Posts Tagged 'giving'

Our Possessions Belong to God

JESUS SPEAKING

And it came to pass, when He drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mountain called Olivet, that He sent two of His disciples, saying, “Go into the village opposite you, where as you enter you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat. Loose it and bring it here. And if anyone asks you, ‘Why are you loosing it?’ thus you shall say to him, ‘Because the Lord has need of it.’” So those who were sent went their way and found it just as He had said to them. But as they were loosing the colt, the owners of it said to them, “Why are you loosing the colt?” And they said, “The Lord has need of it.” And they brought him to Jesus (Luke 19: 29 – 35.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

The book of Zechariah prophesied that the messiah would arrive humbly; “riding on a donkey.” Jesus therefore sent out a pair of disciples to procure an animal for His triumphal entry into Jerusalem. The men, upon being confronted by the animal’s owners, did exactly as they were instructed; they simply replied, “The Lord has need of it.” They were then permitted to leave. Much has been written about this brief encounter; many have highlighted the omniscience of God, the wisdom of Christ, and the faithfulness of the disciples. Yet in the presence of God’s glory, there exists a nameless stranger; a generous individual who recognized that his possessions were divine endowments; gifts from God, ready to be used to serve the Creator whenever He had need of them.

It is said of General George Gordon, that when the English government sought to reward him for his magnificent service in China, he declined all money and titles, but accepted a gold medal on which his name and a record of his thirty-three engagements was inscribed. After his death the medal could not be found. Eventually it was discovered that he had sent it to Manchester during a famine, with a request that it be melted and used to buy bread for the famished poor. In his diary that day he had written these words: “The last and only thing that I had in this world that I valued, I have given over to the Lord Jesus Christ.”
       Our possessions are not our own; our time, our money, and our resources all belong to God. We are mere stewards of what we have been given. When the Lord calls, we must be willing to relinquish control of our time, our money, and our goods so that others may know the love of Christ. Be still, and the Holy Spirit will tell you what, when, and where to give. Be generous and faithful, and you will experience the joy of the Lord; and His peace will fill your heart, now and forevermore.
      “Lord Heavenly Father, give us opportunities to use our resources to further Your Kingdom. May we be generous; may we be faithful; may we serve others with gladness and singleness of heart; and may we never turn away from those who are in need. All that we have is Yours. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name, Amen.” God bless all of you!

Giving

JESUS SPEAKING

     “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20: 35.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

    The word ‘blessed’ most commonly translates into the English word for ‘happiness.’  Those who live a ‘blessed’ life regularly experience joy, peace, and contentment, despite the presence of any challenging circumstances.  Such a pleasant existence can only be achieved and maintained through daily acts of sacrificial service.  And yet, nearly every human being is resoundingly selfish.  In an endeavor to acquire as many possessions as possible, some have become isolated, discouraged and depressed. They remain unaware that genuine happiness doesn’t come from selfish gratification; but instead, is the product of selfless giving.

     Michael Norton, a Harvard business professor sought to discover a link between overall happiness and daily giving.  He conducted an experiment in which a small amount of money was given to a group of test subjects.  Half of the participants were instructed to spend the money on themselves; the other half were told to spend the money on someone else.  When researchers contacted the subjects at the end of the day, they found that those who had spent the money on someone else reported feeling much happier than those who had selfishly squandered their allotted funds.  [Note:  In another study, Norton found that sales team productivity and relationship quality increased as salespeople were given money to spend on other team members.]

     Professor Norton had discovered that, although selfish gain seems appealing, it also lacks the power bring about lasting joy.  Genuine peace and contentment are the result of selflessness and sacrifice.  By serving and giving we can demonstrate the generosity and love of Jesus Christ. May we never forget that happiness doesn’t originate from what we might receive, but rather, from what we are willing to give.

     “Lord Heavenly Father, continue to shower us with your many blessings.  As we love and serve our fellows, may we be filled with Your unending joyfulness and peace.  May our selfish desires come to an end; that through us, countless wandering souls might come to glorify Your Wonderful Name.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You; and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you!

Give Without Expectations

JESUS SPEAKING

   “And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you?  For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back” (Luke 6: 34.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

  Even the most selfish human beings will lend to those who can eventually repay them.  Jesus therefore implored His disciples to exercise genuine selflessness; to freely give; expecting nothing in return.  All those who yearn to achieve true Godliness, must also strive to practice the art of sacrificial giving.

 Some time ago, while I was preparing to leave the gym, an acquaintance approached me and asked to borrow ten dollars.  After receiving the money, he repeatedly insisted that he would pay me back.  Using this scripture as my guide, I informed him that the money wasn’t from me; it was from God.  So I didn’t require, nor did I desire, any form of repayment.  Eventually he understood that the cash wasn’t a loan; it was a gift.  As we parted ways, the blessings of obedience filled my heart with joy.

  The Lord yearns for His disciples to standout; to shine; to be more loving and more charitable than the worldly masses.  Giving without expecting repayment is just one of many characteristics of genuine faith.  Whether a stranger is begging for change, or a family member needs financial assistance, we must freely give, when we are able, in order to fulfill God’s desires.  May we continue to embrace divine charity; giving without restriction; that through sincere obedience, we too might receive eternal rewards.

   “Lord Heavenly Father, help us to be generous and kind; to give without expecting anything in return.  May we focus more on eternal blessings than Earthly rewards.  May Your love flow through us; that our faith might be a light to all those who walk in darkness.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You; and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name, amen.”  God bless all of you!


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