Encouragement for Today
Lysa TerKeurst, Author, President of Proverbs 31 Ministries
Luke 12:29-32, “And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.” (NIV)
We are all managers, not owners, of God’s resources. This lesson was taught to me loud and clear one day while going through a fast-food drive-thru when I realized that I didn’t have enough cash on me to pay for the lunch I had ordered for my daughter, Hope, and I. What it came down to was trust. I was asking her to trust me, when it occurred to me that sometimes God asks me to trust Him for certain resources, yet I still refuse.
Feeling quite embarrassed about not having the money, I knew Hope, who had just celebrated her ninth birthday, had received a ten-dollar bill as a gift from her aunt. I asked her if I could borrow just a few dollars to make up for my shortage, and I promised I would pay her back. She refused, explaining that she was seeing some of her friends that afternoon and wanted to show them her ten-dollar bill and a couple of ones.
I asked her if she trusted that I would pay her back. She said she did, but I might not pay her back with a ten-dollar bill. She did not want two fives. She did not want two ones. A ten-dollar bill would, after all, be much more impressive to her friends.
As I was approaching the drive-through window, I got more aggressive with my offer. I told her I would not only give her change from her original ten-dollar bill, which was going to be about seven dollars, but that I would also give her another ten-dollar bill later. Even this offer was not enough to release her tight grip on her bill. She did not want a ten-dollar bill later because she might miss showing it off to her friends today.
My sweet daughter did not realize I had the ability to bless her with many ten-dollar bills. She did not understand that I had spent the equivalent of more than ten ten-dollar bills on her birthday party. She had no clue how many ten-dollar bills I’ve spent on her over her lifetime. Not to mention the fact that her lunch was part of the reason I was spending this ten-dollar bill at the moment.
Finally, when we were at the window, Hope begrudgingly gave me the money. How it disappointed me that she would not willingly release it. How it must disappoint God when we do this very same thing.
You see, I had special knowledge that Hope did not have. I knew that waiting in our mailbox at home was another birthday card – one from her grandmother that contained a whopping fifty dollars! Her ten-dollar bill would pale in comparison.
Likewise, God has special knowledge in our lives. He has blessings for those who are willing to give of their resources that make the dime-store stuff we are so intent on holding onto pale in comparison. The question is do we trust Him? Do we trust that He will bless us exceedingly, even if it means having to wait, or receive blessing in a different method than what we expect? Do we trust that His blessings are infinitely better than what He might first ask us to release?
My Prayer for Today:
Heavenly Father, give me eyes of faith so that I will trust You have infinitely more in store for me than I can ever ask or imagine. Thank You for being so generous to me with grace, mercy, and love that I don’t even deserve. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
If the Lord has unsettled your heart about giving your time, talent or treasure to something, step out in faith and do it. Just like Hope was upset that she would have to give up the ten-dollar bill she wanted to show to her friends, God may also challenge you to sacrifice a few things for a period of time. Are you willing to give up that hazelnut latte from Starbucks everyday for a month to support missions? Will buying a new bedroom suit have to be put on hold for another six months in order to help out the family that just lost their entire home in a fire? Think about it. Pray about it. Re-evaluate where you can cut personal expenses for the sake of furthering God’s Kingdom. Remember, as a child of God, your treasure should be heaven-centered, not earth-centered. God has more in store waiting for you than just a pocketful of money. And the rewards are so much greater than the temporary loss.
- When you give to others, what is your motive behind doing so? God honors those gifts that are given out of love and obedience to Him. Not those that are given for show or to win the favor of others.
- God has entrusted certain financial gifts and spiritual gifts to you. Are you currently making the best use of them that you can? If not, re-evaluate your roles and responsibilities to accommodate what God is asking from you.
James 4:3, “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” (NIV)
Proverbs 3:9, “Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.” (NIV)
1 Timothy 6:17-19, “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.” (NIV)
Radically Obedient, Radically Blessed, by Lysa TerKeurst
What Happens When Women Walk in Faith, by Lysa TerKeurst
Dollars and Sense, by Cynthia Sumner
Originally published Tuesday, 18 April 2006.