Have you ever wondered what happens when you give? God’s Word says plenty about it. However, we won’t get into everything, but let’s examine one passage (with the loaves and fishes in mind when Jesus multiplied the loaves and fish that the boy had).
*2 Corinthians 9:6-15: “But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. As it is written: “He has dispersed abroad, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.” Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness, while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God. For the administration of this service not only supplies the needs of the saints, but also is abounding through many thanksgivings to God, while, through the proof of this ministry, they glorify God for the obedience of your confession to the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal sharing with them and all men, and by their prayer for you, who long for you because of the exceeding grace of God in you. Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!”
While I don’t think our motivation should be for the reward, God says that He will reward those who give. Let’s look at the 3 ways your donations help:
1. Immediate - Provide for the needs of the person in needWhen you give, the person you’re helping is benefited. Sometimes, as seen in the story of the loaves and fish, even that gift gets multiplied immediately.
When you identify a need and help provide towards it, you’re helping a need as Jesus’ hands and feet. That’s the role of today’s Disciples - we represent Jesus (even though obviously we aren’t Him), as we’re followers of Christ and in His family.
2. Mid-term - You receive earthly benefitsMany times, God gives back to you in earthly benefits (whether it’s actual money or in other ways). Take note of this, as you’ll see it’s true in your life as well (even if we don’t always see it).
What you give is sometimes even multiplied back to you. However, of more importance is the next point:
3. Long-term - You reap Eternal benefitsWhen you give, you also are piling up Eternal benefits for yourself (as long as the motives are pure and you don’t brag about your giving).
This is one of God’s biggest promises - that we will be rewarded for what we do here on earth. This doesn’t mean that our salvation is based on our works - but, it’s important to note that our giving continues on to Eternity. For this reason, Christians should be (and for the most part are) the most generous people on earth.
Life is full of uncertainties, and it's natural for worries and anxieties to creep into our hearts and minds. However, as Christians, we have the incredible gift of faith and a powerful source of comfort—the Word of God. In this article, we will explore five biblical steps to help you cast your cares on the Lord and find peace in the midst of your worries.
Step 1: Acknowledge you are worried or anxious.
The journey to finding peace begins with acknowledging your fears and anxieties. In Psalm 56:3, we are reminded that even in our moments of fear, we can turn to God for refuge. The psalmist declares, "Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You." This verse teaches us the importance of recognizing our worries and turning to God as our source of strength.
Step 2: Pray and ask God to help.
Once you've acknowledged your worries, the next step is to turn to prayer. Philippians 4:6-7 provides profound guidance on this matter: "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Prayer is our direct line of communication with God. When we bring our concerns to Him with a thankful heart, we open ourselves to receive His peace that transcends all understanding.
Step 3: Find Bible passages that give you peace (especially the Psalms).
The Bible is a wellspring of comfort and inspiration. Philippians 4:8 encourages us to meditate on positive and uplifting thoughts: "Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things." In times of worry, immerse yourself in the Psalms and other passages that offer solace, encouragement, and hope.
Step 4: Trust God to work in your life.
Proverbs 3:5-6 reminds us of the importance of trusting in the Lord completely: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths." Trusting God means surrendering control and believing that He has a plan, even when we cannot see the way forward. As we release our worries and trust in His guidance, we open ourselves to His divine intervention.
Step 5: Get support from friends.
In the journey of faith, we are not meant to walk alone. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 emphasizes the importance of community and support: "Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up." Seek the support of friends, family, and fellow believers who can uplift you in times of need and offer prayers on your behalf.
Worry and anxiety are common struggles in life, but as Christians, we have the promise of God's peace and the guidance of His Word. By acknowledging our worries, turning to prayer, meditating on Scripture, trusting in God, and seeking support from our Christian community, we can cast our cares on the Lord and find lasting peace even in the midst of life's challenges. Remember the words of Jesus in John 14:27: "Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."
In the book of 1 John 3:18-23, we find a profound message that calls us to action, urging us not to love in mere words or speeches, but in genuine actions and truth.
Verse 18: "My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth."
This verse reminds us that true love is not confined to empty words but is most meaningful when expressed through tangible actions. It encourages us to make a real impact in the lives of others through our deeds, not just our intentions.
Verse 23: "And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment."
