429. Two-Step Giving

“As he does whenever I focus on what he wrote,” Stan began, “the apostle Paul again showed me something that is to be an essential part of my relationship with God.”

“What did you see this time?” I asked.

“It has to do with giving generously of what I have been given by God.”

“Oh,” I responded, “you mean as in giving to worthy causes, people, and groups?”

“Yes,” Stan replied, “it is that, but Paul showed me that in order for my giving to be in accord with what God wants, it has to be a two-step process.”

“Two steps?” I said.  “What two steps?”

“The first step,” Stan replied, “has to consist of my giving myself to God.  I have to empty myself of me by giving to God what is, in essence, an empty box for Him to fill up with what He wants to give through me.”

Continuing, he said, “After that first essential step, then I am ready to see, to truly see, what God has for me to do with His resources in making them available to those He chooses.”

“Without the first step,” Stan concluded, “I am not adequately prepared for the second step of giving in accord with God’s will.  It’s just like most everything, taking steps in the intended order produces the best results!”

____________________________________

For I testify that according to their ability, and beyond their ability they gave of their own accord, begging us for the favor of participation in the support of the saints, and this not as we had expected, but they first gave themselves to the Lord and to us by the will of God.  2 Corinthians 8:3-5.

Prayer:  Thank you, Father, for your overflowing provision in every area of my life.  And thank you that you want me to give to others with a spirit of generosity, and that you lead me in that giving if I will only first give myself to you.  I confess that too often I give without consulting you first as to how you would have me give.  Please forgive me.  And please lead me and help me to follow you in all you have for me to give so that it is all in accord with your will.  Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

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