At a hundred years old God gave Abraham the promise of a son. This was the son he always wanted, but in old age, especially at 100 years of age, certain things become impossible. I guess that is why Sarah laughed. Be that as it may, God gave Isaac and then He asked him back. That does not make sense at all. Why will you give something so very important, so cherished, so loved and then ask it back? It makes no sense. Yet Abraham did not question God and he readied himself and his boy for the human sacrifice. On the mountain God stopped him and said: “Abraham, I don’t want your boy, as I will give Mine. But now I know you will not withhold anything from me, so I will give you children as vast as the sand of the sea” (Gen. 22:12, 16-17)
God was not interested in Isaac, He was interested in Abraham. More importantly He was interested in Abraham’s heart. This begs the question; can we give God everything if He asks? Not that He will, but if He does? I honestly don’t know who can really answer this question. But God did not want to take something or someone – He wanted to give something. He first needed to know that Abraham’s heart was with Him.
One day I was busy getting dressed for work and God spoke to me. He said that I must give a certain amount of money away to someone. I told God that this is all I have, to which He just simply answered that it is all that He wanted. This discourse went back and forth for a while until I just left it at that. I really struggled with the amount and the recipients as it was all I had, all we had, and it was the beginning of a month. So, I tried to ignore God for 24 hours. The next morning, I woke up He said that He still wants that amount from me. I gave in just to get God off my back and I gave it all. The point of my story is not my giving, but the hesitancy in it. We can say all we want, but if we can’t ACT it means very little.
Faith and works always goes together; they are partners in love. God gave because He loves and He is still giving. Abraham gave because he was obedient and because he loved God. Radical love has radical obedience. It is not hesitant as in my example. The end of my story is better – God gave back, and much more than what I had given. I am still wonder- ing if He would have given more if I gave quicker. I guess I will never know, or will I?
God loves giving and He loves people who can give cheerfully. Cheerfully means to laugh whilst you give. In other words, giving must give you pleasure. Most of us can’t give this way as we have been taught that what we have worked for is ours. The Word of the Lord declares that what is in our possession, we have merely become stewards of. Stewards, not owners. Stewardship means that someone else is the owner, in this case God. God is the Giver, we are the stewards – let’s not get confused on this matter.
What’s more, is that God loves people that are scandalous enough and in love enough to give all to without holding back. Generosity makes you very much like God.
Generosity is not defined by what you define as giving. Generosity is defined by God and He gives without restraint and without being a respecter of people. To good and evil, He gives alike, scandalously and ridiculously! If God withdraws Himself from the planet all of us would be in trouble. His clouds by day is still a sign that His presence has not been removed. He is still here with us all. What I want you to understand is that God gives and gives, and as His kids we must do the same. The Scripture declares that if we are in a position to help and if we see a brother in need, we should help (1 John 3:16-17). I essentially believe that if it is within your power to help, you must do so. Whatever is not done by faith is simply sin (Romans 14:23).
An attitude of gratitude is another thing that pleases the Lord. You do not have to settle for anything less superior in your life, as I believe the Lord wants the best for you. Jesus had a new donkey and so can you can. God will always answer you in accordance to your faith and expectation in Him.
The Bible says in Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is”. That means faith does not need to wait for tomorrow, faith is not a future thing. Hope is a future based belief, faith is always active and it is always in the now. That would indicate that God is always ready. You do not need to believe for a future healing, blessing, release and abundance; God wants to give it to you NOW! The scripture declares that Christ was made poor so that you may become rich (2 Cor. 8:9). This is how serious God is in seeing you blessed with gifts in HEAVENLY places. When we understand we are only stewards of, and that our Father is the owner of all the gold and the silver, we will see money way differently in our lives. We will start to expect that God can do the impossible. We need to understand that God is not found within the limitations of the human economy – but that He operates outside of it.
One day the Lord asked me the question, “Is money important to Me?” I was hesitant to answer as I know He was trying to tell me something, so I said, “YES LORD!” He replied, “YES and NO”. That left me all confused. What does that mean? The Lord went on to explain the following: No, money is not important to Him as He is self-sufficient, He has no need and He definitely does not need my money. But, “Yes, money is important, because you are important to me.” That shook my philosophy. He continued by saying, “because money is important to you, and you are important to Me, it is important to Me as well.” WOW! He continued by saying that the since money is important to Him- the way I use it, spend it and invest it and the amounts I give and the reason behind the amounts, become very important. As human beings, we normally think about money in the ways of making money, saving money, spending mon- ey or investing money. These are all good, but they are human based. When God thinks about money He thinks about sowing. Investment involves you, while sowing involves people. God is in the people business. If you want to please God start to live a life of sowing. Don’t give because you want to get. Give because you love God. Love is the motive. – People are the aim. Never forget this. If we love God we have to love people. If we love people we cannot but love God. If we give to God we automatically can give to people, etc.
Your heart will ultimately be where your treasure is at. Through many years of working with people I can tell you this one truth – people are the best investment you can make as it pays eternal dividends. It won’t be easy, it may at times challenge you from heaven to hell and back, but no matter what, God loves people and so should we. To be honest there has been times that I have invested into people’s lives again and again without seeing any return. With others there wasn’t even fruit, and still with others only betrayal, dismay and anger. Many people do bite the hand that feeds them. BUT – then there are those that remain loyal, kind, and on the learning curve. They are not many, but that is not the point. They are worth it. Bottom-line? Living for God will always involve helping people. Some want to become all super spiritual on this matter and say they need God to tell them to help before they will be obedient. This is plain stupidity as no one who puts true value on something, will wait until God speaks before they act. For example, if your child is drowning will you wait to get a word from God? If your child can fall and get seriously hurt will you wait for a word from God? Or if your child is hurting will you wait for a word from God before you assist? The answer is a massive NO! So why then do we want to wait on God when it is so clear? The Scripture says, “to do good unto all, especially the household of faith” (Gal. 6:10) – AS OFTEN AS YOU CAN! This means we should live lives focused on others. This is the love challenge, that all those who declare His name, should undertake.
Lastly, I want to put out a love challenge when it comes to giving unto God. Many people get stuck at the tithing issue and truly this should not be a question. I have been married 13 years to my lovely bride. I am completely in love with her. When I do things for her I do not give her 10% of my love, I give myself! Why? I AM IN LOVE! Hence, how can we say WE LOVE GOD, but still have an issue when it comes to treating Him with respect – like we will treat any waiter. Most waiters get 10% – God is not your waiter, He is God. He does not need your money, He wants you and in order to get to you, He tests your heart by that what is most valuable to you – YOU! If you can decide to die to self as Romans 6 declares and live a life being led by the Holy Spirit, you will never need to worry ever again as God Himself will be your source and He has plenty to share if we will just make HIM our highest priority! I don’t give God 10%, I give Him whatever He wants which includes my 10% and my 20% and my 30% and my 100%. I haven’t given myself breath, and I am not in control of my own life. I am His and I am a servant and steward, that’s the bottom line! So, will you be religious and just give 10%? Or will you give 10% and everything else He wants? He wants YOU! Let’s settle that once and for all. It is time to live the SCANDALOUS life!