The broad road Jesus spoke about could easily describe the American Dream. People want to get more things, and yet they find the more they acquire, the less they are satisfied. When people give to a cause that they believe in, they receive the truest satisfaction.
Ask yourself this, “Have I made a purchase that immediately made me dissatisfied?” Was that restaurant meal with the family really worth $50? Think about the testimonies of people who gave of their time and money to go to on mission or to help the less fortunate. Think about people who gave to help missionaries go. Or those who helped give a backpack for a needy school student. Or sacrificially gave to the general offering, so that churches can keep going.
As you think this week about Giving of Resources, remember that “God so loved the world He gave…”
The following devotional comes from Zondervan.
How do I best use my resources to serve God and others?
Jesus said more about money than the topics of heaven and hell combined. Our attitude toward money and personal resources says so much about our lives. Giving should flow from a pure heart desiring to meet a need. It should not be a way to draw attention to ourselves. We should also strive to think beyond our earthly life and share what we’ve been given in order to build God’s kingdom.
It’s easy to give when we know we will receive something in return. Jesus challenges us to remember that true giving has no strings attached.
Paul earned his living as a tent-maker during his missionary journeys, though he was grateful for the financial support he received from some churches, such as the church at Philippi. He preached the gospel sincerely and free of charge, taking care not to be a financial burden to believers. Regardless of his circumstances, Paul learned a vital lesson: Having enough doesn’t bring contentment; contentment makes what you have enough.
Since you excel in everything — in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you — see that you also excel in this grace of giving. (2 Corinthians 8:7)
I give my resources to fulfill God’s purposes.
What difference does this make in the way I live?
As you lay your finances before the Lord, ask, “Am I using the resources you’ve given me to accomplish your purposes?” If the answer is yes, thank God for his wisdom and provision for you, and continue to grow in giving. If the answer is no, then self-condemnation and regret are not the proper responses. The very good news is that God, who is faithful and just, will forgive you, and he is ready to help you direct your energy to the transformation of how you use your money.
So where do we start?
We go back to the heart. There’s a decision to make. Whom will we serve? Ponder again these words of Jesus: “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" (Matthew 6:24).
Do you think it's more difficult for people to give when they are wealthy or when they have limited resources? Why?