Tuesday, February 15, 2011



If you were born in the United States, this exclamation describes your arrival. You hit the jackpot. Of all the places you could have been born - Sudan, Mexico, Cuba, Iraq - you were fortunate enough to be a U.S. Citizen. The freedoms and opportunities available to you (compared to the rest of the world) are staggering. There's also that thing called capitalism. It allows you and me to make money doing virtually anything we want to do.

And, guess what. You're rich. I'm rich. Even if we don't FEEL rich, we have more than 95% of people in the world.

But, while you and I are blessed to live here in the U.S.A., God didn't put us right here just for our comfort and personal well-being. That shouldn't come as a surprise, especially when you take into account the person of Jesus Christ.

Jesus said, "Give, and it will be given to you." He didn't say, "Hoard, and it will be given to you." He told us to give. Why? Well, Jesus (being God), knows what's best for us. So, this is no exception.

As Alcorn writes, "The more you give, the more comes back to you, because God is the greatest giver in the universe, and He won't let you outgive Him."

Has there ever been someone who gave sacrificially to God who has regretted it? I doubt it. In fact, one of the primary regrets people have in their old age is that they wished they had given more generously.

A guy in my Bible study shared with me recently that just a couple years ago, his thriving business took a huge hit with the recession. At one point, he had 25-30 employees working for him. He said it got down to just him. And, even that wasn't looking too good.

He said in the midst of this struggle, he told his wife that they were really hurting for money. They needed God to come through. So, he wrote a check to the church for that week, and handed it to his wife. His wife's eyes opened as wide as saucers. "I thought you said we needed money," she said. "So, why did you write the check for more than we normally do?"

He replied, "God knows we need it. The more we give to Him, the more He's going to give it back to us. If we need more money, we've got to give Him more."

That blew me away. Who, in their "right mind" is going to give away more when their world is caving in on them? But, who ever said God wants us to be "right-minded"?

So, all of this leads us to Randy Alcorn's Treasure Principle Key #6: God prospers me, not to raise my standard of living, but to raise my standard of giving.

In those moments when you realize you have more than you need, ask yourself the question: "Why?"

It's not necessarily to buy that new car, gadget, toy, or vacation. Many times, He fills your cup to overflowing so you can pass along a blessing to someone else.

You see, it's rare that God sends a divine gift of cash to your mailbox by snapping His fingers. He won't wrinkle His nose or blink a new car or even a bag of groceries to your home. No, God uses people to do His work. I'm not sure why He chose to do things that way, but He did.

And, chances are, He wants to use you. You have something to offer that no one else does. You have unique relationships, and you have opportunities to help others. Others who are counting on God to come through. And, God will come through. But He wants to use you to make it happen!

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