taught me that. “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal.” (Matthew 6:19-20, NLT)  If you’re reading that we give so that God will make us rich so we can buy all the stuff we want, you missed the point.  We give so that we will become rich in godliness, so that true wealth of the Kingdom of God overflows in us, and so that we can live without being anxious about tomorrow or eternity.

I am invested in Eternal things. Are you?  Let’s invite the Holy Spirit to make the Kingdom of God, the things of Heaven real to us, so that our giving will become an investment rather than a tip.

Meditate on this story Jesus told about investing. Ask the Spirit to begin to shift your treasure from things of earth to the wealth of God! “After a long time their master returned from his trip and called them to give an account of how they had used his money. The servant to whom he had entrusted the five bags of silver came forward with five more and said, ‘Master, you gave me five bags of silver to invest, and I have earned five more.’ “The master was full of praise. ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’” (Matthew 25:19-21, NLT)

_________

You Are My All In All

You are my strength
When I am weak
You are the treasure
That I seek
You are my all in all
Seeking You as a precious jewel
Lord to give up I’d be a fool
You are my all in all

Jesus Lamb of God
Worthy is Your name
Jesus Lamb of God
Worthy is Your name

Taking my sin
My cross my shame
Rising again I bless Your name
You are my all in all
When I fall down You pick me up
When I am dry You fill my cup
You are my all in all

Dennis Jernigan © 1991 Shepherd’s Heart Music, Inc. (Admin. by PraiseCharts Publishing, Inc.)

CCLI License # 810055

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s