One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.
What we do in the area of giving directly affects our life. If we are generous people, we will be rewarded. If we withhold when we are able to give, we will be impoverished. The consequences of prosperity and poverty are experienced in different ways. Have you been a blessing to others by not only giving financially, but also by giving of your time and talent? Have you been in a position to give either financially or by volunteering your services, but have not done so and felt poverty in your heart? These verses then are speaking to you.
The condition of our heart is very important. To experience heartfelt giving, we must be in constant prayer, asking the Lord for direction, courage and faith. Our prayers are another powerful form of giving as we speak to the Lord on others’ behalf.
Giving our treasures, our time and our talents must always be in humble obedience to our Lord. Let us come to the Lord, eager to refresh others through our generosity, thereby being refreshed ourselves. We remember the words of Isaiah when he reflects on a sacrifice pleasing to the Lord: “Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter – when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard” (Isaiah 58:7-8).
Used with permission from Sunshine Community Church, Grand Rapids, MI and The Barnabas Foundation.