Have You Discovered the Joy of Giving?

I’ve noticed giving people are joyful people. That makes sense since the Scripture says, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35 NIV). Ironically some of the most joyful giving comes out of lack and sacrifice.

My husband and I have spent our married life in vocational Christian work where we’re responsible to raise the funds for our salary and ministry expenses. But alas, while we both enjoy the ministry, neither of us like fund raising. In spite of being blessed with fruitful ministries, too often we limped by on short paychecks.

During our stint in Southern California, housing costs there were the highest in the nation at the time we bought our first home. Add to this sky-high interest rates and you understand why the monthly mortgage on our 60-year-old arts and crafts bungalow drained us dry.

My husband invited Romanian pastor Richard Wurmbrand to speak at our youth conference during this tight time. His testimony of horrific persecution and the grace God granted him in prison stirred my heart. I wanted to help his ministry to the persecuted church in a significant way. But what could I do?

I remembered the money I was saving for a new sewing machine to replace my finicky Singer. Larry had given me money at Christmas to put toward the Swiss model I wanted. Should I use that?

Gratitude welled as I wrote out a check for the amount I’d saved. Mrs. Wurmbrand took my check and filled my arms with books her husband had written. She gave back before she even knew what I’d given her.

I left with a full heart knowing it really is more blessed to give than to receive. I didn’t have to wait until I had more to experience the gladness of lavish giving.

Sacrifice and the Joy of Giving

How do we enter into the joy of giving even when our resources are tight? The Macedonian churches serve as an example.

In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people. And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us” (2 Cor. 8:2-5 NIV).

The Macedonians “gave themselves first of all to the Lord.” They surrendered themselves and all they had to God and looked to Him, not to their limited resources, to meet their needs.

When we know God as Provider, we give out of a grateful heart. He is our motivation and supply.

When we know God as Provider, we give out of a #grateful heart. He is our motivation and supply. Click To Tweet

Jesus demonstrated this when He fed 5000 men and their families. He thanked His Father for the five small loaves and two small fish before God multiplied one boy’s lunch to feed the crowd (John 6:1-15). Every person ate all they wanted and there were 12 basketfuls of leftovers, one for each disciple.

The widow demonstrated sacrificial giving when she gave all that she had. Jesus did not measure her gift by how many coins she dropped into the collection box, but by how many she had left.

This poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on” (Luke 21:1-4 NIV).

Jesus did not measure the widow's #gift by how many coins she dropped into the collection box, but by how many she had left. #generosity Click To Tweet

Jesus is the ultimate example of sacrificial giving.

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich” (2 Cor. 8:9 NIV).

Jesus left heaven’s glory to endure Calvary’s gore “For the joy set before him” (Heb. 12:2). He did it so we could spend eternity with Him. This is the hope of Christmas.

The Blessing of Generosity

Months after I invested my sewing machine fund into God’s kingdom, my sewing teacher approached me. She had a new machine she’d bought for her daughter-in-law, who showed no interest in sewing. She offered to sell it to me at a reduced rate and let me pay in installments. It was the exact brand I wanted! God provided me the joy of giving—and the desires of my heart.

An Opportunity to Have Your Gift Doubled

Larry and I thank God for those who invest in Lighthouse Ministries. Your generosity provides biblical Christ-centered counseling to hurting families and individuals regardless of their ability to pay, as well as Bible studies and equipping for believers in the faith. If you are considering a year-end gift, this is a great opportunity.

Some special friends of the ministry have offered to match every dollar given up to $20,000 between now and the end of the year.

Thank you so much for considering a donation to Lighthouse. And may God reward your kindness (Phil. 4:17)

Do you have a tip for making giving a joy? Add your comments here.

Blessings,

Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash

Sometimes I link with these great sites:

#InstaEncouraements#Recharge Wednesday, #TuneinThursaday, #Dance with Jesus, #FreshMarketFriday, #Grace&Truth, #Faith ‘n Friends

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26 Comments

26 Comments

  1. Melody

    The practice of giving is a real miracle to me. Back in the 70’s we moved back to our hometown. No job or home. We had a 7 year old daughter. Finally got an apartment and husband an extreme low paying job. For months we barely made it. The rent took most of the money and the transmission went out on our only vehicle. My Christian Aunt said if you could give even a dollar as seed faith God will multiply back to you. So I sent $3.00 to a well known of ministry and it was the the beginning of a complete financial miracle. We just got better and better the more we gave the more we could give.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Melody, thank you for sharing this beautiful story of faith and God’s provision! You touched my heart.

