Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Heart of a Giver {Day 2}

As I was writing yesterday so many things about giving came to mind. Today I have a thought about giving in obedience. I mentioned yesterday that Billy and I had opportunities for giving during times when giving wasn't easy but we did it anyway. We didn't just do it because the opportunity arose. There are always opportunities for giving but we need to sort through them to find the ones that God is calling us to. When you do feel that tugging at your heart to give then it's time to be obedient. It's no longer just a simple choice of see a need fill a need but this is God asking you to give. The choice is still yours but there are great blessings to be had for those who are obedient to God's leading.

Giving and being obedient are the keystones
in living a successful, fulfilled, unbroken life.

Yesterday we talked about how our giving directly effects what we receive. We found in Luke 6:38 that with the measure we use to give is the same measure that it will be given back to us. The same is true with obedience. One of my VERY FAVORITE passages of scripture is Deuteronomy 28. I just love it and read it often. I think I read it so often to keep myself motivated and in the mindset of being obedient. That doing things my way, just because I want to, is selfish and leads my life in the wrong direction. But doing things God's way and being obedient to his word and his leading takes my life to a level of blessing that cannot be achieved any. other. way.

Here is my condensed version of the blessings God promises for our obedience to him. I suggest you read the whole passage, it is truly amazing.

Now it shall come to pass
that if you obey the Lord
all these blessings will
come upon you...

You will be blessed
in the city and
blessed in the country

the fruit of your womb
will be blessed

you will be blessed
coming in
and blessed
going out

your enemies will be
defeated before you

everything you put
your hands to
will be blessed

When we see that God will bless "everything we put our hands to" how can that not change your heart and want to be obedient?! That line for me is a constant motivation. It keeps my mind set that everything I do is for God. I do it in service and worship and obedience to him, and not that I deserve it, but he, in turn, blesses me for keeping my heart in this place. It's a lovely cycle in which to live your life. It's total freedom.
On the flip side, Deuteronomy 28 continues to explain the curses that come upon us in our disobedience. It is our choice whether we live in blessings or curses. Obedience is the choice.

I always think of giving and obedience together. They work hand-in-hand and it's so obvious how our daily choices effect the outcome of our daily lives. What we give is given back to us in the same portions we give and our obedience brings blessings.

One last thought on both of these topics - you can't be a true giver and truly obedient Christian if your giving and obedience is motivated by your receiving. It is motivating to read these scriptures and allow them to bring understanding of the system God has set in place for us to receive but our offerings must come from a pure heart. Here is a scripture to pray to help us keep our motivations Godly.

Create in me a
pure heart, O God,
renew a steadfast
spirit within me.
Psalm 51:10

I also love to pray the Jabez prayer.

O that you would
bless me indeed
and enlarge my
territory! That your
hand will be upon
me and keep me
from evil that I
might not
cause pain.
1 Chronicles 4:10

I have read the little book "The Prayer of Jabez" by Bruce Wilkinson quite a few times. I found it on nightstand a week or so ago and started skimming through it again. It had been a while and the reminders in this little book were a breath of fresh air. In the book Bruce explains just how powerful this little prayer is. How faith-filled and obedient it is. It's a short book and a worth-while read! I highly suggest you find a copy :)

I hope you will all find a place to give this holiday season. I hope your hearts will do it freely and obediently and that you will see freedom and blessing in your own life as a result. Be encouraged - if you are not in a good place - there is a way to get to a good place. With your giving and obedience to God, doors will open and God will lead you through them.

Be blessed.

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