My grandson is impressed with Texas A&M University. He is familiar with their logo featuring a big T in the center with the A&M as bookends in a smaller font. I would copy it here, but I might get gigged by the university.
He loves the logo but isn’t reading it correctly. He recently declared that when he grows up, he is going to attend ATM university.
Hmm? ATM? A money dispenser could be handy when he goes to pay for his education!
A college education is pricey? But then again, what isn’t? Where will we ever get the money to finance it all? Could the answer be, “Give it away?”
I was converted when I was 19 years old, but my wallet was not. It was still steeped in its heathen self-centered ways. But my first pastor, Rev. Peter Courlas, helped me along. He taught on money from 2 Corinthians. It was all new to me and oh so uncomfortable.
In chapter 9 money was compared to seed. I learned that the one who sows sparingly will reap sparingly and the one who sows bountifully will reap bountifully. (9:6) Evidently, God gives to us based on the same measure that we give to others.
This concept has been abused by some.
I had a friend who received a form letter from a prominent TV evangelist. He asked for a “seed gift” of $10. The letter promised that God would return that amount 100 times – a $1,000 divine rebate to the giver.
My friend wrote back suggesting that it would be wiser if the evangelist gave him $10, so that God would multiply it back to the evangelist. The preacher did not reply.
It doesn’t quite work that way. Paul explains in verses 10-11 “Now God who provides seed for the sower and bread for food will provide and multiply your supply of seed and will cause the harvest of your righteousness to grow. You will be enriched in every way so that you may be generous on every occasion, which is producing through us thanksgiving to God.” NET Bible®
God provides the seed (money) to the sower (giver) not to enrich us but to enable us to give to others. He doesn’t give to us and expect it to remain with us. He expects us to be a pipeline of blessing.
Maybe this will help. The concrete truck pours the concrete into your wheelbarrow, so that you can wheel it to the backyard and dump it where you are building the patio. But, if you return with the wheelbarrow still full of concrete, the truck is not able to fill it again.
If we are slow to pour, God is slow to refill. Sow sparingly, reap sparingly. God is not so concerned with the money but with what we do with it.
Well, the pastor poked me in the eye. My new bride and I had to make some adjustments. We decided to give a minimum of 10% of whatever we received. We chose 10% not out of a lawful obligation but because we are math impaired, and we could figure 10%
Our income was small back then and 10% of small was even smaller – but we were faithful. Soon after that decision, we headed off to many years of private biblical education – almost every tuition dollar came from our pockets. We did not take out a loan.
During those years we still gave away our seed, and God was faithful to supply what we had committed to give and so much more. We graduated debt free.
Today we continue to invest the value of that biblical education in the lives of others.
Have we ever felt financially secure? No way! We do, however, possess a sense of security that transcends our bank account. It comes from years of watching God provide for us in unexpected ways.
If money or the lack thereof is an issue for you, you might want to chew on 2 Corinthians 9.
A PRAYER: Lord I am still sometimes challenged to let go of what You have given. Help me to pass it on!
This has been Jim Johnson and pickleheavenpress.com. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.