Do you feel like you're running and running with no end in sight? Maybe even living paycheck to paycheck, feeling trapped by your circumstances or consequences of past choices. This hamster wheel of life is sometimes referred to as the “rat race.” It’s a vicious cycle, with very little to no lasting reward. In Part 2 of the Joy of Giving series, Pastor Don teaches us to inject joy into this cycle and bankrupt the hamster wheel. Giving is the primary vehicle of God’s economy, and it plays into these five main areas of life:
# 1-Giving Revives Concern
Our default setting is to work tirelessly, hoard pleasure, and spend frivolously. God's economy necessitates that we give and then our concern for who or what we have given to increases. We are invested in things we’ve made personally investments in.
#2-Giving Teaches Contentment
Society teaches that what you have is not enough, and with advancements in technology, your possessions become increasingly obsolete. Giving, however, first causes you to see the others that you may have never noticed before. Secondly, it causes you to refocus your own priorities and perspective on what is actually important.
#3-Giving Creates Ministry Partners
When you invest in anything you become part of the larger whole. Beyond this sense of belonging, there is also a type of partnership that you form with other like-minded givers. As the collective whole you become united together towards one goal and purpose.
#4-Giving Pays Spiritual Dividends
With all this talk of investments, you may ask what are the dividends? Stated in another way, you may ask about the return on the investment (ROI). Sometimes this is measured back in a literal overflowing of favor and financial blessing, fulfilling the literal sense of Malachi 3:10. More importantly, there is ALWAYS an incredible spiritual return that far outweighs any tangible treasure we might be tempted to store up in this passing life.
#5-Giving Grows our Faith in God
One with an experience is never at the mercy of one with an argument. Such is true with giving as well! As these principles are put into practice, experience will prove them true over the course of time. In the process, our faith is built stronger and our capacity to do more and be more effective for the Kingdom grows and grows.
Push into His presence in a deeper way this week! You will be surprised the difference in your experience with God when you connect with a Spirit-filled community to encourage you and spur you on when things get difficult. The Holy Spirit is moving around the world, and we are preparing for a great local move of His Holy Spirit here in Durham before Jesus's soon return.
God's Word is both timeless and powerful today!
We hope that you will consider this week's message in greater depth in the days ahead and meditate on God's Word.
You can find the sermon by clicking here.