Carey Lewis Devotions
Friday, June 12th, 2015
Giving (Part 3)
Grudging Gifts
They said to Him, 'What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?' Jesus answered and said to them, 'This is the work of God, that you believe in Him Whom He sent.'
John 6:28-29 (NKJV)
Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father Who is in heaven.
Matthew 6:1 (NASB)
Then it will be ready as a generous gift, not as one grudgingly given.
2 Corinthians 9:5 (NIV)
God loves a cheerful giver. At my best, that's how I give. At my worst, a grudge takes hold. I know what I need to give, but I don't want to give it. Sometimes the grudge comes later, if my gift wasn't noticed. But a grudge is not from God. It's a screen that blocks the Sun.

God doesn't love our grudge-tied gifts. Not our great time, tithes or offerings. Bad attitudes cancel their value. Nor do people love grudge-tied gifts. They come wrapped with too many strings.

I believe grudging gifts come from hurting people: people who don't comprehend their value to God. They believe works determine their worth. When their gifts are unseen or ignored, they feel diminished and disheartened.

All grudging givers must remember: 1) God gave His Own Son to save our lives. 2) We are of priceless significance. 3) We are saved by faith, and God sees all.

Actors, models and talent for Christ: You are delightful givers: givers of time and talent; givers of hope and good news. You place your destinies in the offering box of God. Because your faith is big, your reward will be bigger.

Maybe you know grudging givers: loved ones who don't love your calling. They want to keep you close, to live as they have lived. Your dedication holds their doubts at a distance. But if your path gets hard, accusation rises. Their hearts just weren't in it.

Consider some answers: 1) If you're a kid, wait it out. Respect your parents' orders. Maybe God will change their hearts. Either way, your time will come. 2) If you're a wife, your man leads. Respect your husband's wishes. Pray for God's will to be done. The result will be just right.

If you're free to move, give big. Ask for God's confirmation. If He says go, then you go. Your true friends will come around.

Because all gifts are meant to be shared. Because your talents can change the world.

To Be Continued...

P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Giving series.

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"I labored, yet not I. By the grace of God, I am what I am, and do what I do' (paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 15:10). I love God's Word. As a late-in-life committed Christian with no Bible training prior to age 51, some people wonder how I'm qualified to write devotions. I wonder that, too. But God loves children and fools for Him. I am both. Ghost Writer? God.

Carey Lewis

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