Biblical Generosity, Part 3: Who Provides?
Every Christian knows it’s prudent to give God credit for all that we have, but do we truly believe it all comes from Him? My son once asked me why we thanked God for the food when mommy paid for it and cooked it. Have you ever thought that way? It’s not like our dinner mysteriously shows up on our table like manna from heaven. Haven’t we earned all that we have, and doesn’t that make it ours?
The Bible says yes and no. Of course in one sense it is the fruit of your labors, which is why in the eyes of the world that wealth belongs to you. But the verse cautions us against such superficiality, because there is more to the story.
Take Bill Gates for example. Why does Bill Gates have $78 billion? He co-founded Microsoft? Why? He invented the revolutionary technology we use in our computers. Why? He’s brilliant, creative, hard working, highly educated, and so forth. Why? A combination of nature and nurture, some things he was born with and some things were formed by the experiences of his life. Why? Well…God.
Do you see? Eventually all our stories merge into the one story of God the provider. There is literally no reason why you have more than anyone else. Where did your work ethic come from, where did your intelligence come from, where did your creativity come from, where did your opportunities come from, where did the seemingly random courses of events that profited you come from? Why are you as an American a part of the top 1% wealthiest people in this world? God. And no other reason.
This principle is the path to Biblical generosity, for how can we withhold from God what completely comes from Him? The answer is we can’t. Instead, we ask God what He would have us do with what is already His. Biblically we know His answer begins with the tithe. God asks us to give the firstfuits, not because He needs it, but because we need it. We need the constant reminder that all that we have comes from God and belongs to God.
- Rev. Robert Cunningham