Giving and God’s Plenty (Thrifty Thursday)

Good Friday is almost here. The role money plays in God’s kingdom has been on my mind. Thriftiness is only one part of being a good steward. Generosity is another.

All we have comes from God. We should hold it in open hands (though that’s much easier said than done!) Sometimes, God’s purposes with money offered to Him are beyond human understanding…

Many years ago, a “missionary” came to the small church my family attended. He shared a heart-wrenching story of Christians in his homeland. Many in the congregation were moved. Adults gave. Even children offered the money they’d saved from birthdays, Christmas and random odd jobs.

That money was going to support the work of God in a vital and needy area.

Or so we thought.

A couple years later, we found out that the supposed missionary was not even a Christian. In fact, he was actively raising money from Christians to work against his local church! The stories he told were completely made up.

photo credit

Needless to say, we had been betrayed. [Verifying a ministry before supporting is important, but not today's topic!]

I questioned God, “Why didn’t you protect the money offered to You? Even little kids gave You money!” 

That incident has come to mind multiple times. With the memory comes a whirlwind of thoughts about giving. But looking at Scripture a few things are clear: God does not need our gifts, even though He commands generosity. God cares about the giver’s heart, even when the gift is used in ways we don’t understand.

God does not need our gifts, even though He commands generosity.

“Every beast of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills,” God says in Psalm 50:10. He is the Creator of the universe. He holds this earth in the palm of His hand.

“God does not need either man’s work or His own gifts” realized Milton when he complained about his blindness. Jesus fed 5,000 men with a few loaves and fish. He does not need “our” money.

Despite His infinite wealth, God commands His people to give. Why? Not because He is limited to what you and I share.

  • Because all we have comes from Him, and giving acknowledges His sovereignty.
  • Because often He chooses to limit Himself by working through His people.
  • Because He cares about our hearts.

While Jesus walked the earth, people offered Him money. Remember who carried the donation bag? Judas.

Judas is not the man I would have picked! Jesus knew all things. Jesus knew that Judas coveted money, stole and would betray Him for 30 pieces of silver.

Judas still carried the bag. Judas’ end is a dire warning for others that want to follow in his steps, but the fact remains, Jesus let Judas carry the donation bag.

I don’t understand why, but it’s oddly comforting. Money can entwine itself around our hearts in so many ways. Just like we can get attached to stuff, we can also slip into thinking that Jesus somehow needs our money. Maybe this is one way He reminds us that He’s not limited to us. At all!

His ways are far higher than ours. We don’t always see the full picture. God does.

I once heard a story of two (real) missionary families. They lived on very little. The first missionary family received a substantial gift and generously shared it with the other family. A few weeks later the first missionary was horrified to find out that the second had used part of the money to buy name-brand shoes for their child.

What a horrible waste! They regretted sharing the money. Only later did they find out that that child who received the new shoes was really struggling spiritually. Those extravagant shoes showed that child just how much God loved him.

Right before Proverbs says to “Honor the LORD with your wealth” it says “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.”

God does not need our money, but commands us to be generous because all we have comes from Him. Sometimes His ways are mysterious. But even when we don’t understand, He is working His purposes!

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Feminine Adventures

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And now, join Jenn (from The Purposeful Mom) and me for our weekly Thrifty Thursday Blog Hop!

Posts about living frugally, thrifty tips and tricks, money-saving DIY projects and gardening, frugal recipes, and encouraging posts on financial stewardship are all welcome. Link up to either of our blogs–your post will be displayed in both places.

We’d be very grateful if you’d share only thrifty-themed posts. (Read full guidelines here)

Linked up at Hearts 4 Home Thursdays,Proverbs 31 Thursday, & Consider the Lillies

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Comments

  1. says

    What a good reminder, Anna. Thanks for sharing it. It is so easy to think of money as “ours” when really it all belongs to our Father.

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