Today’s Scripture: John 12
I am really enjoying Cedar Creek’s latest series, “Feed the Pig.” (I love squeaking my little pink pig, lol.) Ben has been speaking about how we use our money. He says: we earn it, spend it, save it, and give it. Today I am going to focus on giving. I believe God puts the desire to give in our hearts. I think he gives us a strong passion about something, and then that passion turns into a personal ministry.
It amazes me how different our personal ministries can be. I have a dear friend who feels led to financially help her extended family. She feels great joy that she is in a financial situation where she can afford to help them. Another close friend went on a mission trip. God touched her heart about the needs of the people she was serving. She cheerfully gives her finances to help them and tries to go on mission trips yearly.
My daughters worked as servers while they were poor college students. A good tip made their day. Unfortunately, some people tipped poorly and were rude. My husband and I feel led to tip our servers generously because of what our daughters experienced. We thank our servers for taking great care of us, and often notify the manager of the great service we received. We like to leave a “You Matter” card with our tip. I think when we give to others we are showing others they matter and that they are loved.
2 Corinthians 9:7
You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.”
I am overjoyed that God loves a person who gives joyfully. I am stunned by the number of people who criticize others for giving. How often have you heard, “We shouldn’t be helping people in third world countries, when there is so much need in our country.” My friend who loves to financially help her family is often criticized for being too giving. I have heard people complaining that they have to leave any kind of tip. I think people who criticize others for giving may be stingy. Unfortunately, they have never experienced the joy of giving.
John 12 tells a beautiful story of a woman who generously and loving gives a gift to Jesus. It is sad that she is criticized for her act of love.
3 Then Mary took a twelve ounce jar of expensive perfume made from the essence of nard, and she anointed Jesus’ feet with it, wiping his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance. 4 But Judas Iscariot, the disciple who would soon betray him, said, 5 “That perfume was worth a year’s wages, It should have been sold and given to the poor. 6 Not that he cared for the poor—he was a thief, and since he was in charge of the disciples’ money, he often stole some for himself. 7 Jesus replied, “Leave her alone. She did this in preparation for my burial.”
I love the way Jesus defends Mary and tells the critics, “Leave her alone.” Jesus appreciated the generosity and love Mary showed him. He was not going to let Judas criticize her. It is ironic that Judas, who really didn’t care about the poor and often stole money from the disciples, would criticize Mary’s loving gesture. Unfortunately, Judas’s life was ruled by the love of money, and his greed eventually led him to betray Jesus for a few silver coins.
Are you a joyful giver? How do feel when you give financially? What is the personal ministry God has given you? How often do you criticize other people for giving?
Take some time to evaluate your thoughts on giving. If you are not presently giving, pray and ask Jesus for guidance. Plan to attend Dave Ramsey’s “Financial Peace” live on Wednesday, November 20th.
Jesus, you are the greatest example of a joyful giver. You gave your life for me so that I may be saved. I am so grateful for all you have done for me and all you will do for me. Help me to love others as you have loved me. Help me to be a cheerful giver. Help me to be open-handed with everything you have blessed me with. I love and praise your glorious name. Amen.
This post was written by Marsha Raymond. Marsha has been happily married to her husband, Jeff, for 30 years. They have two grown sassy and fearless daughters. She loves spending time with God, her family and friends, reading, riding bicycles, yoga and walking.
Leave a Comment?
We would love to hear how the LivingItOut is making a difference in your life. Let us know how today’s post inspired, challenged, or encouraged you by leaving a comment here.
Want to be a part of the LivingItOut team?
We are always looking for people who are passionate about writing and proofing to serve on the LivingItOut team. If you are interested, email LIO@cedarcreek.tv today!