On Thursday morning after the older kids left for school, Jennifer and I were about to give our 2014 Christmas Offering online. We had been discussing it and the night before had talked about giving a certain amount. But before we gave online, we decided to pray about it another day. We decided to read/study/meditate on 2 Corinthians 9:6-15 (The Voice Translation) all day, and pray about the dollar amount God was leading us to give. Typically, Jennifer will just give whatever dollar amount God lays on my heart.
So, we went to breakfast on Friday morning, and I asked Jennifer what God had laid on her heart. And she said, “Whatever you want to give.” And I said, “No, I want to know what God laid on your heart.” So, we decided to each write down the dollar amount that we thought God was leading us to give and then show it to each other at the same time. And to our surprise, Jennifer’s amount was greater than mine. Well, we decided to go with her amount. And we are now giving more than double the amount that we were originally going to give.
Jennifer and I had a great time over breakfast talking about how God has blessed our family. And we have learned over the years that we cannot out-give God. He has always provided for us, and He always blesses us with way more than we give (Malachi 3:10).
I hope as you pray and discuss the Christmas Offering with your family that it will be a an opportunity for you to grow spiritually. It really does have more to do with our faith than money (Matthew 6:19-21; Matthew 6:24). Also, you might want to read and pray through 2 Corinthians 9:6-15.
6 But I will say this to encourage your generosity: the one who plants little harvests little, and the one who plants plenty harvests plenty. 7 Giving grows out of the heart—otherwise, you’ve reluctantly grumbled “yes” because you felt you had to or because you couldn’t say “no,” but this isn’t the way God wants it. For we know that “God loves a cheerful giver.” 8 God is ready to overwhelm you with more blessings than you could ever imagine so that you’ll always be taken care of in every way and you’ll have more than enough to share. 9 Remember what is written about the One who trusts in the Lord:
He scattered abroad; He gave freely to the poor;
His righteousness endures throughout the ages.
10 The same One who has put seed into the hands of the sower and brought bread to fill our stomachs will provide and multiply the resources you invest and produce an abundant harvest from your righteous actions. 11 You will be made rich in everything so that your generosity will spill over in every direction. Through us your generosity is at work inspiring praise and thanksgiving to God. 12 For this mission will do more than bring food and water to fellow believers in need—it will overflow in a cascade of praises and thanksgivings for our God. 13 When this mission reaches Jerusalem and meets with the approval of God’s people there, they will give glory to God because your confession of the gospel of the Anointed One led to obedient action and your generous sharing with them and with all exhibited your sincere concern. 14 Because of the extraordinary grace of God at work in you, they will pray for you and long for you. 15 Praise God for this incredible, unbelievable,indescribable gift!” 2 Corinthians 9:6-15 (The Voice)