Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Giver of All Good Things

God’s economy is so different from ours—so upside down. Somehow in the giving away of our lives, we find real life. Somehow in looking out for the interests of others, we find our own needs met. It doesn’t make sense in theory, but in practice it is absolutely remarkable.

Dave shared with me the other day that he felt God was prompting him to give some money to help out a friend we’ve gotten to know here in New Orleans. When I asked how much, he didn’t respond right away. It took a few days, but finally Dave told me an amount. It was a sizeable amount, so he asked me if I thought that was okay. I’ve seen God use Dave’s generosity before and so I encouraged him by saying that if that’s what he felt we should give, then we should give it! So, I went to the bank last Tuesday to withdraw the money, put it in an envelope and passed it to our team leader who gave it to our friend anonymously. It was sweet to hear the response of our friend via our team leader because it was exactly the amount he needed.

Two days later, we received in the mail two separate checks from friends back in Kentucky. One check was for the exact amount that we had given to our friend. The check was dated the same day Dave had told me the amount he wanted to give. The second check was from someone who already supports us monthly. She had included a note with her support saying she had received some extra blessings this month from others because of her service and generosity to them. She wanted to pass on the extra to us. So, not only did God provide the exact amount for what our friend needed, he gave us more! And we didn’t even know we had that much to give! Sure, God could have just dropped that money into our friend’s lap. Sure, we could just all take care of our own needs and just worry about covering ourselves. But what happens when we trust the Lord and following His promptings to give? We see a more accurate picture of Who really is the Provider! We see God at work in the lives of so many different people. We see His amazing ability to coordinate the hearts of His children. We see His care and love for us and for those who don’t know Him yet. Yes, the giving and sharing and obeying the Lord results in thanksgiving to Him—the One from whom all good things come anyway!!

“This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!” (2 Corinthians 9:12-15)

This passage is talking about you, my brothers and sisters, and your generosity and obedience that have blessed us in so many ways. But ultimately, it is speaking of Christ, for our grateful hearts turn to him and overflow in thanksgiving for who He is and for all the ways He has turned our lives upside down!