Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. Luke 6:38.
I remember the time that we were raising funds for CMDA to build our campus in Bristol, TN. A Christian doctor I admire shared his personal story.
“Jody and I decided what we could reasonably afford for the campaign and pledged that amount. It hurt a little financially, but we felt good about it. God then spoke to us and we decided to give a bit more. It was enough that it hurt more to give that amount, but we committed. God spoke again and we pledged more and it hurt more. And then God spoke again. We decided it was His will that we give a large amount, an amount we could not really afford, larger than we had ever given to His service. We accepted His leadership and pledged that amount, and it began to feel good again.”
Each morning, as I surrender the rest of my existence to the Lord, I specifically mention “all I have,” intending that all of my material blessings should be surrendered to Christ that day. Over the years, God has impressed upon me that I have been surrendering far more in words than I have in action.
At different moments of our lives, the surrender of our material blessings may involve different understandings regarding the meaning of that surrender. It is probably unusual for us to hand the totality of that meaning over to the Lord at one time.
The surrender of “all I have” is a pie divided into three slices and actually points toward three interrelated actions toward the treasures that God has given us: service, frugality and trust.
Sometimes we get service right and place the money that God has given us into His hands toward Kingdom goals---evangelism, the care of the poor or the nurturing of His Church.
Sometimes we get frugality right and hold ourselves back from wasting God’s money on personal luxuries.
Sometimes we even get trust right and offer back to His service more than we can afford, or trust His hand when we suffer financial setbacks - understanding that our security rests totally in Him and not in our finances.
These activities are truly interrelated. There are times when we may wish to give to God’s service, but our lack of frugality has diminished the funds available for His work. Or, times when we may desire to serve Him financially, but our lack of trust prevents our commitment. Or there may be times when we are frugal, but then we use the savings from our frugality to serve our own pleasures.
“All I have.”
I long for the day when all three principles of stewardship show themselves fully as I live out my desire to surrender “all I have” to our King.
Please take all I have and use it for thy Kingdom even as You “give us this day our daily bread.” Amen.