By G. P. Avants
“After he had spent everything there was a severe famine in the land.”
I need to do a bit of confession before we begin. I have had my battles with greediness all my life. Once I think I am doing well it seems to pop up in the least likely places. I thank the Lord for taking it one step at a time and for changing my heart one cell at a time, if need be. One way that has helped me, challenged me and moved me has been in the area of giving. I have never had a lot of money, so I thought I really never had a lot to give, but giving comes in so many packages. It truly is the attitude of the heart not the amount of things you have.
One Christmas we had a lady, Janet, who spoke to the congregation. She asked if people would give some of their time to come sing carols. What she said is what caught my heart.
“When you give your time you are giving away something you don’t get back. I think that says a lot because it’s very precious and you are spending it cheering and encouraging others.”
When we spend time with someone in this crazy, busy world that is giving. It might be worthless in a consumer-driven, money making society but in God’s economy it’s a valuable treasure. Sometimes it is our money that we can share. Its funny, we give not to get back rather to bring people to the Lord. He takes a little, like the boy’s five loaves and two fish, and multiplies it. In the past few years, I actually have a little bit to give yet its good even to give a little. God can get great glory though unselfish giving.
Recently I had a hard time giving away $2 I had in my wallet. Being a teacher, having money is a miracle in itself. I try to always make sure I have something in case some one is in need. Well, I gave away $2 and when I went to get something later, I still had $2 in my wallet. I’m sure I gave it away. My daughter needed $2 later on in the week. I just happened to have it and gave it to her. When the offering plate came around I found $2 in my wallet and dropped it in. I told my pastor’s wife about this story and the lesson I was learning about “you can’t out give God.” Later that night in a Bible Study my wife asked if I had any change. Guess what I found in my wallet, still? Yep. (What’s up with that?!)
My point is not that we expect anything from God when we give. We give because I know that it’s all the Lord’s and someone has a need. He knows my needs, but he also knows there is a need to strength my faith in Him. Aren’t these times, when we feel a little empty, opportunities to see Him work? I think so. Maybe we need to go a little hungry at times to appreciate what we have. God really knows what we need more than we do.
If you get into a $2 “give away” just remember that if there is a need, God wants to be the one that fills it. Will you be the one to open yourself and let Him spend you for others? It can be yours for as little as $2 or less.