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The Grace of Giving

A $20 and a $1 bill were talking to each other about the nice places they have been. $20 bragged on the restaurants, plays, and beaches it had visited. When asked where have you been the $1 said, just church.

John Cuff graduated from EMU in marketing with the training to tell people what the want and need.
We have an ongoing battle with desires to get more and more for ourselves.
Today we will learn more about the grace of giving.

It is always easier to give theoretically than to give actually.
When asked in an interview, If you have two cats, would you be willing to give one away? The man said yes... Then he was asked if you have two boats, would you give one away? The man said yes. Then he was asked if he had two cars would he give one away… he said no. The interviewer asked why would he not be willing to give away a car. The man replied, because he actually as two cars.

Jesus said it is more blessed to give than receive.
Blessed is defined as Bringing pleasure, contentment, or good fortune…

Isaiah 58:1-9 about fasting and giving
“Why have we fasted
 and You do not see?
Why have we humbled ourselves
 and You take no notice?”
Certainly, on the day of your fast you find your desire
 and are exacting on all your laborers.
Certainly, you fast for strife and debate
 and to strike with the fist of wickedness.
You do not fast as you do this day,
 to make your voice to be heard on high.
Is it such a fast that I have chosen,
 a day for a man to humble himself?
Is it to bow down his head as a bulrush,
 and to spread out sackcloth and ashes under him?
Will you call this a fast
 and an acceptable day to the Lord?
Is not this the fast that I have chosen:
to loose the bonds of wickedness,
 to undo the heavy burdens,
and to let the oppressed go free,
 and break every yoke?
Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry
 and bring the poor who are outcasts into your house?
When you see the naked, to cover him
 and not hide yourself from your own flesh?
Then your light shall break forth as the morning,
 and your healing shall spring forth quickly,
and your righteousness shall go before you;
    the glory of the Lord shall be your reward.
Then you shall call, and the Lord shall answer;
 you shall cry, and He shall say, Here I am.
If you take away the yoke from your midst,
 the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,
and if you give yourself to the hungry
 and satisfy the afflicted soul,
then your light shall rise in obscurity,
 and your darkness shall become as the noonday.
And the Lord shall guide you continually,
 and satisfy your soul in drought,
 and strengthen your bones;
and you shall be like a watered garden,
 and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.
Prov. 21:13 —Whoever shuts his ears at the cry of the poor, he also will cry himself, but will not be heard.

1 Chronicles 29:11-12
Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power,
 and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty,
 for everything in the heavens and the earth is Yours.
Yours is the kingdom, O Lord,
 and You exalt Yourself as head above all.
Riches and honor flow from You,
 and You rule over all.
In Your hand are power and might,
 and in Your hand it is to make great and to strengthen all.

When we give, we acknowledge that God is the owner of all things and that we are putting our trust in him. Also, we are reminded about how much has been given to us.

Luke 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you: Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will men give unto you. For with the measure you use, it will be measured unto you.”

Mark 10:17-21
When He set out on His way, a man came running and knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
He said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good, except God alone. You know the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.”
He answered Him, “Teacher, all these have I observed from my youth.”
Then Jesus, looking upon him, loved him and said to him, “You lack one thing: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. And come, take up the cross and follow Me.”
Mark 12:41 The widow gave all she had.
Jesus sat opposite the treasury and saw how the people put money into the treasury. Many who were rich put in much. But a certain poor widow came and put in two mites, which make a farthing.
He called His disciples to Him and said to them, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. They all contributed out of their abundance. But she, out of her poverty, put in all that she had, her entire livelihood.”
We can be confident that the widow trusted in God and that she knew God would supply her needs.
We too can have confidence. If we trust Him for healing and salvation, we must also trust him for the financial provisions.

If you are waiting for more money before you are ready to trust God for your giving, then you may be stuck like the rich young ruler.

When you have entered God into the equation of your finances.

Picture this scenario: We pass through a gate and follow some trucks filled with cargo: computers, fishing poles, appliances, furniture, etc. The stuff gets thrown into a big pit, a land fill. Just like that, all of that stuff we fought to get just gets thrown away.

Forgive us Lord when we fall short of your honor and glory.

Announcement: Online text giving available by texting to 734-235-0092
For instruction on the steps text “help” to that number. 

Next week we will learn about a technique called: Shrink the change.

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