The joy of giving! This is a loaded phrase that until the past year of my life I never understood. I used to hold on to my time, money, and self with a tight grip. I didn’t want to tithe because I made such little money at my part-time jobs that I felt I needed those few extra dollars to make it through till the next paycheck. I wasn’t willing to go out of my way to help someone else or do something I didn’t want to do.
When I decided to follow the call God had given me to go on the World Race last year I also committed to fundraising and giving up my life for the “least of these” around the world. The Lord started to reveal to me how important giving financially is. Having to fundraise for my trip, I was able to sit back and watch God call on His people to provide. I was made aware that the money I was being gifted was not mine, but God’s investment in me.
When we give financially, whether it is our tithe or extra giving, we are simply giving God back what He has gifted us.
Deuteronomy 16:17 says, “Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which He has given you.”
God gave it to us in the first place, we are simply giving it back to Him. I found out for myself that when I started giving financially to ministries I loved, knew and cared for, my heart grew. My heart felt full simply knowing I was investing in the Kingdom of God.
I can honestly say that I have never felt more joyful than when I was doing ministry work overseas.
Growing up I never really had anything I loved to do. I never stuck with anything I started, whether it was gymnastics or a part-time job. Then God led me on the World Race and I finally felt like I had found the thing I was made to do. Giving up a year of my life here in America, giving up a year to move up the corporate ladder, and giving up many holidays with friends and family was tough. However, spending time with orphans and widows, digging a toilet in the Namibian desert, or meeting with people in the streets made my heart fill with a joy I cannot explain.
It overwhelms your heart and fills you to the brim with happiness. It makes your face light up like no one has ever seen and it leaves your heart feeling empty when it leaves. I never want to be without that feeling. I never want to be without the feeling that I made a difference in someone’s life and that I am giving back to the investment God made in me.
What is it that fills you with the joy of the Lord? Have you ever thought of your tithe as simply giving God a portion of the investment He has made in you? Leave us a comment.
With the holiday season coming, let’s put God first. Let’s give to His kingdom and His people. Let us think of others before ourselves this season.
Let us search for and find the joy that only comes from God and giving.
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