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Be generous with your gift to God

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POSTED: May 17, 2010 10:45 a.m.
One of the funniest lines I’ve ever read was in a newspaper in Las Vegas, Nevada, the day after the Southern Baptist Convention met there in the late 1980’s. I know, who would have thought that Southern Baptists, of all people, would meet in Las Vegas. But we did, and evidently made an impression on a number of people. The writer simply stated, “Ten thousand Southern Baptists descended on Las Vegas earlier this week with a twenty dollar bill in one hand, and a copy of the Ten Commandments in the other. They didn’t break either one of them.”
Well, at least I would hope that there was not a lot of commandment breaking taking place that week. That would be a good thing. Of course, his lament concerning the twenty dollar bill was that the slot machines and roulette tables did not see nearly as much action as usual. Quite frankly, I’m of the opinion that was a good thing, too. The implication was that we were cheap.
And that may have been the case. But I know one thing to be true. Every study conducted shows that evangelical Christians are among the most generous of Americans. We give more per capita to charity than most other groups. Christians, throughout history, have supported hospitals, nursing homes, children’s homes, pregnancy care centers, missions, food and clothing stations, and a host of other organizations and programs that help people. And that, I know, is a good thing.
Jesus once told a young man, “Go, s ell everything you have, give it all away, and then follow me.” The young man was unwilling to do so. The Bible says he walked away very sad, and there is no indication that he ever came back to Jesus. His desire to keep what he had made him unwilling, and unable, to receive salvation from Jesus.
Now, I am not suggesting that we can earn our place with God by giving money or possessions to others. But often, our generosity, or lack thereof, is a good indication of who we are at the root of our being.
What are your giving habits? Are you selfish to a fault, “getting all you can, and canning all you get?” Or do you seek to share with those less fortunate. One thing we must remember. For those of us who live in the United States of America, no matter where we find ourselves on the socio-economic ladder of our culture, we are of all people most fortunate. Even the poorest American is rich by so many standards in our world. And the Bible says, “To whom much is given, much is required.”
I hope that you are learning to be more and more generous. God gave us His very best. What will you give to Him?

 

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