We are incredibly generous when we are in love, aren't we? When I realized my wife was the woman of my dreams, I couldn't wait to spend money I didn't have for a gold ring with a shiny rock on top! And when my kids were born, I was so head over heels that I would do anything for them. For those of us who commit our lives to Christ, why would this be any different?
Jesus said, "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." In other words, money is a heart magnet. It's only natural that my heart follows my money. If you've got money in a stock, when that stock goes down, your heart sinks. When it goes up, your heart soars.
When I put God first in my finances, something amazing happens. Suddenly, God begins to take first place in my heart. It moves from theory to reality. it's kind of like that old saying, "Put your money where your mouth is." I can sing all day long that God is first place, but if he's still 2nd, 3rd, or no place in my finances, it's just a theory
How To Move from Theory To Reality
Make a decision - the first step in becoming a generous person is the decision to live unselfishly rather than selfishly. Selfishness is rooted in the idea that what I have is mine. The Bible teaches us that everything I have belongs to God, and He's loaned it to me (1 Chronicles 29:10-13). The only reason not to be generous is because I think that what I have is mine.
He's given us clear instructions that the first part of all we have belongs to Him (Proverbs 3:9-10, Luke 11:42). It's amazing that when the first part goes to him, it's so much easier to give Him oversight of the rest. It might even help you to open your hands and tell God that everything you have is His, then ask Him how He wants you to use His money. This has the potential to literally change everything.
Make a plan - We are never more like God than when we give (John 3:16). It's His nature, and it's who He's called us to be as His followers. I don't know about you, but for me, I need a plan in order to be consistently generous. I think most people would agree that being generous is a great idea. In theory, we would all say that everyone should be generous... when it feels right or when it's convenient. But what would happen to our relationships if we were only generous when we felt like it? Birthdays might go unnoticed. Weddings could happen without a ring. Graduations might just be an event. The poor would almost always get overlooked. A plan of recurring giving is a great way to insure consistent generosity.
Take Action - If you consider New Hope your church family or simply believe in what God is doing in and through us, we encourage you to go over to become a giver today. Thank you for loving God and others in such a tangible way.
God doesn't need your money; He wants your heart. Without generosity, our treasure and our hearts remain our own. Instead, give it to God, and watch Him provide exceedingly, abundantly more that we could ever ask or imagine.