Spirit of Giving

Malachi 3:8-10 (NIV)

 8 “Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me.    “But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’ “In tithes and offerings. 9 You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me. 10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.

Around mid-afternoon on Friday December 23, 2001, I felt the Holy spirit telling me I needed to give something away. It felt so cliche’. It was right before Christmas, the Season for giving. Why don’t I feel lead to give more often, I wondered? I knew I needed to bless a Ministry that had been a blessing to me. Even if I had purchased Media resources, Devotionals and other books from them, I still needed to give, so that in turn, they could give.

I prayed briefly and then decided on (3) Ministries who had blessed me over the course of the past year(s). God had put these Masters of the Word in my life to help me soar like an Eagle.

I knew if I delayed in reacting to God’s request, I would miss His blessing. I didn’t want to grieve the Holy Spirit to sow a seed for the Kingdom.

A few months ahead of Christmas last year (2011), my mom indicated she and dad were thinking about having the kids (me, brother, sis-in-law, niece & nephew) donate to a ministry in need. I knew mom and dad had given often and been blessed to give well. I was stunned at first to learn my dad was willing to pass on getting a gift card to get some new reading material from the Bookstore. We all of course were a bit hardened by the loss of our beloved Borders Bookstore (which has now been acquired by Barnes & Noble.) In agreement with dad, my mom who I always got a gift card for to her favorite Kitchen store, chose to give something away. For some 20 years or more we gave them the same gifts at Christmas. It was predictable and safe.

I shot off an Email to my brother so the news wouldn’t be a surprise. I don’t think he thought mom and dad would actually go through with it, but God knew. He was sowing seeds for the Kingdom and using our parent’s choice to lead all of us into His Grace.

My dad forwarded to me the information on the Ministry they had chosen to give to, one I had heard of before, but never paid much attention to.

In mid-December, I logged on to the World Vision website and after praying about how much to give in honoring my dad’s wish, I felt the Holy spirit moving me to give an additional amount beyond what I had already made up in my mind I could afford. I could feel the surprise in my spirit beginning to rise, but I was also strangely peaceful. I knew it was the right thing to do, so I gave “just a little bit more.”

Have you ever missed the mark and not adhered to something speaking in your spirit? I saw one of Oprah‘s Master Class on her OWN Network last year, before I had my cable service reduced. Even Oprah alerted us to the fact that if you miss the messages being spoken to you in your life, the whispers get louder and louder and maybe it takes a crisis to get your attention.

God wants our attention, and He will whisper to us through the Holy Spirit, through family & friends. Are you alert and awakened in your life so that you can respond? God is calling some of us to give. He is reaching out for relationship with us so that we don’t miss the mark.

I know people have a fear of giving because they’re uncertain if the money or donation will be properly handled. If we’re good stewards in the Word and for the Kingdom, we have to have a certain faith, trust and hope that God will deal with the people we’re giving an offering to. Again, God will honor your financial gift to Ministries and Organizations and He will bring restoration if the gift is mishandled. (Think about Susan Komen Foundation) He will bring restoration!

Your call may not be to give financially, but I believe we all have something to give. You’ll never know how far a few dollars can go in a 3rd World country. What if the Holy Spirit lead you to Fast from going out to Lunch everyday during Lent or some other 40-day period during the year? Would you give that money away? Could you? Would it ruffle your feathers to have your pocket change stirred by God for someone to get clean water, blankets, new clothes, diapers, a pair of shoes or an animal that a family desperately needs so they can start a farming business in their locale? What if you hold on for dear life to every cent you have because your forward thinking knows the Gas prices are going up as we grow towards the Summer season?

Matthew 6:19-21  (NIV)

Treasures in Heaven

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

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