How to Be a Cheerful Giver by thebest11


									                                                                                                                             A LOOK IN THE
   offerings of whatever they could - far more than they could afford! -
   pleading for the privilege of helping out in the relief of poor Christians.
   This was totally spontaneous, entirely their own idea, and caught us                                           An Equipping Newsletter for Men                       Number 31
   completely off guard. What explains it was that they had first given
   themselves unreservedly to God and to us. The other giving simply
   flowed out of the purposes of God working in their lives. (2 Cor. 8:2-5,                           How to Be a Cheerful Giver
   The Message)
                                                                                                                             Patrick M. Morley
Wouldn’t you like to have that kind of “cheer” and joy? We can! Plumb the
depths of God’s cheerfulness in giving to you! Think of yourself as on a
                                                                                               A friend who was frustrated with dinner hour phone solicitations recorded this
mission for God. Be intentional (that’s when you will have the greatest
                                                                                               message on his answering machine.
impact). And be sure you give what God wants, not just what you “make up”
in your own mind.                                                                                 “Hi. We are sorry we are unable to take your call. If you are a
                                                                                                  salesman, please leave your home phone number and we’ll try to call
                                    APPLICATION:                                                  you back during dinner.”
1. Do you have a vision for giving, and why or why not? If not, how could                      Of course, it’s not just salesmen who call. We all get solicited by friends and
the four points discussed help you get that vision?                                            acquaintances for donations to their favorite charities. It can all be very
                                                                                               confusing. What should we do? Do we give a little bit to everyone? Do we
2. Have you been afraid that giving biblically will lead to financial                          contribute to some, then feel guilty about the rest? Or do we grumble and
problems? By faith, is that really true? What will you do differently?                         brush them off?
3. Prayerfully ask God for the next step you should take to convert your                       According to recent surveys, weekly church attenders give an average of 3.4%
wallet to Christ. As a sign of your commitment, write this step down in the                    of their income to charity - well above the 1.9% national average, but well
space below.                                                                                   below what most would agree are Biblical standards.

1 (Christianity Today, “Anatomy of a Giver,” May 19, 1997)                                     A few years ago I volunteered to help raise money for a major Christian
                                                                                               ministry. I signed off on a lofty goal because I thought everyone would leap
                                                                                               at the chance to invest in such a high impact ministry. Boy, was I naive. I
                                                                                               was soundly defeated. Many did give, but I found many Christian men don’t
                                                                                               know how to give. Either they don’t have a vision for giving, or they are
Business leader, author, and speaker, Patrick Morley has helped men and leaders think          afraid they will run out of money if they part with any of it.
more deeply about their lives, to be reconciled with Christ, and to be equipped to have a
larger impact on the world.                                                                    Can I be honest with you? In our work we see a lot of men who just don’t get
                                                                                               it - they are not cheerful givers, they are not giving in proportion to the way
                                                                                               they have been enriched, and as a result they are missing many blessings from
   Would you like three sample issues of this complimentary
  newsletter or information about our Success That Matters™                                    What can we do about that? What would convince you (if you are not already
                                                                                               convinced) to be a cheerful and generous giver? And what would a “cheerful”
 Seminar and follow-up program? Call us at 1-800-9-AWAKEN.                                     giver actually give? Consider the following four points…

