Going Above and Beyond

The Apostle Paul - “Tell those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which will soon be gone. But their trust should be in the living God. Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and should give generously to those in need, always being ready to share with others whatever God has given them. By doing this they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they may take hold of real life.” (1 Timothy 6:17-19)

DAILY DEVOTION

We are “doing good” with money when we are Supporting Ministries or Projects. In the Bible, one group of people who were known for their generosity was the Macedonian Christians. About them, Paul writes, “Though they have been going through much trouble and hard times, their wonderful joy and deep poverty have overflowed in rich generosity. For I can testify that they gave not only what they could afford but far more. And they did it of their own free will. They begged us again and again for the gracious privilege of sharing in the gift for the Christians in Jerusalem.” (2 Corinthians 8:2-4) In a similar way, we have people at Celebration Church who also give above their regular tithe to various missionaries, benevolence needs, our annual Christmas missions offering, to the poor, and to our 52 rebuilding emphasis.

Our giving or lack of giving is indicative of the selfishness or selflessness of our hearts (Luke 9:23), the good or bad scenario of our finances (Proverbs 22:7), or our faith or lack of faith in the Lord. The Apostle Paul wrote these words to Timothy: “Tell those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which will soon be gone. But their trust should be in the living God.” (1 Timothy 6:17)

A pastor approached a wealthy man about giving some money to the church to help complete a building project. The wealthy man replied, "Obviously that you haven't heard that my mother is dying of cancer and doesn't have the finances to get the medical care she needs. And that my brother is about to lose his house because he can't pay his mortgage. And that my sister is about to lose her car because she can’t pay her car note. And that my two children are about to be kicked out of college because they can't pay their tuition" The pastor said he didn't know about those things. The wealthy man cried out, "And if I'm not helping any of them, what makes you think that I'm going to give any money to this church building project?" A lot of people are like that rich man. They are so focused on their own desires, wants and needs that they’re not willing to be generous with the church or with others. Besides displeasing the Lord, those people are also the most miserable people on the planet. However, the happiest and most blessed people in the world are those who are generous givers to the Lord’s work because they see lives being transformed and they know the Lord will reward them now and in the future. (1 Timothy 6:19).

FOLLOW-UP ACTIVITY

In your journal or on a piece of paper, make a list of missionaries, ministries, or ministry projects you would someday like to give to over and above your regular tithe. Then, pray and ask the Lord to give you wisdom and insight into how you might begin doing so as He leads and provides for you. If you’re leading your family through this devotion, have a discussion about the missionaries, ministries, or ministry projects those in your family would like to one day support financially. Then, pray as a family that God would provide for your family and give them all insight as to how you might be able to support these people and projects over and above your regular tithe.

PRAYER FOR TODAY

Lord, thank You for always providing for me. Help me be sensitive to what You would have me give beyond my regular tithe. In the name of Jesus, Amen.

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