“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son…” -John 3:16
“…that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” -Luke 24:7
“And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. And he called his disciples to him and said to them, ‘Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.'” -Mark 12:41-44
God gave his only son to the world to teach us, guide us and ultimately die for us. Jesus gave his life for us so that we might be forgiven and receive eternal life. A poor widow gave every penny she had to the church. These are true examples of sacrificial giving. How often do we give sacrificially of our possessions or of our self? Do we feel good if we give a 10 percent tithe, even prouder if it is of our gross pay and not the net amount? Do we boast and praise ourselves if we give above that, maybe 12 or even 13 percent? I’m not belittling the giving because if you are tithing or giving beyond that is a good thing. But Jesus was never concerned about the amount given but the spirit in which it is given. God is more concerned about our heart than our bank account.
Most of us are very blessed with material possessions including a home to sleep, food to eat and a list of things too numerous to count. There are millions of people in the world who strive for just the most basic of possessions that we take for granted. They would be grateful for enough food to fill their stomachs today. Most of us have refrigerators and cabinets with enough food to last us weeks. They would be thankful for a basic shelter and perhaps some form of heat and running water. We want a home with multiple bathrooms, air conditioning and usually more rooms then we need.
All these things in our world today make it difficult to understand what sacrificial giving is. Is sacrificial giving living with only a 42″ TV instead of a new 60″ that we really want? Is it only going out for a pizza and renting a movie from RedBox instead of going to Outback and the AMC theater?
I’ve often struggled in my life with where to draw the line on giving. Do I give 10 or 20 percent if I’m able or do I try to give it all and live a life of bare sustenance? I believe that God wants us to enjoy life and enjoy good things. But it all boils down to where your heart is. Do you give sacrificially as Jesus gave to us or do you hold back?
Prayer: Lord thank you for all the blessings you give us and please help us to live a life of giving, sacrificial giving as Jesus taught us. Giving that is not measured in dollar signs but measured in how we express our love for you to those less fortunate than us. Amen.
Eric Ulrich is a past president of the camp’s board of directors and is currently serving as the treasurer. Image via CreationSwap.