When's the last time you gave and it hurt? That is, when is the last time you gave with a depth of giving that made your flesh cringe and your mind begin to feel the Tempter's tugs of anxiety or doubt.
This week I gave heavily and it made me feel like that. A gospel-centered cause crossed my path and I sensed within my spirit that I was to steward what God had blessed me with to help.
And you know what happened? I went home and cried. My flesh and my inner, risk-averse financial-planner, was screaming at me. I cried because I knew, among other things, that I now had to defer the pleasure of a purchase I had been saving for.
Yet at that very moment, I sensed the Holy Spirit envelop my shallow sulk with an overriding soul-electrifying shock. The inspired word of God shot through my mind and cleared all other thoughts. The Words in my head seemed as if they had been written for me in that very moment: "Whoever gives sparingly, will reap sparingly... and whoever sows bountifully will. reap. bountifully." (2 Cor. 9:6)
In that moment I was given a key to joyful sacrificial generosity: God has promised and ordained that our giving will always correspond with compounded future blessing. (Mk. 10:30, Lk. 18:29) In fact, the term ‘sacrificial giving’ falls infinitely short on the scales of eternity because anything that we give-up for Christ's sake in this life carries with it an infinite ROI. We can never out-give God. This is the key to joyful sacrificial giving.
Even still, as we give in this life, we must remind ourselves that our Blood-bought guaranteed blessing will only partially come in this lifetime. I am not a so-called prosperity-gospel guy. I know about the saints-of-old who gave everything for their faith and for it they were sawn in two (see Hebrews 11).
But they knew what we must also understand if we are to be joyful givers— that as Christ's redeemed people we are not investing for our reward in this life. This is another key to sacrificial generosity. Our decisions—like what and where to give—are based on an eternal perspective. We are joyfully obedient to our King by giving to others and storing up for ourselves treasure in heaven. (Mt. 6:20)
So how do we live lives of sacrificial generosity in this brief life-span? The key to unlock a heart which clings to stuff in the here-and-now is trusting the reward that Jesus promised his followers. Sacrificial generosity is about Faith. Not works.
We're saved by faith. We live by faith. We give by faith. We inherent our eternal reward by faith.
So pause now before your generous King and consider what the faith of sacrificial generosity will look like for you this week. It may come with tears of joyful faith, and it could be two small coins.
-Joyful Hallows Covenant Member