Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Grace of Giving

The Grace of Giving
By Margot Cioccio 
(Written for and shared at Spokane First Covenant Church on March 10th) 

Photo by Margot Cioccio 
We just finished singing the song “Your Grace is enough” 
I asked the congregation... Do you really believe what you just sang. It’s easy to nod your head, sure we all believe that God’s grace is enough. Well... until the rent is late, or someone we love is sick, or the economy takes a turn for the worse, or a disaster strikes.... When those things happen we are faced with a choice, to succumb to worry and fear or to move forward in faith trusting that God’s grace is enough to see us through the present crisis. How do you move from singing nice words to really allowing them to grow in your life? I believe it takes an act of faith. 

As I was thinking about what to share with you today. I found a wonderful pamphlet called Loving and Giving in the resource section of the Evangelical Covenant Website. It had a page that discussed why we give. I thought I would share some of that with you today. We need his grace to be givers. It is easy to think when the plate passes that the little we have is not enough to make a difference so why bother. It’s easy to think that others with more will do something. (Its easy to think that way about donation buttons on blogs and web sites) We need God’s grace to change us and help us to understand why it is important to us as individual believers that we become givers irregardless of how big or small our resources may be. So lets consider Why We Give. 

"We Give To Reveal God’s Likeness in Us
God so loved that God gave. God gives us the Holy Spirit who moves us to give with glad hearts, to give just as God gives. When we give we allow the Holy Spirit to transform us from within to help us take on the very nature of Christ. Through us, God reveals the reality of himself to the world—loving by giving.
Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children (Ephesians 5:1).
We Give To Grow in Our Dependence on God
God promises to care for us more than
the birds of the air or the lilies of the field (Matthew 6:28-34).—When we stretch our faith through giving, we experience his care for us and our faith grows stronger. We learn that our dependence is not on ourselves or our ability to produce, but our dependence is upon our God.
And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work (2 Corinthians 9:8) 

We Give To Join Jesus in the Work He Is Doing in the World through the Church
The body of Christ makes it possible for the many to do what individuals cannot do alone. In covenant with the Lord and with one another, we commit gifts and invest resources for God’s work in the world. 

We Give To Share the Giving Love of a Living Savior
Giving and loving are never separate in the Bible. Nor are they separated in the life of a disciple of Christ. Behind every act of Christ is an act of giving. This consistent and giving love is a testimony to the reality of Christ’s resurrection and life-changing presence.
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another (John 13:35).

We Give To Grow in Our Understanding That We Are Stewards and Not Owners
God is the source of everything we receive, and all our abilities, including our ability
to produce wealth.  The act of giving breaks the toxic powers of greed and pride in our lives and more deeply connects us with God, the source of every good gift."

Lord,  Make us people who don’t only give out of our abundance but make us people who give out of our own desperate need. We come to you Lord and we ask that you break the chains of poverty in each of our lives.  Help us each to do something by giving, as an act of faith that your Grace is enough.

(Ps: There is always a donation button on the top right of this blog site should you ever feel led to give to help support this devotional ministry. If this is in your e-mail you would simply click the post title to return to the site.)

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