|Today’s Scripture: There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty. Proverbs 11:24|
In January of 1661, John Bunyan went to prison. All he had to do to regain his freedom was to promise not to preach, but he refused the offer. While imprisoned, he wrote 9 books, including his greatest legacy, Pilgrim’s Progress-the famous allegory of his life walking through this world as a believer. At one point in his allegory, he presents the riddle: “a man there was, though some did count him mad, the more he cast away the more he had.
“What is the answer to this riddle? It is he who bestows his goods upon the poor. More often than not, goods weigh us down and giving frees us-especially giving to the Lord. Having all the money you desire often makes you poor in every other area of life. If you want to be rich in the Lord, here is what your giving should be:
1. Giving should be deliberate. You pay your electric bill in a very disciplined manner. There’s not a greater investment that you can make than giving back to God.
2. Giving needs to prove worth. It reflects how worshipful our attitude is. Philippians 4:18
3. Giving is for everyone. Anyone who has an income is privileged to give to God. Do you want a gross blessing or a net blessing? Every person I’ve ever talked to that has been faithful has not been sorry for having the discipline. God will make the ends meet.
4. Giving is to be proportional. Those who have more are to give more. Are you going to let some Old Testament saint out give you? Let’s go above and beyond. An open heart cannot maintain a closed hand.
5. The gift and the receiving of the gift need to be handled properly. We should live honest and above reproach before both God and men.
6. The gift should be to the local church. It’s God’s plan for this age. Doctrine and duty are both important. One motivates the other.
This concept of giving back to the One who gave us everything will revolutionize our life if we simply obey and give in the way that God has already given to us. Tis’ the season of giving, let’s not forget to be generous to the Giver of all good and perfect gifts.
Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.