Read: 2 Corinthians 8:3-5 |
In the latter part of the 17th century, German preacher August H. Francke founded an orphanage to care for the homeless children of Halle. One day when Francke desperately needed funds to carry on his work, a destitute Christian widow came to his door begging for a ducat – a gold coin.
Because of his financial situation, he politely but regretfully told her he could not help her. However, after seeking God’s guidance, he felt that the Holy Spirit wanted him to change his mind.
Trusting the Lord to meet his own needs, he gave her the money. Two days later, he received a letter of thanks from the widow. She explained that because of his generosity she had asked the Lord to shower the orphanage with gifts.
That same day Francke received 12 ducats from a wealthy lady and 2 more from a friend in Sweden. He now felt amply rewarded for helping the widow; however, he was soon informed that the orphanage was to receive 500 gold pieces from the estate of Prince Lodewyk Van Wurtenburg. When he heard this, Francke wept in gratitude. In sacrificially providing a little for that needy widow, he had been enriched, not impoverished. [Author Unknown]
Reason – I only have a little to give!
As opposed to feeling that I have nothing to give, having only a little left to give presents its own challenges. This decision point serves as a fork in the road leading to “Stewardship Maturity”. One fork in this road connects with the super-highway of human logic.
On this super-highway, I can ride along in the comfort of my logic. After all, it is comforting to act on what I see, feel and think. Besides, God gave me a brain, right?
Using my God-given intellect, if I only have a little money left after all of my bills, then the all-knowing God knows of my:
Therefore, logic dictates that I keep the money in my pocket – just in case! After all God would not want me to give, when this little bit I have left will hardly make any impact.
Does any of this logic sound familiar to you?
I have traveled down this fork in the road at one time. I have also told myself that I “will” give when I have made it past this crisis. In my experience, I found that the “human logic” fork ended up being an off-ramp on my way to Spiritual Maturity. I soon realized that I began to apply this logic to everything, until one day when I realized that I have been here before!
The other side of the fork in the road leads up the steep winding hill towards maturity in Christ – with our Stewardship. [2 Corinthians 8:19-12] The fork requires us to act on our desire to trust God and to give to Him first, not last. [Matthew 6:19-21; Proverbs 3:9-10, 28:27]
By taking a small step of faith in this direction, God will remind us of other miracles He has worked with those with only a little to give. For instance:
The fork in the road leading to maturity in Christ with our Stewardship is not always logical. We often cannot see around the corner and “know” what God is going to do. We have to trust Him to keep His Word. He is and always will be trustworthy.
The real question is can God trust you to follow through on what He leads you to do for Him? Give a little and watch God bless much!
- I don’t believe the Tithe is Biblical for the New Testament Church
- I’m afraid to trust God with my offering
- I don’t know where the money is going
- I don’t agree with where the money is going
- I don’t trust the Preacher
- I think the Church is always begging for money
- I give elsewhere
- I give when I want to give
- I only have a little to give
- I don’t have anything to give
1. Discover –
A. Have you ever withheld a God-directed gift because it seemed the gift size was too trivial?
B. Have you ever been blessed by a modest gift from someone who seemingly had little to start with, but insisted on giving you something? Did you accept it? What was the eventual outcome?
2. Develop –
A. Can you establish the habit of setting aside a dime or a quarter or even a dollar a day for God’s direction? After praying each day, look for the God-lead opportunity to “gift” the small amount to whom God directs. [Matthew 10:42, 25:34-40] Share your experiences here.
B. Share your thoughts about this statement from author Larry Burkett, “God promises that giving to him is the most secure financial move one can make.”
3. Demonstrate –
A. Where are you on your journey down this road?
– If you are going down the fork towards “more trust” – share some experiences that caused you to stay on this path.
– If you are going down the fork towards “human logic” – share what needs to happen for you to trust God more.
B. Share your journey of how you approach Stewardship decisions with a prayer partner. How do you decide how much to give?