Friday, April 4, 2014

365 Days with God - Day 105: Abundance Isn't Ours

I'm giving myself a challenge. Read the Bible each day for a whole year, following the ESV Study Guide 1-year plan. Each day, I will post whatever God has revealed to me in His Word, and how it is changing me. A friend of mine once said that nothing has changed her life as much as reading the bible each day - and I'm excited for how this will change me. Join me on an adventure into the heart of God - and day by day, we can learn more about who He is and what that means to us!

- Andy Catts

Day 105, April 4, 2014
Readings: Psalm 105, Leviticus 12, Isaiah 11, Isaiah 12, 2 Corinthians 8, 2 Corinthians 9

The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. As it is written,

"He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever."

He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God. By their approval of this service, they will glorify God because of your submission that comes from your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others, while they long for you and pray for you, because of the surpassing grace of God upon you. Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift! (2nd Corinthians 9:6-15)

Wow. There is a lot there, but the first thing that I see is the beauty of giving. That God is generous with us - in so many ways! That we are not prone to give (we're selfish) but He provides grace when we are selfish. We are not able to give, because we have nothing, but He provides grace in giving us abundance so that we may give. We are not capable of coercing others to glorify God, but through His generosity to us and our generosity to others, God will be glorified!

I know my first thought in regards to giving is often this: "Wait! My budget is full! There's no fudge room! We live on little already! Where is the money for xyz going to come from??" Yet God promises to meet this need. You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way. And this promise is even bigger than just the material goods you need to be generous! Are you selfish? Do you suck at giving? God will provide the heart of generosity, and the goods to give to others!

Is our God not amazing? Is he not fulfilling all promises and overcoming every weakness we have? Even more, as He gives us all things and prepares us for all things, he uses us, broken that we are, to bless others so that they may give and glorify God! This is an exponential growth, merely through our submission to Him. God supplies everything - we enjoy the fruit of the vineyard.

There is no room left to be a stingy, ungenerous person. Of what has God not supplied? How has He left us with unanswerable questions in regards to generosity? He is generous with us in all things, gives us all things, and asks us only to be a conduit for His riches. We are not the supplier, we are the pipe! A pipe that holds back the water bursts. A pipe that flows freely, generously, brings life-giving water to those at it's end. We are deliverers of God's life-giving water.

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