“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me’“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25: 34-40 (NIV)
Last time we talked about giving God the first 10% of everything we have and how much that pleases Him. By offering Him our money, time, talents, and more, it shows God that we have faith He’ll take care of all we need. It solidifies we aren’t trying to meet our own needs, but instead we are trusting God has our lives in His hands and wants the best for us. He won’t always supply everything we think we need when we think we need it, but instead gives us what’s best for us in the right time.
One way to further show God we have faith in all He supplies is to obey His commandment above, to take care of those who are in need. Every single one of us, no matter what our economic status or bank account balance has something to give to someone who has a need. Some people have more time to invest in someone’s life, others have more financial resources, while still others have medical or nutritional knowledge, the ability to repair or build anything, or the gift of hospitality, all unique skills needed by others who lack them.
One example of my family shows just how much God is willing to bless those who give of themselves freely, without asking for anything in return. It started for my husband and me when we were both children being raised in our parents’ homes. Each of our parents were wonderful examples of giving to others who were in need. That generosity became a way of life that was brought into our marriage and we decided it was a trait we wanted passed along to our kids.
From the time they were little, we would give away their outgrown toys and clothes to people God put in our path. It didn’t stop with our kids’ things. If we saw a need we could fill with our own resources, we’d give whatever was necessary.
That way of life was returned to us ten-fold. When we discovered we were being blessed with our youngest six years after our daughter was born, we had already long since given away our “baby gear.” I was afraid our little one would barely have enough clothes, let alone toys or books. That I ever doubted my God who is so personal is a question I can’t answer. Some of the people we had previously offered our children’s things gave them back but added much, much more. Not only did we receive back some of our “favorites,” but God supplied even better things. Other friends that we hadn’t known when our older kids were babies graciously offered us things for our youngest as well, expecting nothing in return.
The fact our God would bring such blessings into our lives brought tears to my eyes. But, as always, He didn’t stop there. No, He has provided through many other people even more blessings to our family as all three of our children have been supplied clothes from such generous, wonderful people at just the times when we needed it most.
That is just one little example of how God has come through for us in a huge way. On a regular basis He balances our checkbook when humanly speaking it shouldn’t add up and sends us money for an unexpected bill or an expense that was higher than we budgeted for. Just today, I had to stock up on essentials for the house, and God gave me an extra $5 I didn’t know I had as well as reminded me of a gift card I hadn’t used. My total bill came to $1 more than what had been budgeted and I had purchased three additional things that weren’t on my list. His blessings aren’t always just financial. Sometimes they are in the form of flowers, a card from a thoughtful friend at just the right time, a well-placed hug, or whatever is needed at just that time. The point is that these blessings are continually given to use from a God who is infinitely more generous than we could ever be.
It takes faith to consistently give 10% of your income to God before paying bills or saving for something fun. However, it is much easier when I shift my focus to remember all I have is God’s to begin with and I’m just giving Him back a small portion of what is rightly His. After having that, I rest in the knowledge that my Heavenly Father cares so much about my life that as I walk in obedience, He will supply.
What He is willing to do for me, my Friend, He is waiting to do for you!
Copyright: 2013 Cheri Swalwell