Excel

square grunge red no limits stampThis word carries with it the intent to surpass or do extremely well in whatever activity I’m involved with. It is part of the word “excellent” as well. I believe that those who give their very best end up excelling. In the sporting world, there are some sports where a gifted athlete combines his/her gifts with the discipline of preparation and they are crowned champion, whether it’s the Olympics, Super Bowl, NBA championship, etc.…

Paul, in writing his second letter to the church at Corinth, puts a strong challenge out there for them to give to another church that has been struggling. Giving is one of the biggest blessings that I can do for others. Paul makes an incredible appeal to give that really challenged me even this morning. Check this out…

Now as you excel in everything—in faith, speech, knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love for us—excel also in this act of grace. I am not saying this as a command. Rather, by means of the diligence of others, I am testing the genuineness of your love. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ: Though he was rich, for your sake he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich. 10 And in this matter I am giving advice because it is profitable for you, who began last year not only to do something but also to want to do it. (2 Corinthians 8:7-10 CSB)

He approaches the subject of giving by linking it to grace. If I give from a grace-filled heart, my gift will be generous.

I believe my giving reflects my faith.

I believe my giving reflect His Grace in me.

I believe my giving reflects the genuineness of my love for God. Talk is cheap – obedience is expensive.

I believe my giving profits me with blessing upon blessing.

When I committed to being a giver, I became a receiver of the blessing.

I believe that the Lord wants me to excel in my love for Him. One of the ways I can express my love for Him is the discipline of giving. I give before I invest. I give before I spend. I give before I eat. I give to Him first – period.

I am never more like God than when I give….  16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 NIV)

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Genuine Giving

 

Multi-Ethnic Group Of People's Arms Raised Holding Letters ThatI grew up in a home where giving was practiced regularly. We didn’t have much in material things, but my parents always displayed a healthy attitude of giving to help others. I remember watching my Dad write out his tithe check to the church every pay period. I also learned first hand just how much the Lord loves a giver. We are never more like God than when we give – “He gave His only Son…”

Elisha meets the woman and her husband who are generous toward him. They make quite an impression upon him. Check this out…

8 One day Elisha went to Shunem. And a well-to-do woman was there, who urged him to stay for a meal. So whenever he passed by, he stopped there to eat. 9 She said to her husband, ‘I know that this man who often comes our way is a holy man of God. 10 Let’s make a small room on the roof and put in it a bed and a table, a chair and a lamp for him. Then he can stay there whenever he comes to us.’

11 One day when Elisha came, he went up to his room and lay down there. 12 He said to his servant Gehazi, ‘Call the Shunammite.’ So he called her, and she stood before him. 13 Elisha said to him, ‘Tell her, “You have gone to all this trouble for us. Now what can be done for you? Can we speak on your behalf to the king or the commander of the army?”’

She replied, ‘I have a home among my own people.’ (2 Kings 4:8-13 NIV)

They built a small room out so that Elisha could have his privacy and know that he always had a place to stay when he came that way. The part that jumped out to me is that this lady didn’t expect anything in return for her giving. She was thinking of Elisha and his comfort as he traveled so much.

I was reminded this morning that all I have belongs to the Lord. I’m simply a steward of all that He has given to me. I can always take my giving to a higher level. I want to be a giver like God is a giver. I want to think ahead like this Shunammite woman. I want to give without expecting reciprocation. God loves a generous giver. Giving reveals what is really going on inside my heart. Check out what Jesus says about this….

19 ‘Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:19-21 NIV)

I want to invest into eternity by being a generous giver. I want to seek the Lord’s direction in giving. I want to be a giver like Him.

Pressing On!

Dwayne