    A Look in the Mirror is distributed at no charge to our ministry partners.                                            GOD LOVES TO GIVE
    Additional copies are 25¢ each, with bulk pricing for large orders. A                      First, we can be liberated to give cheerfully when we plumb the depths of
    custom binder containg all the back issues is also avalable.                               God’s cheerfulness in giving to us.
                                                                                               Every living person benefits from God’s generosity. “He has shown kindness
                                                            198 Wilshire Blvd.                 by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you
                                                         Casselberry, FL 32707                 with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy” (Acts 14:17).
                                                  Catalog Orders: 1-800-9-AWAKEN
                                           For more info: (407) 331-0095 Fax: (407) 331-7839
                             Nobody loves to give more than God. From the                                    GIVE GENEROUSLY
 God’s reputation            blazing beauty of a brilliant sunrise to enabling
would be at stake if                                                             Fourth, if we are going to give at all we should give what God wants, not
                             you to close a huge deal that took months to
                                                                                 what we “make up” in our own minds.
 He didn’t punish            close, God is the giver of every good gift.
   sexual sin.               “Every good and perfect gift comes from above”      In the Bible there is a direct link between generosity and cheerfulness. The
                             (James 1:17). He delights in giving good gifts to   Bible says,
                             His people.
                                                                                    Remember: A stingy planter gets a stingy crop; a lavish planter gets a
                                                                                    lavish crop. … God loves it when the giver delights in the giving (2
                         THE GREATEST CAUSE                                         Corinthians 9:6-7, The Message).
Second, we give cheerfully when we sense we are on a mission for God.
                                                                                 How much does a “cheerful” giver give, anyway? Reflect carefully on what I
More millions of men and billions of dollars have been mobilized by one          am about to say. Often, our Christian culture tends to teach that we own our
single speech than any other. Easily the most incendiary speech of human         money and should give some of it back to God. The Bible, however, teaches
history, the final earthly words of Jesus comprise the most compact              that God owns everything and allows us to keep up to 90 percent of it, for
expression of the Christian mission ever uttered.                                which we remain responsible as stewards.
   All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore          We will give cheerfully when we understand the nature of stewardship. You
   go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the       see, it’s not that we give God 10% and keep the rest. Rather, He gives us
   Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey       100% to manage for Him and asks us to voluntarily give back 10% or more
   everything I have commanded you. And surely I will be with you                to test our hearts.
   always, to the very end of the age. (Matthew 28:18-20)                        We believe you can’t outgive God, and God doesn’t really start giving
It’s all there. Authority. Challenge. Mission. Adventure. Power.                 “lavishly” until we show our faithfulness to put resources “back into the soil.”
Direction. Purpose. Comfort. It is our task. It is our mission.                  The ten percent tithe commanded in the Old Testament is a good place to
                                                                                 start. If someone thinks they fully honor God’s generosity to them with
Nothing should make a Christian man more “cheerful” than to hear that his
                                                                                 anything less than 10%, the burden of proof rests on them to show they are
financial investment helped someone pass from death to eternal life.
                                                                                 being a cheerful, generous giver.

                           GIVE INTENTIONALLY                                    Studies show that many Christians assume they
                                                                                 are giving a higher percentage of their income to
Third, we will sense the greatest impact when our giving is intentional.                                                                 If you abide in
                                                                                 God’s work than they really are. Instead of
Most of us carefully plan our personal financial investment strategy. We         verbally estimating your giving, why not actually     Christ it’s just not
research mutual funds, keep track of quarterly reports and P/E ratios, or scan   look on last year’s tax return to see how much      that easy to stumble
the financial section to see which bank has the highest rates on CDs.            you gave? Then divide that number by your              into sexual sin.
                                                                                 total income (minus any business expenses).
Yet many men do not have a strategic plan for giving money to help build the
                                                                                 That’s your percentage of giving.
kingdom of God. They give random amounts at random times to random
causes. The Bible suggests that we be intentional,
I want each of you to take plenty of time to think it over, and make up your     As we grow in our understanding of the riches of Christ’s grace and mercy,
own mind what you will give. That will protect you against sob stories and       our hearts will fill up with gratitude. We will be compelled to do something
arm-twisting (2 Corinthians 9:7, The Message)                                    to express that gratitude financially. God has given us everything we have,
Your charitable giving is a spiritual investment just as important as your       and He calls us to thankfully, cheerfully, release it back to Him. The Bible
financial investments. Why not write down the three best ministry                reports an amazing story of spontaneous cheerful giving,
opportunities you know about? Make sure your local church is at the top of
                                                                                   Fierce troubles came down on the people of those churches (in
your list. The church is God’s ordained institution for living out the gospel
                                                                                   Macedonia), pushing them to the very limit. The trial exposed their
and impacting our world. The church baptizes us, marries us, and buries us -
                                                                                   true colors: They were incredibly happy, though desperately poor.
all the while bringing us to faith and maturity in Christ. Be intentional in
your giving.                                                                       The pressure triggered something totally unexpected: an outpouring of
                                                                                   pure and generous gifts. I was there and saw it for myself. They gave

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