Completing the framework
For reading & meditation: Proverbs 14:27-35
"' whoever is kind to the needy honors God." (v.31)
We continue looking at how to build a framework for generosity. Fourth - give at least a tithe of your earnings to the Lord's work. The giving of a tithe is seen by many as legalistic, but the tithe is really a symbol of acknowledgment that the nine-tenths belongs to God. The Hebrews waved the firstfruits of the harvest before the Lord as an acknowledgment that the coming harvest belonged to Him. Some will be able to give far more than a tithe, but the tithe is a good place to begin. Fifth - make your will under God's direction and maintain a balance between responsibility for your family and the continuing work of God. Make sure your relatives don't waste what God has given you to invest in His kingdom. You might need advice here from a wise Christian. Sixth - remember that the principle of generosity applies not only to your treasure but also to your talents and your time. Each day ask God to show you ways of using your talents and time for Him. John Wesley's advice is worth repeating: "Make all you can; save all you can; give all you can." Seventh - accept the smallest opportunity to be generous as a proving ground for faithfulness. "You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things" (Matt. 25:21). Don't wait for the big opportunities to be generous but start with the next opportunity that comes your way - no matter how small it may be. Get ready for the bigger by doing the little well. Why does the Bible make much of generosity? Because the truly generous are the truly wise.
Father, just like Simon Peter, who gave Your Son his boat from which to preach, I give You my treasure, my talents and my time for You to use as Your pulpit - today and every day. In Christ's Name. Amen.
For further study:
Genesis 14:20; Leviticus 27:30; 2 Chronicles 31:5; Matthew 3:1-10
1. What principle did Abram follow?
2. What is your response to the biblical principle expressed by the tithe?