daily bread, daily provision, examples of giving, generosity, getting a giving heart, giving, God's ownership, gratefulness, having a giving heart, provision, stewardship, tithing, truth
— This blog was published earlier this year, but it was a great reminder for me this week.
I have been reminded over and over lately that everything we have comes from our Father’s hands.
I may have been able to make decisions based on His provision that seemed like I was in control, but ultimately and absolutely everything comes from God alone. Even things that I give back to Him were His to begin with.
A great example of this came about a month ago when my youngest came to me and ask what kind of budget he had to spend on us for Christmas. He has no job, no way to provide for presents himself, so he came to me. He shopped his little heart out, wrapped them with the greatest of care and gave us our gifts at Christmas.
Even though I had provided the resources for the gifts, even took him shopping and even had supplied the wrapping paper, bows and tape, we all received our gifts with joy.
I think that’s the way it is with God. He provides us with our jobs, our health, our families, our food…you name it…and when we return it back as a gift to Him, He still receives it with joy.
We may fall into the trap of thinking, “What’s the use of giving God anything if He has it all?”We may think that giving our time, talents and finances to God is no big deal, but His Word gives us many examples that this is not the case. It does matter to God that we give back to Him.
Some examples we see are Abel’s sacrifice in the book of Genesis, Noah giving of his talents, time and life, Abraham being willing to sacrifice his son Isaac, and we see the Israelites giving many precious metals in order to build the Temple.
King David gave offerings galore knowing that everything he had come from God alone. 1 Chronicles 29:16 is part of David’s prayer after the offerings were given for the Temple. This is what he says, “Yahweh our God, all this wealth that we’ve provided for building You a house for Your holy name comes from Your hand; everything belongs to You.”
To realize and know that everything he had come from God, actually increased David’s generosity.
That’s what happens with us. When we know that everything we have comes from God alone, we realize that He will continue to provide as He wills and we ask what He wants us to do with the things He has so freely given. We are generous because we realize that it’s His anyway.
Food in my pantry? His.
Internet access? His.
Clothes on my back? His.
Health of any kind? His.
Tax refund? His.
Significant other? His.
Dollar I found on the road? His.
Let’s be honest, because my youngest had been given cash to give his family Christmas gifts, his generosity abounded. If it had been “his” money, I think our gifts would have been slightly different. I’m not throwing my kid under the bus…I’m just being honest about human nature.
When we realize that everything we have is God’s anyway, our hands are more open to give. We are more generous with someone else’s time, talents and finances.
We must realize too that when our hands are open to give, they are also open to receive. Malachi 3:10 says, “Bring the full tenth into the storehouse so that there may be food in My house. Test Me in this way,” says the LORD of Hosts. “See if I will not open the floodgates of heaven and pour out a blessing for you without measure.’ ”
So, let’s allow this year to be one marked significantly with generosity. Let’s set the precedent of asking God where He wants us to use our time, where He wants us to invest our talents and where He wants us to give our finances realizing that everything comes from His hand.
**Picture by clipartkid.com