This passage not only calls us to believe in Christ but also to love one another, echoing the importance of compassionate action in our faith. It's a reminder that loving others is a fundamental aspect of our Christian journey.
As we reflect on these verses, we are compelled to take action to support those in need around us. Whether it's helping the less fortunate, caring for abandoned children, or reaching out to vulnerable families, our actions can make a profound difference.
By taking action, we fulfill the commandment to love one another. We can find confidence in our faith and experience the blessings that come from living out our beliefs.
In response to this call to action, we invite you to make a difference in the lives of those who need it most. Consider supporting organizations and ministries that are dedicated to serving the less fortunate and providing genuine care and opportunity.
Your financial support can help these organizations continue their vital work, transforming the lives of individuals and communities in need. By extending a helping hand, you are embodying the message of 1 John 3:18-23, loving in deed and in truth.
Let us all heed the call to action, making a positive impact on the lives of those who require our support and love. Together, we can be agents of change, living out our faith through compassionate deeds, and bringing hope to those in need.
Potter's House Ministries Romania has several ministries that we're starting. You can find out more here and support us here.
What if I were to tell you that money being offered to you could offend you?
Let me present a thought-provoking perspective on when money becomes offensive.
Imagine yourself on a turbulent flight, the captain urgently instructing everyone to fasten their seatbelts as the aircraft battles against a storm. This is a scenario we're all familiar with, a necessary precaution for our safety. Now, let's shift the narrative in a most unexpected way: As the turbulence intensifies, oxygen masks descend from overhead compartments, one for every passenger. Everyone around you grasps an oxygen mask, securing the lifeline they need to survive the ordeal. The pilot then tells everyone on board that the oxygen mask is going to be what saves you. If you don't put on your oxygen mask, your very life will be in danger, and that you need to have the mask on for the duration of the flight.
But what's this? As you reach for your own mask, instead of the life-giving oxygen you expect, $100,000 is where the mask should be, inexplicably replacing the vital mask. The gravity of the situation sinks in—this money, while valuable in other circumstances, has no power to help you now. In the midst of chaos, you're faced with a choice: money or the oxygen that your body desperately craves.
The answer becomes startlingly clear. Money can't restore your breath, money can't fend off the suffocating grip of fear, and money certainly can't replace the life-sustaining power of the oxygen mask. So, you find a flight attendant, who is putting on her mask. She tells you that there are no more masks on board. What do you do? Of course, you would likely look for a passenger who is willing to trade his or her oxygen mask for the $100,000, right? The worst part is, you would very unlikely find someone to make that trade.
This captivating imagery resonates far beyond the confines of the airplane cabin. Life's journey mirrors flights through uncertainty, each leg marred by its own turbulence. In these challenging moments, as we navigate the storms that buffet us, what endures as our true sustenance? The answer is profound—our souls. This brings to mind an age-old question that reverberates across time: "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?" (Mark 8:36 NKJV).
At its core, this question encapsulates the profound teachings of Jesus Christ. In the pursuit of wealth and all that the world offers, we might amass riches, possessions, and fleeting pleasures. However, when life's tempests rage and the turbulence of existence intensifies, these worldly pursuits reveal their frailty. The allure of money diminishes in the face of our mortality. It becomes evident that riches cannot replace an oxygen mask in the illustration above, nor can they ensure the preservation of our souls beyond this fleeting existence.
This analogy underscores the urgency to embrace what truly matters—everything that God offers us—putting on Jesus before it's too late. We don't know when our final moment will arrive, much like the sudden turbulence on a flight. In these moments of uncertainty, when we're confronted with the choice between worldly gains and the eternal abundance that God provides, it's the embrace of Jesus and His teachings, found in the Bible, that become our lifeline. They guide us through the turbulence of existence, offering solace in the face of life's uncertainties.
As you journey through life's skies, remember that it is not the world's offerings that safeguard your soul's well-being, but the embrace of Jesus' teachings and the eternal abundance that God provides. The turbulence of existence is navigable with the compass of faith, and the blessings of God are treasures beyond measure. Just as you would reach for an oxygen mask in the midst of turbulence, reach for the enduring wisdom of Jesus and the boundless offerings of God to navigate life's trials and secure your eternal well-being. Romans 13:14: "But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts."