Stretching Your Faith
We are in a season we call Heart for the House here at Motor City Church. There are many ways we can show our heart for God’s house. Many serve on the Dream Team, our volunteer teams, and many tell others about Motor City Church. We also show our heart for the house through our giving during the year. But, once a year we get together and imagine what we could do to help bring about the vision for the future.
One of our vision statements is “Make A Difference.” Difference makers build a legacy that will affect our children and our children’s children. It’s important to invest our time, talent and treasure on behalf of others. God actually designed the human body to release endorphins when we give to others. He designed us to get joy from helping others. Psychology has even proven that humans have a need to be significant. As we look to the vision God has given for MCC, we incorporate service, evangelism, and finances to fulfill what God has designed us to be, to make a difference.
As we give, Hebrews 6 assures us, “For God is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love for him by caring for other believers. Our great desire is that you will keep on loving others as long as life lasts, in order to make certain that what you hope for will come true.” God does not forget what we have done to help and serve others. What we do for ourselves dies with us, but what we do for others lives beyond us. I say it often, church is not about us. The church exists for others. As a church we organize ourselves to make a difference in the lives of others.
As we are in a special season of giving, I am reminded of my first significant step of faith to invest financially in my church at the time. I was in a service much like the one we had at MCC today and God told me to give $500. I had $503 in my bank account at the time. But when God speaks to you about a seed, He has a harvest in mind. I let go of what was in my hand and God let go of what was in His hand. A week later Christine was asked to be in a Walmart commercial! Not only did she get paid for the commercial but she got paid every time it aired. We ended up with more than $15,000 from that commercial! The $500 we gave was a huge stretch of faith for us. It was all we had. It takes faith to please God. But, we have to learn to use faith. Faith is a muscle. We need to exercise it. And like exercise, we start where we are and we stretch and strengthen and work our way up to new levels. Since that time, I have had many opportunities to stretch and strengthen my faith in the area of financial giving.
As we learn to trust God, we become a distribution center. We are blessed to be a blessing. Think about water pipes that have water flowing through them. They are wet on the inside. A water pipe’s purpose is not to get wet. Pipes are for distribution. But pipes do get wet as part of the process. As we become a conduit of generosity, we will experience favor and blessing because it is flowing through us. Like pipes getting wet, the effect of the flow will be upon us.
Keep in mind, having and giving are two different things. When you can be trusted to give what God has led you to give, it will flow into your hands. I have been in situations where I did not have what God was showing me to give. I gave what I had and then believed for the rest. Just like a farmer, when you give, you are sowing seed. God will supply seed to the sower.
As God blesses you, remember there is a difference between harvest and seed. Many times God will put a bigger blessing in our hands and we spend it on ourselves. We mistake it for the harvest. But it is actually just more seed. I learned this after God blessed us with a much needed car and then we were led to give it away soon after we had acquired it. I discovered God is trustworthy as I obeyed Him and trusted Him. Every time He's raised the standard of our giving, He's raised the standard of our living. As we put the Kingdom of God first, God will add everything else we need. As we focus on building His house, He builds our house.
Each of us gives at different levels but each one should be operating in generosity and give something. We want to give our best to God, trust Him and release what we have in our hands. Something powerful happens when we come together in unity. In unity God commands the blessing and it all counts. We give at different levels but with equal sacrifice. It can be scary and it takes faith. In 2 Corinthians 9:1-15 we learn the story of the Corinthian gifts to the believers in Macedonia. Paul explained the principle of seed and harvest - planting small, reaping small and planting more, reaping more. God provides an increase in our resources to allow for even more generosity. And God will be glorified. Two good things result from this ministry of giving. As I give to the ministry, God ordains it and then uses it. What’s your stretch today? Stretch and know, God sees and won’t forget. Seek first the kingdom of God, and all the things you need for your life will be added to you.