November 5 – Graduate — Faith Giving

November 5 – Graduate — Faith Giving

Luke 12: 28

“But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith!” (Luke 12: 28)

Paul speaks of the gift of faith. There are those George Muellers of the world who trust God for miracle provision – finances far above that which could be provided even by sacrificial giving. I call this the graduate level of giving because this gift of faith is not given to everyone equally.

But in another sense, faith is essential for any level of giving. “Without faith it is impossible to please him” (Hebrews 11:16). The Pharisees were not the only ones who had problems with Jesus’ radical teaching about managership and sacrificial giving. The disciples did, too. Jesus’ teaching cut across the grain of everything they believed about money and things. So he said: “If then God so clothes the grass which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, 0 you of little faith?” (Lk 12:28).

Faith must validate every level of giving. An impoverished widow living on Social Security must have faith to give 10 percent. Furthermore, when she does so, it is certainly sacrificial love. But if I am unwilling to move up from my present level of giving, is it not because I don’t trust God to meet my needs – a lack of faith? Or love? The person who trusts and loves God will be willing to move from kindergarten impulse giving to elementary, lawful tithing; if already a faithful tither, to go on to honest managership; if an honest manager, to graduate to a sacrificial way of life. My relationship to my possessions is, according to Jesus Christ, a clear indication of my faith and love, my level of spiritual maturity.

God himself models this standard. He created me so he is owner. I stole his property – took possession of myself. But in love, at terrible cost, he purchased me just as if he had no prior claim on me, making me twice his. If I will only respond with love in obedient giving he guarantees my livelihood (Lk 12:31); rewards me lavishly in this life as if I were giving what is my own property; and in heaven he rewards me all over again! (Lk 18:28-30). That is God’s level of giving – love giving. What is yours?

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