“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” — Philippians 4:12
In the past week, my inbox has been bombarded with more than a hundred emails on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, extended sales and more. Everywhere I go, I see the ads — on the bus, in the coffee shop, at the bookstore, at the gym. On my way off work on Friday, strangers greeted me with, “Happy shopping this weekend!”
I thought, ‘Wow. The events this weekend seem like a holiday on its own!’
How are we not to buy in to all this?
What are our true needs?
Will any of our purchases satisfy them?
This morning, I attended two friends’ Profession of Faith. Their pastor shared on how being in the family of God changes WHO we ARE, how we THINK, and how we WALK:
“Our faith changes our attitude from one of gain to one of generosity – generosity not only with our money, but also with our words, our actions, our time.” This is true.
First, we must realize that our hearts will not be fully satisfied in anything outside of Jesus.
In BSF a few weeks ago, we went through the story of Jesus walking on water, coming at precisely the moment when the disciples became exhausted from having rowed all night in the storm. It was a reminder that Jesus is aware of our needs. At precisely the right time, when the disciples had no strength after battling the storm all night, He came to them.
The truth revealed is this:
“Without His consent and His good purpose, no trial ever befalls any believer… God gives three firm promises:
1) Trials and temptations are common to all people, including Christians.
2) God is faithful.
3) In every trial God provides a way out for believers so our faith can endure it.
Sometimes we fail to recognize God’s way out because it does not come at the time or in the way we expect.
Second, we must learn not to hold on to our possessions in this world as though they are ours forever.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” — Matthew 6:19-21
We also talked about the story of feeding the 5000 (+) with five loaves of bread and the two fish, offered by the young boy. This is the lesson:
“What you have becomes enough when you place it in Jesus’ hands…. God looks at what we have… not the greatness of our gift. The little boy gave his entire lunch. How far does your giving go?
Sacrificial giving is the only way to experience the great joy of watching God multiply what you have.
What will you risk in faith so you may know by experience?
Look at your wealth and possessions. Do you own them or do they own you?
How can you be more generous to those in need with your wealth, your words, your actions, and your time this week?