A major story today dealt with the incredible drop in donations to most of the major Non-profits across the country. Whether secular groups like the Heart Association and Cancer Society or religious and charity groups; the donation levels are down in many cases nearly 50%. This is devastating news for without donations; millions of people and situations will fall through the cracks and needs will be unmet.
Some of the biggest foundations which supply grants to many groups doing excellent community outreach work have to cut back on such grants. This in turn causes many groups to cut back on services rendered. This in turn returns more and more people to the streets. This is truly a vicious cycle which must be dealt with by the church or the Lord will not be pleased.
The levels of benevolent giving within the Christian community are dropping like a rock. Believers are cutting back in all areas including giving. Although they may still give their normal tithe or offering, they are not giving to special causes that involve charity work. If the church does not handle this, who will? All that remains is the government. Could this not be the master plan behind all this?
An announcement was floated last week that down the road wealthy people will not be able to deduct as much for charitable giving as they have been. Of all the short-sighted and stupid things for the government to advocate, this one takes the cake. If the wealthiest people in America lose their motivation to give to charities, then the government will have to do the work resulting in yet higher taxes to fund it.
As America becomes more and more secular and the influence of the Evangelical community becomes less and less; one of the inevitable results will be the loss of special privileges granted religious institutions for generations. Ask you pastor what would happen to your church if the tithes and offerings given faithfully by the members suddenly were not tax deductable. Every honest pastor in America knows that the result would be a HUGE drop in giving, to the point salaries and programs would have to be cut radically.
Whether people should give so they get the tax benefits is another topic for another time, but the facts concerning the case are that if God's people quit giving to their churches and to charities; God's safety net for the poor and hurting will no longer be there. If God's safety net is not there, that only leaves whatever man (usually influenced by the devil) can come up with. Literally, for God's sake; His people must not become so pressured by the economy that they quit giving.
I hereby present a challenge to this illustrious body of believers. I challenge you to try and out give God. Go ahead and try and see what happens. The old saying goes, "when the pressure is on, give" and it is absolutely true. If there is ever a time to give hilariously, it is when the pressure is squeezing the very daylights out of you.
When pressures mount and the stack of bills grow bigger day by day, the tendency is to hoard what little is left. It never works. Time and again great men and women of God, motivated by faith, have during great trials of affliction given everything and in turn seen God bless their giving with great increase. God set forth the immutable principle of giving and receiving and thus He has to honor it.
If you plant a kernel of corn in the spring, in due time a corn plant grows which will produce an ear of corn with hundreds of kernels. But, if you hoard that one seed thinking it may save you from starving, you can never receive the fruit that one seed could bring. God expects, yea He demands, that we give of that which He blesses us with. God NEVER blesses a person solely for that person's selfish desires. In all of God's blessings, the benefit to others is as much involved as the benefit to the individual.
In these dark and turbulent times when countless people are hunkering down in their isolated little bomb shelters, we need to never forget that unless we keep giving of our lives, our goods and our money-God's people are going to get hurt and that hurts God. It is never easy to convince yourself of the profit in giving things away. But, unless we do just that, we will end up more miserable than Scrooge in the "Christmas Carole".
I challenge some of you who have a few dollars to put them to work by investing them in this site. Whether donating to the site or purchasing Premiere memberships, please realize that unless we give, God cannot bless this place the way He wants and needs to. The same thing can be said for your local church and local charities. I know it is hard to give right now, but God says to give anyway and PROVE HIM now herewith to see what He will do.
Sorry to be so "preachy" but this is a subject that is very important to me. It is vitally important for God's people to keep the faucets open, giving wise, even during a drought. As a great man once said, and I happen to believe he spoke the truth; You can never out give God. Try it and see for yourself.
I cannot help but recall the account of Elijah and the widow. 1 Kings 17:10-16 She was preparing the very last meal for herself and her son when Elijah asked her for food. She was obedient and gave, as directed, to God's prophet first [bible]1 Kings 17:16[/bible] It is something to think about.
B2Y ,this is so great !! I just started giving food to the Baptist Center that is ran by our church. And never did I know what kind of ministry this was. You could not have said it any better, than to say."We cannot out give GOD " I buy just a extra can or to and give. Its that we start somewhere. Thanks AJ
Amen, brother! This is great stuff. Thanks for sharing, and for the reminder that there is no great miracle in giving when we have much, but rather in giving, giving GIVING when we have little ... which then becomes much, much MUCH. Righton!
Determined to be the miracle, Mona
B2Y, another AMEN. These also a major concerns of mine.Whether it is those in need who go wanting, or the intrusion of government further into our lives, these things pain me.
During our church's financial support campaign, our pastor challenged us to tithe, or at least to give until it hurts. My wife and I, rectently returned to worship, talked and prayed, and decided to give beyond the point of ache to pain. Or so we thought. We have instead been rewarded in too many ways to enumerate.
Not only are we unable to "out give" God (impossible, since everything we have IS a gift from God), but our gifts are multiplied many times through the glory of God.
Amen the times are rough. The aim of the government is as you say, a drive toward socialism and a drive away from faith.
As the Church of almighty God we should be on our knees praying for people of the entire world and asking for direction in what we should do.
Thanks for a wonderful and truth filled blog.
Blessings from NC
Thanks for all the insightful responses. I know many times when the times get tough, the tendency is to retreat, which may be God's will. But, many other times God's will is to "charge" as in the "charge of Light Brigade". I fully believe we are entering one of those times presently.