The Joy of Giving Like Jesus

Matthew 6:21 “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Withholding what you are willing to give for the cause of Christ, whether it’s supporting missions, giving to the poor or tithing to your local Church is one way to know where your treasure lies. Think about the last time you received a paycheck. What was your first thought?  Was it about you? Did your mind daydream about that thing you’ve been saving for and are now a little closer enjoying? Maybe a greater sense of security came over you because there’s now a little more padding in your pocket, as if God was having difficulty providing for you without your paycheck. These thoughts derive from the sin condition of the heart, thoughts that, along with lust, idolatry and every other work of the flesh, must be crucified on a daily basis.

What would happen if you took these thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ and truly entrusted all your resources to Him? You would be free. Jesus would lift the bondage of trusting in material riches and give you the joy of graciously giving of self the way He did for us. The Bible says that Jesus endured the agony of the cross for the joy that was set before Him. The joy of the giving overwhelmed the pain of the process. It will likely cost you greatly when you choose to sacrifice for others, so set your eyes on the joy that is before you.

Most people do give, even if only a small fraction in comparison to their ability. And while some genuinely do struggle with provision for their family and making ends meet, still, the primary issue in our culture is not ability, but surrender.

We all dream of what money can buy and the freedom it could provide if we just had enough. But do we ever dream on behalf of others? Do we ever sit back and day-dream of blessing our neighbor or that family in the church? What crosses your mind more, your financial security or the security and well-being of someone else and how your life surrendered to the cause of Christ can bring both physical and spiritual aid to those in need.

I want to be clear that this is not an issue of law or obligation. I am not laying a guilt trip here.  I’ll be the first to admit the selfishness that haunts my own heart. But I also want to share the joys that are experienced when that selfishness is brought to the cross.

Let’s be like the widow with her mite, the early Church and their radical possession-selling behavior and most of all, let’s be like our Savior who gave all. God did not spare His own Son in saving us, and in turn, with that same zeal promises to give us everything we need. This frees us to give freely and with joy in our hearts. So, what are you willing to give for Jesus sake and the sake of others?

Matthew 19:21 Jesus told him, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

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