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Monday, October 10, 2005

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT MONDAY - GENEROSITY.

He who gives what he would as readily throw away, gives without generosity; for the essence of generosity is in self-sacrifice. - Sir Henry Taylor.

As it is written, "He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever." He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way for all your generosity, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. - 2 Cor 9:9-11.

Take a look at your own heart, and you will soon find out what has stuck to it and where your treasure is. It is easy to determine whether hearing the Word of God, living according to it, and achieving such a life gives you as much enjoyment and calls forth as much diligence from you as does accumulating and saving money and property. - Martin Luther.

Yesterday I preached on ‘Trusting God,’ and out of that sermon came the statement, “We give because of the giver in us.” As a Pastor, I have watched for years, people going to Financial Giving Seminars... 9 Steps To Financial Security, 12 Ingredients To Make You Rich, 18 Principles For Gullible Giving Christians, etc;

I don’t mean to be flippant, but I have seen how they come back from these seminars, all overflowing with bubbly enthusiasm about giving, only to find a couple of months later, that they are in trouble because of spending money they never had. And after a few more months pass, they leave the Church altogether.

I have met some of them later on, and telling me how embarrassed they were at leaving the Church, they poured out their hearts, regarding their foolishness about money. I explained that they needn’t have to left the Church as I understood the problem, having seen it many times, unfortunately, having received so readily false teaching on finance, they couldn’t readily accept Godly counsel, and most of them are still backslidden.

It is so sad when this happens; they were fine people who were deceived by a spirit of greed. It would not have happened if they had possessed a strong relationship with Jesus. We need to teach people about relationship with Him, and the Christian values that He teaches. We need to make that our priority!

The story is told that one day a beggar by the roadside asked for alms from Alexander the Great as he passed by. The man was poor and wretched and had no claim upon the ruler, no right even to lift a solicitous hand. Yet the Emperor threw him several gold coins. A courtier was astonished at his generosity and commented, "Sir, copper coins would adequately meet a beggar's need. Why give him gold?" Alexander responded in royal fashion, "Cooper coins would suit the beggar's need, but gold coins suit Alexander's giving." – Source Unknown.

Alexander the Great gave because He could, but we give because of Jesus. It is because of Him that we have a generous spirit; it’s because of Him that we can give sacrificially; it’s because of Him that we have the giver inside of us; apart from Him, all giving is superficial.

The Apostle Paul said... You will be enriched in every way for all your generosity, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. – 2 Cor 9:11. Paul explained to them that the reason why wealth was bestowed, it was not for the purposes of opulence and high-living; not to be spent in futile enjoyment, not for to show off and exhibit; it was that it might be dispersed to others in such a way as to cause thanksgiving to God. And if we follow Paul’s Godly counsel, we will be enriched in every way, and continually thank God for it! That’s a giver! Hallelujah!

There were once two young men working their way through Leland Stanford University. Their funds got desperately low, and the idea came to one of them to engage Paderewski for a piano recital and devote the profits to their board and tuition. The great pianist's manager asked for a guarantee of two thousand dollars. The students, undaunted, proceeded to stage the concert. They worked hard, only to find that the concert had raised only sixteen hundred dollars. After the concert, the students sought the great artist and told him of their efforts and results.

They gave him the entire sixteen hundred dollars, and accompanied it with a promissory note for four hundred dollars, explaining that they would earn the amount at the earliest possible moment and send the money to him. "No," replied Paderewski, "that won't do." Then tearing the note to shreds, he returned the money and said to them: "Now, take out of this sixteen hundred dollars all of your expenses, and keep for each of you 10 percent of the balance for your work, and let me have the rest."

The years rolled by--years of fortune and destiny. Paderewski had become premier of Poland. The devastating war came, and Paderewski was striving with might and main to feed the starving thousands of his beloved Poland. There was only one man in the world who could help Paderewski and his people. Thousands of tons of food began to come into Poland for distribution by the Polish premier.

After the starving people were fed, Paderewski journeyed to Paris to thank Herbert Hoover for the relief sent him. "That's all right, Mr. Paderewski," was Mr. Hoover's reply. "Besides, you don't remember it, but you helped me once when I was a student at college and I was in a hole." - Edward W. Bok.

“WE GIVE BECAUSE OF THE GIVER IN US!”

Loving Father, I thank you that you gave your only Son, that through His sacrificial death, I am saved. Help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to build a strong relationship with the Lord Jesus that I may learn to be a giver too. In His wonderful name I pray, amen!

GBYAY

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