      • Farina Maria

        Thank You for sharing &
        Thank You for that insight and encouragement.

        Welled received and God Bless!

        HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

        MAY YOU AND YOURS BE BLESSED AND RECEIVE GODS GRACE AND FAVOR AND MUCH PATIENCE IN THIS NEW YEAR APPROACHING.

        GOD BLESS

    • Farina Maria

      Definitely,
      It’s always better to give than to receive.
      YES! IT IS, AMEN!

  2. Patsy Burnette

    Debbie, it truly is better to give than to receive. I love giving! Thanks for this. Love your points and use of Scripture here.

    Tweeted.

    Thanks for linking up at InstaEncouragements!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Patsy.

  3. J.D. Wininger

    Will be praying on where, what, and how to give Ms. Debbie. This is something very near and dear to me as my oldest brother was a missionary in the Far East for some 35 years. His ministry relied solely on the graciousness of others. Perhaps my favorite quote on giving is this. “Those who give must never remember. Those who receive must never forget. Isn’t this that Christ taught us?” God’s blessings ma’am.

    • Debbie Wilson

      J.D. I love that quote. It is so true. And what a wonderful service your brother has given. Thanks so much for sharing.

  4. Michele Morin

    Your story reminds me of the verse that says “faithful is he who calls you who also will do it!” We know that applies to salvation, but we forget that God enables us to do his will in every area!

    • Debbie Wilson

      I like that application. And it is so true. I know my weaknesses and so am very aware of His grace when He stretches me. Thanks, Michele.

  5. Ann Musico

    In all honesty, Debbie, as I have gotten older and grown in the Lord, giving definitely has become one of my greatest joys in life.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Ann, that is beautiful. As we studied spiritual gifts in our Bible study this year I was struck by how those with the gift of giving exhibit great joy. Thanks so much for sharing.

  6. Julie Lavender

    Thank you, Debbie, for this post. This especially caught my attention and I hope to remember it during the Christmas season of giving, but beyond, as well!! – “When we know God as Provider, we give out of a grateful heart. He is our motivation and supply.”

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Julie. Remembering that certainly opens my hands and heart to be more generous.

  7. Melissa Henderson

    Praying for you all and the Lighthouse ministry.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Melissa. We always appreciate prayers. God bless!

  8. Candyce

    It’s easy to give as long as it’s in our budget and schedule; however, there’s nothing like the joy of giving sacrificially. Whether it be our money, our time, or our other resources such as sharing our home, we are the true recipients when we sacrifice in order to give. Now I have to ask myself why I don’t do it more often?

    Thanks for this thought-stimulating reminder.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Candyce, that is a great question. I can fall into relying on my habits and miss the joy of sacrificial giving.

  9. Lois Flowers

    Debbie, I love your sewing machine story. God is so creative, isn’t He? Early in my marriage, my husband and I were trying to decide whether to tithe on the net or the gross. Seems like a silly thing to fret about now, but it was a big deal back then. I asked my dad what he thought, and all he said was, “It depends on how much you want God to bless you.” I’ve thought of this often since then. We’ve been married for 25 years and God has always provided above and beyond what we need or even want. 🙂

    • Debbie Wilson

      Lois, what a rich heritage you have in your father’s faith. And I understand your discussion about how much to tithe. Little by little we learn to trust Him more.

  10. Joanna Eccles

    We can’t out give God. He loves a cheerful giver who wants to help others. Thanks for the reminder of the joy of sacrificial giving.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Joanna!

  11. Connie Wohlford

    God smiles back when we smile while we giving into His Kingdon.
    I enjoyed your post.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Connie. Many blessings to you.

  12. Cathy Chung

    I do love giving and admire your sacrificial giving. We don’t have to wait until we have plenty to give. At a minimum we can give our time which is sometimes more meaningful. Thanks for your ministry.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Cathy, you are right. There are meaningful and useful ways we can give every day. Thanks for connecting.

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