You don’t see too many hearses pulling u-hauls on the way to the funeral. A recent survey of individuals over the age 65 asked them a simple question: “If you could live your life over again, what would you do different?” The answer was overwhelmingly unanimous: “I would invest my TIME and MONEY in things that went beyond my generation”. You can’t take it with you!
Part of your testimony and success story to come will include an ability to give more of your money away to others. Giving starts with an attitude of the heart. God really doesn't want our money if we don't give it cheerfully. Once we come to the realization that He created us and the world we live in, and that it is ALL His anyway, that really opens doors to peace and contentment in our lives. The book of Jeremiah says it well: "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with ALL your heart. I will be found by you." The Lord did not have my finances because He did not have my heart! David's prayer was a toughie for today's American believer- "Give me and UNDIVIDED heart"! One can be beat over the head to give or tithe. I was told by one preacher that I would go to hell if I did not tithe (10%). It drove me to study what God had to say about giving himself. I started writing a chapter or two on giving and I ended up with seven chapters out of the twenty-four chapters in Ease the Squeeze covering topics such as:
- Giving- A condition of the heart
- Assessment on some of the Spin doctor teachings on giving
- What are the potential results of giving?- Blessings, types of blessing, some skewed teachings
- What about the 10%?
- Giving Trends & World Missions- Are we really a land of rich young rulers?
- Eternal versus Temporal investments- how to balance between giving & hoarding
- The Spiritual vs. The Practical- Can I actually hear from God?
I fought the Lord about giving more than anything in my life, and probably more than anyone. I share my testimony, my heart problems, and my thoughts on biblical giving. I knew that God did not want to coerce me or manipulate me to give, nor did he want me to give to get something from Him. He wanted my heart and wanted me to give willingly. Once I got past the tithe teachings--some correct and some incorrect--from my past, and got past the guilt from my past, I was able to hear from God myself after studying His word.
"God can have our money and not have our hearts, but He cannot have our hearts without having our money."
R. Kent Hughes
We have such a need for a cultural role-reversal, a 180 degree turn in our thinking about giving. 2 Corinthians 8 and 9 provide a great study in giving. It speaks of not being coerced in our giving (attention: teachers preachers, and evangelist). It speaks of a "willingness" to give, a giving beyond their ability, a giving liberally, generously, and not as a grudging obligation (attention: giver). God loves a cheerful giver! If we are in love with someone we will give and serve them with our lives, our time, and our finances. It all begins with the heart. I believe if the American church has a proper heart and passion towards God that a radical change will take place in giving. We will be able to fill the void that the government has had to fill. We will be able to provide for the poor, single mothers, widows, elderly, the sick, children in need, those on welfare, and most importantly will be able to take the gospel of Jesus Christ to all nations.
"If you need to improve your financial situation, look no further than Doug Hagedorn's Financial Freedom Seminar. Doug provides practical, biblical insight to help you set goals, get out of debt, manage your time, establish a budget, and save for the future."
Kerby Anderson, Host - Point of View