- Jordan River fills it up
- It’s dead to all life
The Sea of Galilee gives what it receives, whereas, The Dead Sea has no outlet. It is obsessed with accumulating.
Notice that the Sea of Galilee sustainably gives – it is still a sea (actually a lake), and does not bleed out all of what has been given to it – it manages its resources.
John Stott says, “What dominated Jesus’ mind wasn’t so much the living his life but the giving of it.”
May our money lives obsess about having a generous outlet.
But what if giving seems too scary or irresponsible
given your hard financial situation?
It’s natural presumption:
You do not have what you need, so you must plan to get what you need.
The Apostle Paul introduces another way to think: We are already RICH!
“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though** he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich. And in this matter, I give my judgment: this benefits you, who a year ago started not only to do this work but also to desire to do it. So now finish doing it as well, so that your readiness in desiring it may be matched by your completing it out of what you have.” 2 Corinthians 8
**John Barclay, a Pauline scholar, suggest that this word should be ‘because’ and not ‘though’, which transforms this passage: “Because he was rich, he became poor so that you might become rich” means that:
Giving can be hard. This imprinting exercise makes giving much easier and fun.
Look ahead to the next moment where you will receive money. It can be from parents, employer, or even the government (e.g., tax refund).
This money needs to find its home. It will either end up in your own personal vault, for you to do as you please, or at the center of Christ’s living room mantel. If you wait until the money is deposited in your bank account, or in your hands, then it will mostly likely become deposited in your personal vault. However, if you present this money as dead to sin and alive in Christ (Romans 5-6), it will end up on the living room mantel of your Father’s house, fully available for whatever Jesus may want you to do with it – whether to spend, save, or give it, all under a banner of grace.
Go ahead and think of three percentages between 0 and 100 (whatever pops into your mind first). Pray about these three numbers and make sure you are open to giving all three percentages. If you are fully resistant to giving any of the numbers, work through your heart’s thinking with others. Once you are available to give any of the three numbers, then go ahead and pick the number that sounds like the most fun to you. Make sure and only give out of a cheerful heart. Avoid any type of giving that is out fear, shame or guilt.
It is a mistake to presume that a 10% tithe is the only way to enjoy our riches in generosity. Giving is meant to be:
Ex: Give 15% of every paycheck
Ex: Give $200 every month
Ex: Give $1 mill by age 70
Ex: Increase giving % rate by 1% from previous year, every year.
Ex: Give 50% of anything left over. Save the other 50%.
Ex: Spend and save no more than $65,000 each year, which is LA’s household median income, give the rest away.
Ex: Give all income made above $110,000 each year.