Daily D – 2 Corinthians 8:7
Since you excel in so many ways—in your faith, your gifted speakers, your knowledge, your enthusiasm, and your love from us—I want you to excel also in this gracious act of giving. 2 CORINTHIANS 8:7 (NLT)
Study after study declares those on the lower end of the economic scales are, on average, more generous than those on the higher end of the scale. This is a general truth. It is not true in all cases.
In the 1980s, Texas endured an oil bust. The price of oil plummeted due to OPEC nations flooding the market with cheap oil. Many in that business suffered serious setbacks. This affected everyone in Texas because of how much our economy in those days depended on those natural resources.
Even then when millionaires settled into more average incomes, one of those men led his family to live on twenty percent of their income and give away eighty percent. He had two sons in college at the time. They lived on twenty percent when times were good, and they lived on twenty percent when times were bad. He was a giant of humility and generosity.
A survey of the wealthiest pastors in America includes Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in California. His book, The Purpose-Driven Life, is one of the best-selling books of all time. He promptly paid back all the salary he had ever received from his church. He began the practice of a reverse tithe. He kept ten percent of his income and gave away ninety percent.
The point is not to instruct you, “Go thou and do likewise.” My bride and I, and here I take credit for her faithfulness, have sought to live generously across the years. We give more than average. However, we do not come anywhere close to these examples. As soon as I write an international bestseller or two, we will give it a shot.
Paul wrote to the Gifted and Talented Church and asked them to finish what they had started a year before. I know a guy who is really good at starting stuff he never can seem to finish. I visit him every morning when I shave. Finishing things can be hard.
The church in Philippi, which did not have much in their bank accounts, gave to help those who were suffering famine immediately and generously and above their ability (vv. 1-5). The Gifted and Talented Church talked about generosity, started down the path of generosity, but had not yet actually made any generous deposits (vv. 6, 7, 10-14).
Paul told them, “Give whatever you can according to what you have,” (v. 11). Don’t wait for the next Big Deal. Don’t wait for your ship to come in. Don’t wait for that international bestseller. Do what you can with what you have. No one will be looked down on for giving five bucks if that is the best you can do. Live as generously with others as you would want them to be with you if your life situations were exchanged (v. 14).
God’s blessings multiply when they are shared. Live generously.
I will do what I can with what I have.
Our Father, you can do more with five loaves of bread and two fish than I can with a million dollars. You multiply, amplify, and maximize the effectiveness of our generosity. When we live generously, we are simply following your lead. You are the Giver of All Good Things. Everything we call our own came from your gracious hand. As you enrich our lives, empower us to join you in enriching the lives of others. Give us the discipline to give automatically. Give us the heart to give extravagantly. Make us more like you in this gift of giving. Amen.
CONNECT WITH ME!
Interested in learning more about Church Unique or Life Younique? Send a note through the Get In Touch box or Message me through the Facebook link above.
GET IN TOUCH!
READ MY BLOG!
6 Then the LORD spoke to Job out of the storm:
7 “Brace yourself like a man;
I will question you,
and you shall answer me.
8 “Would you discredit my justice?
Would you condemn me to justify yourself?
9 Do you have an arm like God’s,
and can your voice thunder like his?
10 Then adorn yourself with glory and splendor,
and clothe yourself in honor and majesty.
11 Unleash the fury of your wrath,
look at all who are proud and bring them low,
12 look at all who are proud and humble them,
crush the wicked where they stand.
13 Bury them all in the dust together;
shroud their faces in the grave.
14 Then I myself will admit to you
that your own right hand can save you
The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Job 40:6–14.
Job 29:21-25 21 “People listened to me expectantly,
waiting in silence for my counsel.
22 After I had spoken, they spoke no more;
my words fell gently on their ears.
23 They waited for me as for showers
and drank in my words as the spring rain.
24 When I smiled at them, they scarcely believed it;
the light of my face was precious to them.
25 I chose the way for them and sat as their chief;
I dwelt as a king among his troops;
I was like one who comforts mourners.