Daily Devotional: Psalms 66:13-15
13 I will come to your temple with burnt offerings and fulfill my vows to you--14 vows my lips promised and my mouth spoke when I was in trouble. 15 I will sacrifice fat animals to you and an offering of rams; I will offer bulls and goats. Selah
2 Cor 9:6-9
6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
It is so easy for us to make all kinds of promises to God when we are in trouble and we really need his help. But do we fulfill our vows to him? Too often our giving amount to what is left over or something we really didn’t want in the first place. And it is not just about our money. How much of our time do we give to the Lord? Do we use our abilities and take advantage of each opportunity he gives us to do good, to help others, to teach, encourage or just show kindness?
On one occasion, Jesus was with his disciples in the temple, watching people come in and put their money in the treasury. There was a woman who came in and gave just a penny. Jesus said she had given more than all those who had come in and contributed much larger amounts of money. He then explained that they had given out of their abundance but she had given all she had.
God does not count as we count. He doesn’t need what we have because he gave it to us in the first place and he did give it out of his abundance. Our giving does not impress God, no matter how much it may be. He wants us to give as Paul says of the Macedonians; that they first give themselves to the Lord. We also need to remember that God does not measure what we have by our tax returns, after we have taken all of the deductions. He knows what we have and what we are inside. He knows if we have a selfish and greedy heart or one seeking to give.
Father, God in heaven, thank you for all you give me. Thank you for my physical health, for material possession, for friends in my life, for a loving family, for a job to make a living, for this wonderful country with all of the freedoms I enjoy but most of all, thank you for the spiritual blessings I have in Christ. Give me a heart of love and compassion that will glorify you as I share what you have given me with others. Help me give more freely of my time and abilities to teach and encourage those seeking to serve you. I pray in the name of Jesus.