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SPIRITUAL

Making Sure “Generosity” Is Generous


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CONTRIBUTOR

give

Generosity is more than dispossession of assets. Giving is that — reducing the amount of “stuff” we have — but biblical giving is more than that. For the Christian, generous giving means intentionally transferring a piece of one’s wealth so others will benefit. This is an important part of Christian stewardship. One of the curious values of the faith is that we are called upon to reduce that which we steward and give it to others so they may steward…

CONTRIBUTOR

Pride in giving

Someday in the hallways of heaven, I believe Nebuchadnezzar and Mary will meet. The man who built Babylon and its famous hanging gardens will run into the woman spoken of across millennia as “a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph” (Luke 1:27a). One was the picture of pride; the other the embodiment of humility. Both have something to teach us. To beat pride in our giving, we’ll have to learn what Nebuchadnezzar learned and live how…

EDITOR IN CHIEF

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God cares about each of us. He allows us to steward financial resources for His glory and our good. He knows that as we glorify Him out of gratitude for His gifts to us, we experience true life. And He desires that we reflect His generosity through our giving. In giving, it can help to start with three questions: Why should I give? How do I give? Where should I give? Often, we tend to give in areas of personal…

EDITOR IN CHIEF

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Life seems preoccupied with money. We work for it, spend it, save it, dream about it, and stress over it. Nearly everyone obsesses with making just one dollar more. Aware of our dangerous fixation with the almighty dollar, Jesus taught more about money than any other topic, including faith, prayer, heaven, or hell. Nearly half of His parables relate to handling money and possessions. In one of Jesus’ most memorable parables, known as “The Rich Fool” (see Luke 12:16–21), we…

EDITOR IN CHIEF

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  “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35b). These simple words of Jesus provide the key to freedom and joy in our relationship with money. Though this is a well-known verse, few Christ-followers truly know, understand, and apply this truth in their everyday lives. In more than 20 years of working with givers, I have observed that ambivalence towards the words of Jesus is not due to lack of belief, rather it is because we have…

EDITOR IN CHIEF

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Pray. Discern. Act. Prayer is the best place to start. One of my favorite prayers to begin each day is Lord, help me see and hear where and to whom to give. It’s the first step in aiming my heart toward Him. I also find inspiration from characters like Cornelius in the Scriptures. In Acts 10, we learn that Cornelius gave generously and prayed regularly. I like the simplicity here — he was able to discern the voice of God…

EDITOR IN CHIEF

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A short answer to this question would be that we should invest our earnings in three ways: giving, saving, and spending. How we allocate to these three buckets will be completely based on our heart — the choice is left to us. Many people today spend all the money they have. Some spend even more than they have. This results in high levels of debt and slavery to lenders (see Proverbs 22:7). This also means there is little, if any,…

EDITOR IN CHIEF

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There’s a danger that Christians can think that God is only interested in what they give to church. It is common for people to give a percentage to God, and then feel and even act like the rest of their money is theirs to do with what they please. Yet we’re called to steward wisely everything that God gives us — doing so requires us to be good stewards in all our financial decisions, not just giving ones. As most of…

EDITOR IN CHIEF

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If you want a snapshot of where you are in your walk with Christ, pull out your budget and walk through it with a spiritual director, your pastor, and a fellow Christian who is not part of your family — together, at the same time, in the same room. Take a few moments to think about that conversation. What would these people learn about you? For the two-thirds of people who studies show do not live on a budget, what…

SPIRITUAL

It’s All His

EDITOR IN CHIEF

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Have you noticed that throughout Scripture, with God, it’s all or nothing? “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength” (Deuteronomy 6:5). Though God’s people failed to obey, God makes this promise through His prophet, “I will cleanse them from all the sin they have committed against me and will forgive all their sins of rebellion against me” (Jeremiah 33:8). Jesus began His earthly ministry saying, “Do not think…

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