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Monday, December 21, 2015

Will You Trust God or Will You Worry? BY RICK WARREN — DECEMBER 21, Monday

“Your generosity .... not only provides for the needs of God’s people, but also produces more and more prayers of thanksgiving to God.” (2 Corinthians 9:11b-12 GW)
Your faith is like a muscle. When you use it, it gets stronger.
Without a doubt, the number one way God tests your faith is through your finances. You’ve already been tested many, many times in your finances. Do you trust God, or do you worry?
The Bible says your giving proves you trust God: “Your generosity .... not only provides for the needs of God’s people, but also produces more and more prayers of thanksgiving to God” (2 Corinthians 9:11b-12 GW).
I’ll never forget the first time I learned to be generous in faith. I was in college. I had two bills: $500 to the college and $10 to a friend. But I only had $50 in the bank. I had just heard a pastor say the best time to start tithing is when you’re in debt.
So I thought, “I’ll just give that money away.” I took the $50 out of the bank and gave it to the American Bible Society (ABS). Then I wrote a letter to ABS that said, “Here’s a $50 donation. Since you’re reading this, I’d sure like prayer for a poor, starving college guy in debt. Say a prayer for me.”
I planted a seed.
Three weeks later I was invited to speak to a youth group in Norwalk, Calif. I was a volunteer, so I wasn’t supposed to get paid. But Sunday night the pastor stood up and said, “We’re going to take up an offering for this college student who has been here all week.” They took up an offering, and when they gave it to me, it was $565. That meant I could pay off my $500 college bill, give $10 to my friend, and I still had $55 to give my tithe on what I had been given.
I could tell you a hundred stories like that one. The truth that God blesses us when we’re generous isn’t a theory to me. I’ve seen it happen over and over again.
Generosity is built on the law of the harvest. The Bible says, “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously” (2 Corinthians 9:6 NIV).
You always reap more than you sow. This principle applies in every area of your life. If you give criticism, you’re going to get more back. If you show anger, you’re going to get more back than you gave out.
If you sow a kernel of corn, you get way more back than just one kernel — you get a whole stalk of corn with several ears! It’s an exponential return on your planting. You reap what you sow. That is the law of the universe. Whatever you need more of in life, give it away.
When you do that, you stretch your faith. Once you see God provide far more than you gave, you’ll be ready to give more the next time.
Talk It Over
  • How has generosity grown your faith?
  • What makes generosity tough for you? Are there any mental, emotional, or spiritual barriers that you believe get in the way of you being more generous? Why do you think you have these barriers?
  • How have you seen the “law of the sower” work itself out in your life?
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