Girlfriends in God - Sept. 27, 2007

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September 27, 2007

Blessed to Give

Gwen Smith

 

 

Today’s Truth

“All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had.” Acts 4:32 NIV

 

Friend to Friend

“What’s yours is mine, and what’s mine is mine.” My husband Brad and I used to joke that this was the unspoken motto of our kids when they were little. Toddlers have no qualms about grabbing a toy, snack, or any random item of interest from other people or pets. It is rare to see a child share her cherished possessions generously.

 

The early New Testament church shows us that generous living honors God and blesses others. In Acts 4:32-37; we see an amazing snapshot of generous giving in the early church. The believers were one in heart and mind. They were supernaturally unified to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and you could not find a needy person among them. What a model!

 

Giving wasn’t political. It wasn’t mandatory. It wasn’t done begrudgingly.

 

“…They shared everything they had.” Acts 4:32

 

“The disciples, each according to his ability, decided to provide help for the brothers living in Judea. This they did, sending their gift to the elders by Barnabas and Saul.” Acts 11:29-30

 

“But just as you excel in everything – in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us – see that you also excel in this grace of giving…For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have.” I Corinthians 8:7,12

 

The believers’ resources were God’s, and they knew it. They placed what they had before the leaders in selfless acts of worship…for the glory of God and the provision of others. This principle is very important, but it’s also very counter-cultural.

 

The world today bombards us with marketing campaigns that tell us we are the center of the universe. “You, you, you, you, you!” We are told, time and time again, that this life is all about us. The more we have, the happier we will be. The bigger that bank account, the more blessed the life. I sincerely hope that none of us actually buy these lies. They are dangerous deceptions.

 

The Bible clearly reveals that true life, a blessed life, an abundant life, a purposed life, is, in fact, all about God. What we have, have given birth to, or hold onto is really not our own. It’s just on loan to us for a breath of a moment by our more-than-generous Creator. Each day brings us new opportunities to be good stewards.

 

Let’s face it; it’s just not always easy or natural to be generous. Perhaps we have been taken advantage of or we’ve been hurt by another’s deception. There are risks to giving.

The generous giving of the early church blessed the lives of their people. When we share what we have, God is honored and needs are met. The risks are worth taking.

 

I’m not suggesting a Robin Hood philosophy of “take from the rich and give to the poor.” And I don’t believe in the politics of communism or socialism. This principle of generous giving is Biblical. What we do matters. It matters to God, and it should matter to us.

 

We need to reject the toddler mentality of “what’s mine is mine.” God loves a cheerful giver. We are blessed to give. Our motto should really be: “Lord, what’s mine is Yours. Use it for Your glory!”

 

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, thank You for this reminder from Your Word. You are amazingly lavish in Your love for me, and You have given me so much. All I have is Yours. Please help me apply this principle of generous giving to my life in practical ways. Open my eyes to opportunities to bless others for Your glory.

 

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen

 

Now It’s Your Turn

 

How do you feel about your possessions?

 

Have you shared generously lately?

 

Is God bringing anyone to your mind that could use your help or generosity?

 

Read and meditate on 2 Corinthians 8:1-15

 

More from the Girlfriends

Hey friend. I know that this is a sensitive subject to some of you. Maybe your husband won’t tithe. Perhaps you don’t even know how you will pay your rent this month. God knows your heart. He loves you greatly. Remember, giving isn’t always about money. We can give in many ways; service, an ear to listen, a shoulder to cry on, a dinner to a new mom, or time spent with an elderly friend. Now…go bless someone today!!

 

Email me a story of how someone’s generosity has changed your life. (Please tell the story in 300 words or less) I will post a few of my favorites on my MySpace blog next week.

 

Worship with Gwen! Check out her latest worship and hymns CD, Through All Generations. Accompaniment CDs are also available for all of Gwen’s original music!

 

Seeking God? Click here to find out more about

how to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

 

Girlfriends in God

P.O. Box 725

Matthews, NC 28106

info@girlfriendsingod.com
www.girlfriendsingod.com

 

 

Click here to learn more about hosting a Girlfriends in God conference in your area.

 
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