For this morning’s devotional, I am using an excerpt from The NIV Stewardship Study Bible:
“God created both soul and body, and the resurrection of Jesus shows that he is going to redeem both the spiritual and the material. Therefore God is concerned not only for the salvation of souls but also for the relief of poverty, hunger and injustice. The gospel opens our eyes to the fact that all our wealth (even wealth for which we worked hard) is an unmerited gift from God. Therefore the person who does not generously give away his or her wealth to others is not merely lacking in compassion, but is unjust. Christ wins our salvation through losing, achieves power through weakness and service and comes to wealth through giving it all away. Those who achieve his salvation are not the strong and accomplished but those who admit they are weak and lost. We cannot look at the poor and the oppressed and callously call them to pull themselves out of their own difficulty. Jesus did not treat us that way.The gospel replaces superiority toward the poor with mercy and compassion… Indifference to the poor and disadvantaged means there has not been a true grasp of our salvation and grace.” (NIV Stewardship Study Bible. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2009. p 635.)
I think that this describes the heart of giving so well, giving emulates Christs model of behavior, giving redirects the focus of wealth from our selfishness, giving extends love and salvation to the poor and disadvantaged, and last but not least giving is in response to the grace we have been given, hope we have in and love for Christ.
I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me! Job 19:25-27