I've never been a fan of giving things up that are mine. I don't like the hurt and pain of not having as much as I should. I like to earn my keep and be happy, because I deserve the things I'm owed.... right?
Last night I went (as usual) to re:Generation. Now, while the message caused a little more discussion as usual, there was one really big thing I got out of it. As Grant was teaching, he explained that the reason we don't give is because of fear. We fear we won't have enough to get by, or we fear that we won't have enough to supply, or to make us happy. We don't want to give money, food, friendship to people that we don't think deserve it. ... but then the question is: do you?
Also during the course of yesterday (during the morning) I went to Mt. Hood Household of Faith (the church I attend). David Knopp was preaching a passionate message filled with lots of applicability and truth. He was teaching on Genesis 1:1-2 and through lots of Scripture He explained how everything. Everything. Is God's. od things for us to enjoy. He gives us good gifts, but what have we given in return? We spit in His face, defile His name. We hate Him; even mock Him. We try to steal His glory.
And we still think we deserve things? Owed things? We think that things are actually ours? No! They aren't ours. They are God's. We don't deserve anything good! At all. And yet, God still loves us. He still loved us enough to send His Son to die. Jesus paid the price. Our King died that we might be set free. He was placed in our stead. What an amazing God we serve.
Back to the beginning. We don't give because of fear. We fear we won't have enough of our necessities or our pleasures. Usually our pleasures.
Lately I've been challenged. To give. To give without expecting return. It's all God's anyways.
How about you?