Fresh Manna© by Pastor Tim Burt
Proverbs 11:24 “One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly (is stingy,) but comes to poverty.”
Have you ever been in a financially tight spot? You are not alone. Most people have. What is the godly and right way to respond to the pressure that brings? Actually, I believe the answer lies long before you get to that place.
As a young Christian, I started hearing about the importance of giving and being a giver. Prior to becoming a Christian, I never saw my self as cheap. I think I was more generous than most. The problem was, I was totally irresponsible with money back then and gave away what didn’t even belong to me through bounced checks and credit card purchases.
When I met Renee, I learned quickly that she was really good at handling money. She taught me how to balance my check book and helped me think through being more prudent in what I bought. The Lord helped me break lustful and impulsive spending habits. I didn’t realize it was a stronghold in my life till I tried to stop. Within a year, I had really started to change in how I managed finances. In learning to be prudent with money, I also had to learn to be a giver – a responsible one. I couldn’t spend or give what I did not have. I learned to put tithing at the top of my budget. I then learned to live within my means. (Your flesh never feels comfortable with that.) And then along with that I learned to be a giver. Renee and I gave and sowed seed in any way we could and as God led us, with whatever we had to give, as often as we could.
This might sound weird to some, but being a giver is fun and satisfying to your soul. Renee and I gave Bibles to people we shared Jesus with. We gave money to people in need (whatever we could whether it seemed insignificant or not.) We developed a rule for our house; if we haven’t worn or used something for a year (with a few exceptions but only a few,) then we gave it away to someone in need. We sowed a lot! Why? Because we knew the promise and wisdom of today’s Fresh Manna verse: “One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly (is stingy,) but comes to poverty.” We knew what Jesus promised in Luke 6:38. “If you give, you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use in giving—large or small—it will be used to measure what is given back to you.”
The Apostle Paul brought insight to giving where Jesus left off. 2 Cor. 9:6-11 “Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. You must each make up your own mind as to how much you should give. Don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. For God loves the person who gives cheerfully. And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. As the Scriptures say, “Godly people give generously to the poor. Their good deeds will never be forgotten.” For God is the one who gives seed to the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, He will give you many opportunities to do good, and He will produce a great harvest of generosity in you. Yes, you will be enriched so that you can give even more generously. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will break out in thanksgiving to God.”
When Renee and I were young and started having children, she quit working and I had to press in and make extra money – honestly, with hard work and integrity. None of this chasing a quick buck with get-rich-quick schemes. We had faith that because we had tithed and always given generously, God will bring in that to us which we had sown. When we felt our backs were up against the wall, we put our knees to the floor and thanked God for the promise of His Word. We rejected fear, professed our faith to Him with thanksgiving, and did the best we could in being diligent. God did the “exceeding abundantly beyond what we can ask or think” in our lives in numerous and miraculous ways.
When Issac had his back was up against the wall, he continued to sow seed in famine and obey God. Genesis 26:1-6 says “Now a severe famine struck the land, as had happened before in Abraham’s time. So Isaac moved to Gerar, where Abimelech, king of the Philistines, lived. The Lord appeared to him there and said, “Do not go to Egypt. Do as I say and stay here in this land. If you do, I will be with you and bless you. I will give all this land to you and your descendants, just as I solemnly promised Abraham, your father. I will cause your descendants to become as numerous as the stars, and I will give them all these lands. And through your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed… So Isaac stayed in Gerar”.
What was the result? We see it in Genesis 26:12-14 “Isaac planted crops in that land (in a famine) and the same year reaped a hundredfold, because the Lord blessed him. The man became rich, and his wealth continued to grow until he became very wealthy. He had so many flocks and herds and servants that the Philistines envied him.” If you can’t figure this out – great crops in famine is supernatural provision! Issac had faith, planted and did his part, and God did the rest.
We do our part, God leads us and He does His part as we stand in faith. This is the life of faith and as Hebrews 10:38 says, “The just shall live by faith…” Be a giver and you’ll already know how to trust God and respond godly in times of financial hardship and famine.
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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