Everything we have has been given to us by God
Published 8:20 am Friday, March 31, 2023
From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Dear Rev. Graham: I’m a generous person and would rather give than receive, particularly to those who are on the front lines of getting the Gospel out. But my wife is suspect of those who are always asking for contributions; she is so reluctant that if I left it up to her we would never give to anything or anyone. – G.C.
Dear G.C.: Generosity doesn’t come naturally to most of us — not the kind of generosity the Bible urges us to have. Most of us will gladly give if we think the cause is worthy and we feel we can afford it. But the Bible urges us to go beyond that: to give sacrificially to God’s work. God’s work demands prayer, dedication, vision, and reliance on the Holy Spirit. But it also requires our financial resources. “So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver” (see 2 Corinthians 9:6–8).
Even Jesus’ little band of disciples relied on the generosity of others to carry on their work; we read of a group of godly women who were helping to support them out of their own means (Luke 8:3).
We must never forget that everything we have has been given to us by God. Yes, we may have worked hard and earned what we have, but we should consider who gave us our abilities and opportunities. We should be responsible givers and pray for those who do not have the spirit of giving, that the Lord may touch their hearts to help those doing good work in the name of the Lord, for the sake of the Gospel.
The Bible is indeed full of encouragement toward generosity. “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over … . For the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you” (Luke 6:38).
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)