The Gospels tell how God gave us His only Son, because He loves us so much, and how that Son died on a cross for us. It sets a model that God's people should be generous. Read on for real-life tips and examples.
The very first person to reach the status of billionaire was business magnate John D. Rockefeller (1839–1937). He first became a millionaire when he was only 23, and he was a billionaire by the time he was 50. In fact, with a net worth estimated at $418 billion in today’s dollars, he is widely considered the wealthiest American of all time, and the richest person in modern history.
I wish you could meet my friend Vanessa! She’s the perfect example of the gospel bound in tennis shoes. When she began attending our Bible study, she was a single mom to three teenagers and, believe me, she’d had her share of “makings and breakings.” Maybe that’s why she had that special something, a contagious happiness, sparkly eyes, and a quick laugh—especially about jokes on herself.
On a very cold and gloomy morning, I woke up to find that I had overslept. With an angry groan, I rolled out of bed and began to groggily get dressed. Then I remembered! We had a Women’s Day project early this morning that I was supposed to go to! Our mission had worked out a few different celebrations of women in South Africa, and today we were supposed to go to a center for mothers in crisis and have a morning tea with them, bringing them all sorts of little goodies, including a carrot cake, charming little Swiss rolls, and a gift bag with an assortment of grooming and personal beauty items.
We were just finishing up the distribution of 50 ten-kilo care packages to poor people—most of them widowed or disabled—in a hall at the edge of one of the largest slums in East Africa.
Happy to have completed the project, I turned to leave when my colleague Sally held up the last package, saying, “Before we close, let’s quickly deliver this one to Willie up the hill. He isn’t able to walk down here.”
It was a typical morning in our home. We were all rushing to get ready for the day—kids getting ready for school, breakfast to be made, spaces to be tidied, and me trying to get dinner in the crock pot, makeup on, and so on. My youngest was trying to get herself a glass of milk and not quite mastering it, so I asked her older sister to help her. For some reason helping did not come easy for her that morning. She rolled her eyes, grabbed the cup, hastily poured the milk, and harshly put it down. This set off a grouchy reaction from the younger sister, which progressed into an argument between the two of them. Not cool.
Our story takes place in Israel, around 850 BC.1 It was a sad and difficult time for a nation that was suffering under the worst king it had ever had. Ahab had adopted his wife Jezebel’s pagan god, Baal, and under their rule, the prophets of the true God were systematically executed.
Ted and Dorothy were a young couple who bought Wall Drug, a drugstore in a small town in the western United States, in 1931. In those days, a drugstore was like a convenience store and sold a wide range of beverages and products, so there was a lot of potential. Unfortunately, the town had only 326 people, all of them poor. Business was bad, and they barely made enough to keep afloat. But they believed that they had a calling: they were making friendships, providing medical care, and feeling that they were becoming a part of community life.
Jesus and His disciples were in the temple observing people giving their offerings. A wealthy man approached the coffer, drawing as much attention as he could to the fact that he was giving a hefty sum. Following him was a widow. As quickly as she could she dropped in two mites, the smallest denomination of coin she could have given. The disciples muttered amongst themselves about how pitiful her offering was, but to their astonishment, Jesus told them she had given more than anyone else, for she had given all that she had.1
Embrace new opportunities to give. Try to find something to give every day—whether a smile, a compliment, your time, a listening ear, a good meal, an item you don’t need, or a kind word. There is always something you can share or give to others.
Never be content with what you gave from your heart yesterday. Imagine each day as a fresh new opportunity to give as much as you can.