When I made my first CD, I was a single mother living in poverty. Still, I prayed and the Lord provided the needed money to not only pay the bills but also record music. After the CD was finished, I felt that God was leading me to give away the proceeds from the sales as an offering to Him. Oh, how I did not want to hear those words! I assumed I needed this income for my family, but the Lord provided and eventually it gave me great joy to share the blessings I had received. It was such a privilege that year to give offerings to local and international missions and to know that my little gift could make a difference in lives of people I may never meet.
For the next recording project, I was bolder in my faith and asked the Lord for a full orchestra, an Irish producer, and great musicians to join me. The price tag for this was more than I could earn in a year, but again the Lord faithfully provided all I asked for! Since that time, the Lord has graciously opened the doors to record many more CDs with incredible musicians from around the world.
I have often wondered if the blessing of His provision was related to that very first offering. Would God have continued to give the increase without my faithfulness to His leading? I may never know, but deep in my heart I believe God provided as I obeyed in my giving back to Him.
Our human nature is to tightly hold on to what we possess when we believe there may not be enough. In the Bible, however, the Lord always brought blessing and increase upon that which was given away! The Scriptures show God providing for a lowly widow as she gave her last meal to the prophet Elijah (see 1 Kings 17). Jesus praised another widow who put the entirety of her life savings into the temple treasury (see Luke 21). When a young boy freely gave up his lunch, Jesus blessed it and then transformed it into enough food to feed thousands (see John 6:1–14).
What I love about this miracle is that it happened not in Jesus’ hands, but rather in the hands of those who distributed the bread. Surely the twelve men were also hungry, but instead of eating, they were told to give away the little that they held in their hands!
What a test of faith, but in the end their faith was rewarded as there were twelve baskets of food leftover, one for each disciple. In the same way, God can take our little morsels and turn them into brimming baskets of food as we give with generous hearts. What a great deal!
“Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” (Luke 6:38)
We are sowing seeds for a harvest when we give Him our best in every area of our lives. As we share mercy we receive mercy. As we give of our finances, the Lord provides. As we sow kindness, kindness is in turn given back to us. As we bless others, we posture ourselves to receive blessing, wholeness, increase, and transformation!
Are there areas of your life where you feel stuck and unable to move forward? Do you need change in your marriage, your finances, your job, or just life in general? I challenge you to think of ways to give out of your poverty. That’s right, give not out of your abundance, but from the area where you are lacking!
When we give, we are loving God and trusting Him to take care of our every need. Our gifts of money, time, words, and actions become seeds that we sow in faith. As we offer everything we have to the Lord, we position ourselves to receive all He has for us!
He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. (2 Cor. 9:6–8)
Father, forgive me for holding onto what I have instead of giving as You lead. Help me to love as You love and to give as You give. Help me to trust Your love and realize that I can never outgive You. Lord, make me into an outrageous giver! In Your name I pray, amen.
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