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Daily Strength Blog

During my years of ministry, I have endured many offering appeals. I have listened to pathetic tales about unbelievable needs. I have forced myself to laugh at old jokes that were supposed to make it easier for me to part with my money. I have been scolded, shamed, and almost threatened.

If our giving is motivated by grace, we will give willingly—not because we have been forced to give.

A friend of mine was leaving for a business trip, and his wife reminded him before church that she needed some extra money for household expenses. Just before the offering he slipped some money into her hand: she, thinking it was their weekly offering, put it all in the plate. It was the expense money for the week!

“Well,” said my friend, “we gave it to the Lord and He keeps the records.”

“How much did you intend to give?” asked their pastor, and my friend gave an amount. “Then that’s what God recorded,” said the pastor, “because He saw the intent of your heart!”

God sees not the portion, but the proportion. If we could have given more, and did not, God notes it. If we wanted to give more, and could not, God also notes that. When we give willingly, according to what we have, we are practicing “grace giving.”

Verse for today: “Everyone must make up his own mind as to how much he should give. Don’t force anyone to give more than he really wants to, for cheerful givers are the ones God prizes” (2 Corinthians 9:7, TLB).

Read more: Matthew 6:1-4; 1 Corinthians 16:2; 2 Corinthians 8:1-15, 9:6

Action assignment: Set up a separate bank account and deposit the Lord’s money in it as you deposit your paycheck in your regular account. Or devise another method to make sure you set aside a portion of your income for the Lord each time you are paid. Give regularly as the Lord directs you. Talk to God about how much He wants you to give, and ask Him to give you more wisdom in your use of money for His sake.

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