Saturday, November 17, 2012
Welcome to Day 321 of our Life Journal!
Click here for today’s reading: 2 Corinthians 7; 2 Corinthians 8; 2 Corinthians 9; 2 Corinthians 10 (2012 Daily Bible Reading Plan)
Before you comment or read what I have posted, please read the following passages for yourself and complete your own S.O.A.P. exercise… How does this work?
S.O.A.P = Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer
2 Corinthians 7:10, “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.”
2 Corinthians 8:7, “Since you excel in everything—
in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you—see that you also excel
in this grace of giving.”
2 Corinthians 9:7, “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” 11 You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion.“
2 Corinthians 10:4, “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world.”
This grace of giving…
I could go on for hours about this one topic.
Not tithing… giving. Tithing is certainly part of it, but if I write my check for 10% and that’s it, that’s missing the point.
Paul is talking about generosity. 10% is the minimum. It’s what we are expected to give to further the work of the church… the “storehouse.”
People often say, “It’s my money and I can decide where to give it.”
Except there are two things wrong in that simple statement.
My money is not mine. It’s God’s. He only asks for 10% of it back.
And giving to World Vision or the United Way is not tithing. I’m not even sure it can be considered an offering. I believe tithes and offerings go to the church. It may be sowing seed for a greater harvest, but it’s not tithes and offerings.
I believe we are called to be generous people. Giving and giving and giving. Not out of “compulsion” (have to) but what we decide to do. God loves a “cheerful” giver! (That word “cheerful” may be better-translated “hilarious!”)
In early Acts 2 it says that “from time to time people would sell possessions or pieces of land and give to anyone as they had need.”
You know what a piece of land is worth? A half-acre in Beavercreek is about $40,000.00. Imagine selling that and just giving it away! How fun would it be to give 40 people each $1,000.00! Or $5,000.00 to each of eight people! Or ten-grand to each of four people!
Mary broke a jar of perfume and poured it over Jesus’ feet.
It was worth a YEAR’S wages!
Poverty level family income in the US is $23,021.00. Let’s just say, for the sake of argument, that her perfume was worth that amount of money.
Some of those at the table said, “Shouldn’t this have been sold and the money given to the poor??” (What a waste!)
Jesus said, “Leave her alone.” “The poor you will always have with you.”
Generosity is the goal. We can’t ignore the percentage, but the percentage is the minimum. Where our generosity starts.
I always say, we tip our servers 15% (or more!).
God only asks for %10…
Lord help me to always be generous on every occasion!