People are freaking out over the economy and, if they don’t know Jesus, rightfully so. When the only thing you trust in is shriveling up into worthless pieces of electronic paper then you have earned the right to get your “freak out” on. But if you are a Christian you are living in a “no freak out” zone on the planet of faith.
For Christians, this is not the time we harbor nuts like a bunch of desperate squirrels in November or run amok, freaking out, like a bunch of bears on Wall Street. This is the time we rivet our thoughts to the main street of the New Jerusalem and out of this chaotic world. This is the time we give like the Macedonians gave. Check these powerful verses out in 2 Corinthians 8:1-5, “And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints. And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God’s will.”
I love the powerful and descriptive words that pepper this passage. Phrases like “out of their severe trial”, “overflowing joy”, “extreme poverty” and “rich generosity” are lined up together like so many strange bedfellows who are all enjoying the same warm comforter called “grace giving”.
This is the time we lean into giving not away from it. This is the time we trust God like the widow with her mighty mites. This is the time we give, not until it hurts, but because it hurts. The pain reminds us of the stockpile that awaits us on the other side of eternity. On second thought forget the words “hurt” and “pain” when it comes to giving. Why? Because the phrase “overwhelming joy” axe all of those earthly thoughts of “sacrifice” out. Any tinge of pain that comes from sacrificial giving is overwhelmed by the joy that generous giving drowns us with.
Where does this joy come from? First of all it comes from knowing that Jesus gave us the ultimate gift when He died for us on the cross and paid for our sins. Secondly it comes from believing that Jesus is storing up for us a metric ton or two of gold, silver and precious stones as we make those “sacrifices” on this side of eternity. After all Jesus made it perfectly clear in Mark 10:29-30 that, “…no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fieldsÃ¢â‚¬â€and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life.”
One hundred times is 10,000%…now that’s an investment my friend, not a sacrifice.
So let me give you an opportunity to give generously with overwhelming joy in your heart. Let me give you an opportunity to join me in making a generous gift in tough economic times to a powerful kingdom cause. Your gift to Dare 2 Share will make it possible to equip over 50,000 teen evangelists to “shred the gnar” with five of their friends. That’s a potential of 250,000 teenagers reached with with the gospel between now and our last conference in April.
If you believe in the power of the gospel, in the potential of teenagers and in the joy of generous giving in any climate, and especially the tough ones, then break out your credit card right now and make a gift to Dare 2 Share with me. Click here to make your donation.
Do we have financial needs right now? Yes. Are they big? Yes. Am I worried? No. This is God’s ministry not mine. Where He guides He will provide. And I, along with the board, am convinced that He has called us to mobilize teenagers across the nation to shred the gnar!
So, if I’m convinced the Lord will provide, why am I asking you to give generously right now? Because of what Paul wrote to the Philippians, “Not that I am looking for a gift, but I am looking for what may be credited to your account.” I want your heavenly bank account to overflow with riches that do not corrupt and cannot be stolen, rusted or dissolved by a downturn in the Dow.
Be like the Macedonians. Give big. Give now. Give with a great big smile on your face!