Good investment tip: Give and it will be given unto you…
You’ll have to take my word regarding what it is you’re about to read.
Many years ago, I called a local Christian radio station and, of all people to answer the phone, one of the station’s radio show hosts, a Financial Planner named Don Spears. I took advantage of the opportunity to ask Don what I was doing wrong with my finances. Try as I might, I just could not get ahead. He told me two things: 1) Keep sowing into fruitful ministries, just as I did by calling in and 2) use the envelope system, never robbing Peter to pay Paul. Mark each envelope with a creditor’s name and place a portion of each month’s bill in the envelope until the monthly bill was paid. I began doing so immediately and could not help but notice the increase in my salary and, subsequently, my Kingdom gifts. Imagine the thrill of meeting Barbara and discovering that she utilized the same envelope system! It was meant to be! What a confirmation!
After my first marriage ended, finding myself laid-off from my job as an Art Director at an Ad Agency, giving became a way of life for me. In time, I decided my life’s goal would be to live off 10% while giving away the 90%. I had a long way to go: no phone for two ears, no car, a job keeping a mobile home park clean, and an old trailer I had to kick all the cats out of that had no hot water or refrigerator. I had a long way to go and I still have quite a way to go, but I am amazed at how many clever ways God has given us for increasing our earnings as Barbara and I continue to give. These days – and I’m only bragging on God – we are healthy, own two nice vehicles and two nice homes, one which serves as a rooming house in which we’ve had marriages, baby dedications, healings and many prayer meetings. Everything we have is dedicated to Kingdom service.
Folks, this works!
I’d be doing you a grave injustice if I did not reveal to you this truth: It’s this…we cannot out-give God, the ultimate Giver (Jn 3:16. So, as you receive it, sow it. Start seeing the Kingdom as an investment opportunity. As you sow, so shall you reap. Sow sparingly, reap sparingly.
I these tough economic times, Institutional churches are really starting to suffer as Member pull tighter on their purse strings. Dr. James Dobson’s ministry, Focus on the Family, recently underwent a huge lay-off. One Simple Church that has been supporting me for two years recently backed off for a while as Members are pinching pennies. They are fully aware that things, historically, will swing the other direction in time and they have assured me their gifts will continue.
Unfortunately, what these and many others like them have failed to realize is this: Like the widow of Zarephath, a poor woman who wound up wealthy enough to build another house during a famine – all because she took care of God’s servant BEFORE tending to those of herself and her young son – we, too, can prosper during tough times, giving our way out of a hole rather than hording what we have left. We may as well try and hold water in the palm of our hand.
Christmas is coming and we can do one of two things: Go broke buying gifts that the recipient won’t remember in 6 months, or we can sow into fruitful ministries and charities. That’s what Barbara and I are doing. It’s a foolproof system.
I have a dear friend who has patterned his life after George Mueller, a Christian man whose orphanage cared for over 10,000 children in Bristol, England in the late 1800’s. Mueller saw his ministry as God’s concern and trusted Him to care for those kids. My friend, also, saw his own ministry as God’s endeavor and, as a result, hasn’t had to work a secular tent-making job in decades, nor does he ever take an offering when he speaks. He testifies that, for the past three years, he never has less than $10,000 in the bank after paying his bills. Why? Because he is an enthusiastic investor in the Kingdom, actively pursuing those ministries which the Spirit would have him to sow into.
Are you sowing? If not, that may well be the answer to your financial woes. God can do a lot more with your “widow’s mites” than you can. So, SOW! I’m certain there were many widows in Israel during Elijah’s time, but only one obeyed and was willing to serve God’s man and she prospered.
Are YOU willing?
Philippians 4:17: “Not that I am looking for a gift, but I am looking for what may be credited to your account.”
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