11th October 2011

A season for the heart

Mark Driscoll once said "to find your idol, you must follow your money". In fact, it's not an original line: the Bible is full of similar challenges and within this season of growth and giving as a church, a challenge for us to seriously face up to.

The truth is, while over the years I have questioned the purpose of giving, the quantity of giving and the recipients of my gifts, ultimately they are secondary to what the Bible emphasises as 'the heart' in which we give it. Indeed, this season of giving is one for the heart and not for the head.

Paul's description of the Macedonian churches in 2 Corinthians 8 highlights three lessons that we can learn:

Firstly, financial trial and poverty should not prevent us from stirring up a heart of generosity to both God and those around us. Let us remember that generosity is not dependent on the size of the gift, but the cost to the giver. The poor women with the copper coins gave what cost her most and God saw her generous spirit.

Secondly, they often gave beyond their ability. This is not to say that we should not steward our money well, but the Macedonians were not restricted simply by their sums on paper; they were willing to trust that the 'God who provides' was able to source beyond what was in the natural.

Lastly, giving was a privilege that they pleaded for.  To be honest, I'm not quite there yet, but I am fighting for it. I'm slowly learning that my desire to give comes not from guilt, because I should, nor from a grudge, because I must, but from grace, because I'm thankful.

Reading: 2 Corinthians 8
Next Prayer Meeting: Today at 12.30pm

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