You Say You Love God, Then Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is
Generous giving is one of the core beliefs of Christianity. It's the cycle of prosperity that God began when he sent Jesus to earth. God poured out all his riches, wisdom, grace and mercy upon Jesus Christ. Jesus then poured out all the father gave him upon us who believe. Why did God and Jesus give so generously? It was their way of expressing how much they loved us. As believers, we are expected to continue this cycle of giving; but it's not about money, it's all about love.
How do human beings express love? Most of us express love with the words of our mouths, but we always offer a generous gift that expresses what our words cannot. For a child, a fresh picked dandelion, or a special drawing expresses love for a parent or a friend. For a husband it could be a bouquet of flowers, a box of candy, or a simple handwritten note that expresses love to his wife. No matter how we express love; the words of love that we speak are always accompanied by some generous act of giving. So, if we say we love God we should also back it up with generous acts of giving. There is something amiss in a heart where love and generosity are not expressed. It's an indicator that someone's love is either absent or it has grown cold. God's love is eternal; it never changes. Human love is conditional. It's usually based upon what one has or does for another. Even our love for God may be conditional. It may be based on whether or not our prayer was answered, or whether we got the thing that we thought we deserved. If you are going through a bad time and the Holy Spirit is prompting you to give, I urge you to obey God. There is blessing awaiting you and it's attached to your giving. Let me share a personal example.
Years ago, I returned to my home church in Los Angeles after a two-year missions trip. The Lord said that someone from my church had a house awaiting me. After Bible study one evening, a woman came up to me and said that the Lord told her to give me ride to back to my hotel. As we walked to her car I began talking and the Spirit of God began flowing heavily upon the woman. By the time we got in her car the Lord had moved upon her several times to the point that the woman said, that God told her to give me a house, but she needed confirmation from another minister before she would do so. The woman said that if this minister could confirm that I was the one sent by God, then she would give me the house. We went to another service and the minister indeed confirmed that God had sent me. So what happened? The woman (with the house) ran out of that service and I never saw her again. A few months later I overheard some of her friends lamenting about the destruction that overcame her. Evidently, she was in the process of divorcing when she and I met. She needed to sow a seed for her deliverance. That house was her seed. The woman lost everything; her marriage, her home and her realty business because she refused to obey God and did not recognize the blessing he had in store for her.
If say you love God, then you must obey him in your living and your giving. Your affliction is only a test of your love for God. If you are suffering, it is perfect the time to open your hand to God and give from the depths of your heart. Don't hesitate to sow during times of famine. Don't be afraid to give like the widow who gave from her poverty all that she had (Mark 12:44). The Apostle Paul bragged on a severely afflicted Macedonian church. He said that out of the abundance of their joy and their extreme poverty overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. Even when they had nothing to spare, their love moved them to relieve the suffering of others and it caused a more joyous thanksgiving to God (II Corinthians 8:1-7). Beloved, things may seem tight, but you must resist the temptation to hold back. Continue to love and give generously and it will flow back to you, good measure, pressed down and shaken together will men give back to you. God started this cycle of prosperity, but you have to continue giving to keep it flowing.