Journal Entry ~ 09/02/19

37 "Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;38 give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you." - Luke 6:37-38

Give and it will be given to you. We are called to be a generous people, with our forgiveness, with our love, with our time, our resources, our money....with everything. We are not to hold back where He calls us to give. 

I remember when my husband and I first learned to apply this verse to our tithing. At the time, we consistently tithed, but we only gave an amount that was comfortable. We both tend to be controlling people, especially when it came to the management of our finances, and we weren’t comfortable giving up too much control each week. What if there was an emergency? We reasoned God knew our situation and our bills. If He wanted us to give more, He would have given us more. We were just trying to be fiscally responsible, reasoning that giving any more would have be irresponsible. At the time, we naively understood tithing to simply be about how we collectively support the church staff and building as a congregation. We tithed, but we believed there were other people in the church who had more to give - the weight of the church’s finances should fall on those who had more. After all, wasn’t that why He called those people to our congregation?

Then my husband suddenly and unexpectedly lost his job. Since I teach, his income supported our lifestyle. His income bought our house, our cars, paid for clothes and vacations. My salary alone was not enough to support us. 

It was in those days immediately following his layoff that we both felt convicted to increase our tithing. We decided we were going to give at least 10% out of every check that came in the house - my salary, his unemployment, everything. We knew my income and his unemployment wasn't enough to support us, much less if we took 10% out of it, but we both had an overwhelming peace that we should trust God completely with our finances. The conviction surprised both of us, but since we were confident it was from God, we chose obedience. 

Give and it will be given to you. I still can't really tell you how we managed to survive during that time of unemployment - it lasted over a year. Money would just appear in the strangest places - we would have a bill we couldn't pay, and miraculously, the exact amount we would need showed up from another source. It was a beautiful lesson in learning how to physically surrender something we hold dear to our hearts. Daily, He sustained us and provided for our needs. 

God has taught me the same lesson with my time. When I try to manage my time, I end up overwhelmed with a crazy, busy schedule. But when I surrender it to Him, and go where He leads, giving of myself where He wants me to, everything miraculously gets done. He comes first in my time - without exception, every single day. Whenever I bump Him in priority, I feel it in my schedule. Whenever I try to cancel because I think I have too much to do, I suffer the consequences. But when I keep Him first - even when it doesn't make sense how I will get it all done, He just always seems to work it out. When He leads me to give my time to someone else, I go. When I don't follow His lead, I struggle with time; when I do, He refreshes me and manages my time..

The same is true in every circumstance. When we give as He calls us to give, it will be given back to us. 

Press on ~ you are loved 💗


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