by Brenda McGraw
What do you mean, Christians aren’t generous?
Most Tuesdays and Sundays you can find my husband and I on a volunteer ministry team in the inner city. We meet and love on the children in the area and their families. A bible story is shared, songs are sang and we serve the kids a meal or a snack. On Tuesdays we also hand out prizes. We love to see their little faces light up!
Recently, I felt like it’s not enough. I felt God telling me, “I can do more.”
I prayed, “Show me, God, what do you want me to give? Show me, God, how I can be more generous? How can we be a part of You transforming the lives of others?”
I thought of things like clothes and shoes, fans, pizza, a bible, and bread. All of these things are great and would definitely meet some of their needs. Yet, I thought, probably someone else is giving clothes and shoes. Fans would be useful in the hot summer, but wasn’t what I felt I should offer. Pizza and bread feed for a day or two, but have no lasting effect.
A bible meets spiritual needs, and that is the most important, but first we must meet personal needs.
We don’t want to enable people to live off the system, relying on others, which would only teach them laziness. After much thought and prayer, I read the following scripture:
“As it is written: “They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.
“Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.” 2 Corinthians 9:9-10
SEEDS! The thought came to mind, “How can we help people plant seeds and grow a garden?”
I was excited and shared this with my husband. He agreed it could be done. I shared it with my sweet friend who runs the kids’ camp, and she also thought it was a great idea. But how would we do it?
Sometimes the desires, dreams and visions we feel God has placed in our hearts die. Why?
Many times we lose the drive and the how to in following through on the visions we are given. It takes longer than originally anticipated and we lose our passion.
I want to encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and let’s help the Lord by lending a hand in the transformation of the lives we connect with.
After all, the Bible tells us to be generous. God even tells us He will bless us for our generosity, which will result in praise and thanksgiving to Him for all He has done.
“You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else.” 2 Corinthians 9:11-13
Here are four reasons Christians aren’t generous:
- Fear: Christians aren’t generous because we are afraid of where we will have to go and who we will meet. We are fearful of speaking to others, and scared to step out of our comfort zone. Don’t be afraid. God can use our generosity to teach us to be cheerful givers and grow our faith. Faith over fear.
- Time: Christians aren’t generous because we are too busy to get involved. We think someone else will do it. The timing is not good. However, the time to put action to our thoughts and plans is now. If at first you don’t succeed — try again. Take action.
- Doubt: Christians aren’t generous because we don’t know how to start or what to do. We doubt our own abilities. We believe others doubt us as well. The how to is bigger than the know how. God knows how to do it all, and He has chosen us to be His hands. Belief trumps doubt.
- Lack of trust: Christians aren’t generous because we don’t trust God to provide and make things happen. We think that if it hasn’t happened in our timing, it must not be God’s will, and we quit. We must trust God to provide what is needed. If you’re thinking about quitting—don’t! God is going before us and working out the details. Don’t get stuck on the process. Be confident.
Christians are generous.
It’s now time to be generous with all that we have. There is no need to fear the unknown; it’s not unknown to the Lord. He is the One who will provide and our trust in Him will grow.
Belief is the beginning of generosity. We first believe in Christ and then we pursue His plans.
He tells us in His word:
“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” 2 Corinthians 9:6-8
One day I hope to be collecting seeds to start gardens and preparing the fields for harvest. Once we have enough seeds and permission needed, we will hopefully start preparing the fields and begin planting where we currently serve.
However for now we will be collecting toys, prizes and snacks to continue our current mission.
If you would like to be a part of this inner-city project, please send your items to:
Ask God Today Ministries
c/o Brenda McGraw
PO Box 161625
Boiling Springs, SC 29316
Thank you for your generosity.
If you would like to leave a comment, we would love to hear your thoughts.
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