Week Four Devotion
Generosity & Gratitude
Psalm 107:21-22 (NIV)
21 Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind.22 Let them sacrifice thank offerings and tell of his works with songs of joy.
Holy Father, there is nothing I have that You have not given me. All I have and am belong to You, bought with the blood of Jesus. To spend everything on myself, and to give without sacrifice, is the way of the world that you cannot abide. But generosity is the way of those who call Christ their Lord; who love Him with free hearts and serve Him with renewed minds; Who withstand the delusion of riches that chokes the word; whose hearts are in your kingdom and not in the systems of the world. I am determined to increase in generosity until it can be said that there is no needy person among us. I am determined to be trustworthy with such a little thing as money that you may trust me with true riches. Above all, I am determined to be generous because You, Father, are generous. It is the delight of Your daughters and sons to share Your traits and to show what You are like to all the world.
- Park Hill Church (San Diego, Ca.)
As I sit and contemplate what generosity looks like in the realm of finances, I sometimes wonder — what constitutes giving enough? There is always something vying for our attention that requires more than just our thoughts. If we give only if/when we feel there will be “enough” left over, is that truly giving to God as He calls us to? I’m not convinced it is. It comes back to belief and trust, surrender, and sacrifice. It comes back to a willingness to allow God access to every area of our lives, knowing that He is good, and that He will always provide.
When one is thankful for something or someone in their lives, we usually acknowledge this gratitude. If I am thankful to have my job, I show gratitude by showing up on time and working as though I am working for the Lord. If I am thankful to God for eternal life and redemption, I think about living a life of gratitude toward God — that is exciting! It probably looks like living the kind of life Jesus modeled: a life fixed and focused on God and His Kingdom. It would look like a life where hope abounds, and generosity flows as a natural consequence.
There is great delight when we give as He calls us to do. I did not understand generosity until I met my husband. Early on in our marriage, he would give donations and I would gasp at the amount! I could not see how we could afford to give that, or any amount away for that matter. Although I had been tithing without a problem, giving beyond that was difficult for me. Coming to a place of trusting God with provisions and resources was a process. God had to break through barriers I did not realize were there. But now, I get to experience the joy of generosity! It is fun to be available to God in this way. He opens doors to bless others I never saw coming! In this, the Kingdom of God is advanced. I don’t know about you, but I want to be a part of whatever He is doing!
A great story on which to meditate is the story of Jesus at the temple, as He sees the poor widow drop in her few coins to the temple treasury (Mark 12:41-44). Many rich men come by and drop in their gold coins, giving out of their riches. They had plenty left over. But this poor widow drops in all she has to live on. In this, Jesus says that she gave “so much more” than the rich men did. In monetary terms, her few coins didn’t equal the amount that the rich men’s gold did. But in all reality, she gave so much more than they.
Let this story teach you what sacrifice looks like. We can trust God. He will provide. We can let go of our resources or whatever else we think we “need.” We don’t have to be anxious or worried. Philippians 4:6 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
Questions for reflection (and sharing with someone else if possible):
- Can you make the connection between gratitude and generosity?
- How do you currently express gratitude toward God?
- Make a list of ways God is calling you to live into a life of gratitude.
1. Pray and decide what you can give toward our 36 month goal.
2. Make your commitment by presenting this card at our 1st Fruits Offering October 3rd.
3. Weekly or monthly, mark your check, envelope or e-giving with the designation “Building Fund.” You can give securely at app.easytithe.com/app/giving/pillargiving
4. If possible, contribute as much as possible by October 3rd to help us meet our down payment goal.
Contributions of non-cash assets such as stock or property are also welcomed.