When God looks at you and me, He sees our potential; He sees people who are able to do great things through Christ who strengthens us. He sees more than conquerors; He sees champions. But the only way we are going to discover our own true capability in Christ is to go through the hard times to learn that we can get through the storms and struggles of life when our faith is fixed on Jesus.
Giving With the Right Attitude
I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t preach or teach much on the topic of giving. The reason I don’t is because I have heard so much foolishness from so many preachers on this topic that I’ve just shied away from it. I don’t want to be associated with people who appear to be marketing God’s blessings. They talk a lot about “seed faith,” but the soil they want to plant that seed in is often their own bank account. They call it their “ministry,” but too often their “ministry” is their own salary, house, clothes and cars.
It seems the concept of “personal sacrifice” is foreign to so many in our Western culture. In our materialistic world, the focus is on self, about getting all I can, canning all I get, sitting on the can, and selling the rest. Following the sacrifices of World War II, our nation has fostered generation after generation that has no idea what it means to sacrifice for someone else, or for a belief or ideal that is worthy of our very best. Why is the concept of sacrifice to foreign to so many? It is because a sacrifice cost something.
What If I Gave All I Have?
I tend to believe the best in people, and I want to believe we are all being faithful in tithes and doing our very best in offerings. And I know what it feels like to do my best, and then have someone come along and tell me, “That’s not good enough.” That discourages a person, and makes it hard keep doing our best when we are made to feel like our best is never good enough. However, if we are faithful, God knows, and He always blesses the faithful. As the old song said, “There’s gonna be a payday, someday for all who have been true.”
In 35 years of marriage, I’ve learned that there is a very real difference between cheerful giving and giving grudgingly. I cannot count the number of times my wife has asked me to do something—like take out the trash, walk the dogs, or pick up my socks—and the way I reacted was important to her. It isn’t just that I agree to do what she asks, but it is also “how” I agree to do it, that is important to her. There have been times when I was tired or in the middle of watching a football game and she’d ask me to do something. But if responded in a way was curt, lacking in charity or cheerfulness, she’d say, “You know what? Never mind, I’ll do it myself!” When I jumped up (out of guilt) and insisted that I’ll do it, she would say, “Forget it. If you don’t want to help, I’ll just do myself.”
RELEASING MORE THROUGH FAITHFUL STEWARDSHIP
RELEASING MORE THROUGH FAITHFUL STEWARDSHIP By Mark E. Hardgrove, PhD Text: Matthew 25:14-30, Read: vv. 20-23, NKJV 20 “So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ 21 His lord said to him, ‘Well...
IS THIS ALL THERE IS
IS THIS ALL THERE IS? By Mark E. Hardgrove, PhD Revelation 5:1-14, KJV 1 And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. 2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to...
INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE END OF ALL THINGS
INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE END OF ALL THINGS By Mark E. Hardgrove, PhD Text: 1 Peter 4:7-11, NKJV 7 But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers. 8 And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.” 9 Be hospitable to...
EXAMPLES OF GIVING GRACE
EXAMPLES OF GIVING GRACE By Mark E. Hardgrove, PhD Text: 2 Corinthians 8:1-15, NKJV 1 Moreover, brethren, we make known to you the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia: 2 that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded in the riches of their...
BE THE BARNABAS
BE THE BARNABAS: THE ENCOURAGER By Mark E. Hardgrove, PhD Text: Acts 4:32-37; 9:26-28 Acts 4:32-37 32 Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. 33 And with great power...