Contagious Giving

So Moses gave the command, and this message was sent throughout the camp: “Men and women, don’t prepare any more gifts for the sanctuary. We have enough!” So the people stopped bringing their sacred offerings. Their contributions were more than enough to complete the whole project. (Exodus 36: 6-7 NLT)

Where giving is initiated, a spirit of generosity abounds.

At our missionary training center with Youth With a Mission in Hawaii, we would often had an emphasis on giving. We sought the Lord as to whether there was anything we could give to others. We did minimal, almost no discretionary spending in our early days with the mission. Several Christmas’ went by, and our children always had a Christmas present due to the generosity of our family and friends, but not enough money for a gift for my wife and myself.

One year, we got a monetary gift designated for my wife and me around Christmas. With my part of the money, I bought a leather briefcase I had been looking at for a long time. I really liked this briefcase. On one occasion, when we emphasized giving, I felt the Lord wanted me to give it away. Honestly, I argued with Lord a bit. I made my case that It had been a couple of years since I got a Christmas present, and I deserved this briefcase. Finally, I came to peace about giving it away. I realized that God was requesting that I give it away and not demanding it. Ancient Israel was required to give the first fruits, not the last ones. I gave it to another missionary in training.  The next day we found a thousand-dollar check clipped to our door, which we needed to bring us current with our staff fees.

About a month or two later was back on the US mainland at my brother’s house, and he had just bought a new briefcase. The old one was still in his office, he asked me if I needed one, and he gave it to me. It was more functional than the one I gave away. When God’s people start to give, it releases in the heavenlies a spirit of generosity. Needs are met, and people get blessed by the opportunity to give and receive. God is pleased as we model his giving nature.

You can never outgive God.

The image is used with permission from Microsoft.

Ken Barnes is the author of “Broken Vessels,” published in February 2021, and “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places” published by YWAM Publishing in 2011

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