Saturday, February 26, 2011

Simple Life Regarding Giving

"Each person should do as he has decided in his heart - not out of regret or out of necessity, for God loves a cheerful giver"
2 Corinthians 9:7

Today I met a dear college friend for breakfast AND lunch. We talked for over five hours. It went by so quickly. We talked about our children. We talked about our jobs. We talked about our husbands. We talked about making home improvements. But the conversation always drew back to one of my favorite topics. GOD.

We talked about how college is just a few years away for our older children. (It's hard to believe!) We talked about college funds and will we have them.

Then we parted. We will get together again in August (well, I hope). That is when we meet at her house with all of the children. And we talk some more.

It's been a quiet evening. The boys went to watch hockey and me and my girl are just watching Animal Planet. In between attention-grabbing moments about cats, I read "Simple Life". I am on the third section of the book, which is called, "How to Simplify and Build Healthy Finances." We are well on our way with the college funds. We started saving when I was pregnant with Amanda.

When I started to pray about my verse, I would have thought that God would have placed Matthew 6:19-25 (at the bottom of this post) on my heart. But He didn't. Money is always on my mind. But I think that "resting and being still" is where God wants my heart.

Here is what I read tonight. It just affirms my need to tithe. That can be a controversial subject. Many people believe that the church is all about sucking money out of you. I disagree. But you have the right to believe what you want to believe.

"To miss out on giving is to miss out on one of the beautiful acts of obedience that God provided for us. Giving is a gift created for you. Immerse yourself in the experience. Pray for God to direct your heart in your offerings, and be a part of something beyond your human capability."

The act of offering up our money to God has two purposes:

1. To participate in God's work
2. To reveal our hearts

"God does not need our money. God does not function on dollars and cents. His purposes in this world are not dictated by a well-managed budget. He has no need for proper accounting methods. He is not even worried when a nation falls on tough economic times. His plan is already set in motion, and the final chapter will reach its last page. That piece of paper in your wallet, the one that our world values so much, has no authority in regard to His plan. He is much greater than that."

"God did not fill the Bible with lessons on giving because He has a need. God created the concept of giving so that we may be a part of His plan for our obedience to Him. He wants us to live beyond what is humanly capable, to tap into the spiritual. Giving was fashioned out of His love for us."

This is the scripture that I would have chosen for myself. It's about money AND worry. But of course God always has a different plan for me:

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?

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