Are you feeling entitled to certain things in life? Do you feel like the establishment owes you a living? That God owes you something because you’ve been faithful? If we feel like it’s ours, how can we be thankful for it? It’s hard to tell someone thanks for something you feel is yours to begin with.
You know that you’re feeling entitled when the results leave you feeling frustrated, angry, and resentful. The bigger the sense of entitlement, the smaller the sense of gratitude and depth of our thankfulness. If we don’t feel thankful, that means we’ll do less for others, because a sense of entitlement and a heart of thankfulness can’t occupy the same place in someone who claims to be a follower of Christ.
We’ve been in a series of sermons on giving for the past few weeks. This is the final of that series and it’s based on Malachi 3:8-10 and 2 Kings 7:3-10. Tithing is never a topic that the pastor likes to preach about or that most want to hear. But the thing you have to realize about giving to God is that it’s already his to begin with. He’s letting you keep most of it. He doesn’t need your money. You can’t out give God. Try it! Raise your level of giving and watch what God does to prosper you. Does he prosper you so that you can live better? No, it’s so that you can raise your standard of giving.
So, I challenge you to raise your level of giving to God. Do it for a month and if you don’t feel like God has been faithful, you can lower it. But, remember, you can’t out give God. Several years ago, we were given this challenge by a previous pastor. So, I thought, okay, God, you’re on! So we increased our giving by 30% and I was blown away with his faithfulness. We had a fire a few weeks after we made this commitment and I thought, “really, God? We give more and this is what you let happen?” It wasn’t our house, but a detached garage. We lost a car, new Kubota lawn tractor, log splitter, chain saws, tools and boxes of stuff from when our kids were little. And you know what God did? He rebuilt our garage and replaced all of our losses with new things. Our garage is double the size of the one that burnt down. When things seem tight, there’s always money that comes from somewhere to provide what we need.
Has God been faithful? Has he out given us? He surely has. Much more than we could have ever dreamed. “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights” (James 1:17)
We’ve earned nothing. God go ahead of us and provides. Our thankfulness is never maximized until we leverage it in acts of service and love to bless others. A life of overflowing thankfulness shows itself in acts that bless others.
I’m so thankful for God’s provisions and the people he’s placed in my life (and continues to do so) that help me continue to learn more about how he wants me to live.