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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Not Our Stuff

“But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able thus to offer willingly? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you.” 1 Chronicles 29:14

We've all been there. Staring endlessly at our computer screens, our check books or bank statements, wondering where all the money could have gone. We have budgets, or at least we have one written down somewhere, but it just seems like the money is gone before we even know its there. It can sometimes be difficult for us to imagine giving to others when money is so tight. One of the areas God has really been working on in Lauren's and my life is the area of discipline with finances. It is in area that we have grown in significantly and must continue to grow in significantly. I find one of the most difficult struggles is consistent giving in the midst of difficult finances and unexpected costs. When an excess of money is there, it isn't hard to give some of it to others in need, but when we are the ones in need, giving money to others becomes more and more difficult to justify. When David prayed for the gathering of the material for the temple, he reminds Israel of something that has hit me hard this morning. None of it is our stuff. When I tithe or I give to a ministry or anything like that, I'm not really giving from my own wealth or sacrificing something that's mine, I'm just giving back to God what already belonged to him in the first place. Every penny that our family brings in, every resource or talent that we have is a gift given by God. It's not our stuff! But in my own sinfulness, I quickly forget God's generosity and immediately feel entitled to the money. If I give ten percent in tithe I feel really good about myself, almost like God owes our family for our faithful support. How messed up is that mentality! There should be no struggle in giving to God's kingdom because it's his money anyways. 

Lord Jesus, please replace my heart of entitlement for a heart of willing giving and help us all to let go of what is rightfully yours to begin with!

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