Day 4 of the Generosity Journey (Started on June 9, 2012 with “First Things First”)
1 Cor. 16:2: “On the first day of every week, each one of you should put aside money as you have been blessed.” Questions: Was that only directed to the Corinthians? Was it specifically for the 1st Century Church? Was it for them and not for us?
They are in fact for us as God’s Word transcends time, and culture, and situations. It is truth that is relevant for us today in 2012.
In the heart of the prayer Jesus gives the disciples, when they asked the Master to “teach us how to pray,” Jesus instructs them to pray for our daily bread. Later, once Jesus completed everything He came to do and sent the Holy Spirit to propel the Church of the latter 1st Century, Paul instructs them to add to this by looking back over the past week and see the blessings God has provided, and give. The instruction goes like this: Look at your blessings, look at what God has provided this week, and set aside money as a gift to the Lord.
The daily asking, the weekly looking back, and the weekly setting aside of money to give is God’s desire for each of us.
You see, by learning to pray for our daily bread, we remind ourselves Who is the real source and supply of all our provisions. God knows how we are wired – He knows how quickly we can forget, overlook, get confused, and postpone. I really feel that is the reason why He includes in His Word: “On the first day of every week…” Looking back each week helps us to see and refresh our minds of the many blessings and many ways God has provided.
It is stated and recorded in many missionary publications, world economic journals, and social demographic pieces that if you have constructed shelter, 6 outfits of clothing, enough food for 3 days, and clean running drinking water that you have better quality of life than 85% of the world population. Add to that a moderately priced vehicle and $500.00 (US) in cash and the number goes to 92%. It doesn’t mean people don’t have struggles or that cost of living implications don’t matter – but it helps put things in perspective on a grander scale.
Consider this: If we begin our week, each week, “counting our blessings” literally and recalling what marvelous things God has done, I believe we will discover that anything we receive is a part of God’s financial provision and blessing in our lives. Our Lord is not limited or bound in how He can help – there are a myriad of ways that He can provide.
Generous Living is about uncovering gratitude, generosity, and joy in our hearts. And it absolutely is an attribute of Lordship. The questions we have to ask ourselves are: Do we have gratitude? Are we reflecting on God’s provision? How have we responded in the past, and how can that be transformed in the future? I leave you with this, today – it is both a fact and a statement: No matter what, no matter how hard and long you try, no matter what lengths you go to: You can’t out give God. He is the Ultimate Giver.