Our pastor spoke on giving today using II Corinthians 8 and 9 as the main text. He doesn't talk about money much but today he shared how he and his family chose to give and why. I read both of those chapters this afternoon for my quiet time. Although he talked about giving money there are other ways to give too. You can give of your time, your talents, your possessions, and more. Remember how Peter saw a crippled man and when the man asked for a handout Peter said "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk." (Acts 3:5-7) "Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man's feet and ankles became strong". See, Peter gave what he had. He didn't ignore the need because he didn't have exactly what the man asked for. He looked to see what he could give and gave that.
What God wants is for me to be like him and give of what time, money, things, talents, or gifts that I possess. (Luke 6:38) I realized that what God wants me to give is probably different from what He wants someone else to give. Not only does he want my gifts to be according to what I have, but also to be given without reluctance. (II Corinthians 8:11-12, 9:7). Guilt should not be my motivator.
Many times I'll say: "I'll sign up to help there" or "I can do _____" or "I'll give _______." I can't stop there. I need to put my money (or service) where my mouth is like it says in II Corinthians 8:11.
"Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means." .
There is a lot of good stuff in those two chapters. There were verses I have heard all my life and others that jumped off the page at me for the first time. Time for me and God to have a little talk about what I have to give.