This week’s devotions are based on Sunday’s Message: I Love my church…Love in Giving (WATCH HERE).
Do you love God?
Just like yesterday’s question, “Do you love money?” elicits a quick “NO,” so this question will elicit a quick, “Of course!”
Great! Every Christian will love God. The challenge is winning the battle against our sinful nature that wants to love money. By God’s grace and the Spirit’s power, we can overcome and the love of God will grow in its priority and prominence in our life.
But what does loving God look like when it is priority over money?
First we live in gratitude and thanksgiving.
All of our Christian life is lived in response to the love that God has shown to us. God is the one who first gave to us: John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. The gift of God is what engenders our heart to love God and to live for him in every aspect of life. Our Christian living is a simple response to the life God has given for us and to us. Giving and generosity are no different. God gave. We give.
Second when we love God, it shows up with contentment.
When we realize that everything in the world is the Lord’s and he has entrusted a portion of that to us, we realize that God is the perfect giver and has given us what we need for today. When we pray in the Lord’s Prayer, “Give us today our daily bread” is really a prayer for contentment as well. Our western culture struggles with materialism. Every marketer is taught to make the viewer discontent with some aspect of life. We can buy things at a click of a button and walk into stores just to see if there is something else we “need.” So when I can see the advertisement, walk out of a store only buying things I truly need or visiting Amazon sparsely is indication we are content with what we have been given. Contentment does not mean we are lazy, it means our heart is at peace with what we have. It is free from fear and worry and full of trust that the Lord loves me and will continue to provide for me. 1 Timothy 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.
Third, we live in generosity.
A heart that is filled with the love of God lives in grateful response to the gift that God has given to me. The Apostle Paul highlights the Macedonian churches and their generosity. They pleaded to give. THey didn’t use poverty or persecution as an excuse not to give. They were going through challenging times, but the joy in their heart welled up into rich generosity. We can learn from them! This is what happens when the love of God overflows from our heart into generosity.
2 Corinthians 8:1-4 And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. 2 Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. 3 For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, 4 they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints…. 7 But just as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us—see that you also excel in this grace of giving.
When the love of God fills your heart, it shows in many and varied ways. These are just a few ways the heart responds…enjoy many more ways that the generosity of God drives your generosity!
Apply: How has the love of God flowed from your heart? How might your heart be filled with thanksgiving, contentment and generosity?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for giving me your best. Forgive me for shallow thankfulness and fill my heart with thankfulness and generosity. AMEN.