Monday, March 23, 2009

Miracle Monday - God, outdo me in generosity.

It's Miracle Monday and today I want to share with you a book I've been reading.

It's entitled Ten Prayers God Always Says Yes To by Anthony DeStefano. I've only read three chapters so far because currently I have two other books I'm trying to read and the kids like to eat and my husband likes me to talk to him when he gets home from work in the evenings so three chapters is it so far.

But let me tell you, based on these three chapters, I would tell you to buy it. Buy it now!

Today I would specifically like to talk about Chapter 3.

I have always believed that God will take care of me and my family financially so we have always tithed. Every Sunday morning we drop our envelope into the collection basket and we've always felt good about it. We've never worried about it. We've just done it.

For the last eight months or so, I've decided to really put my trust in the Lord. We decided to give more than we thought we had to give knowing that God would take care of us.

But I started to panic. Our savings account was dwindling, our 401k and IRA accounts, thanks to the economy, were anemic and even though I knew God would take care of us I started to worry. And when I worry, I try to take things into my own hands.

And with that worry I started hanging on to our money tighter. We never stopped tithing even though I thought about tithing less.

But when all of those charities that we used to contribute to would come calling, I stopped giving. I would think to myself that we were tithing so we needed to hold on to the rest of our money.

And the more I held on, the more in control I felt but the less money we had. Does that make sense? I was holding on to more of our money because I wasn't contributing to any charities like before but we had less money than ever.

And then I came across the book Ten Prayers God Always Says Yes To. I happened to be in Borders looking for a book written by St. Francis de Sales. Borders didn't carry the book I was looking for, but I happened across this one. I picked it up and even though I didn't think I should spend the money on it, I felt that little nudge from God that we all feel sometimes and I bought it.

I started reading it and got to chapter 3. The prayer in this chapter is "God, outdo me in generosity".

This chapter discusses the fact that Malachi 3:10 says "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. "
The Lord is telling us, or rather demanding that we test him! This is the only place in the Bible where the Lord tells us to test him. But he says give me your whole tithe and you will have so much that you won't have room for it!

There are many other verses where God tells us that if we are generous we will receive favor, blessings and rewards...

"He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward him for what he has done." - Proverbs 19:17

"Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." - Luke 6:38

"And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward." - Matthew 10:42

The author isn't suggesting that you use this prayer as a financial plan. He reminds us that God tells us to be good stewards of our money but he says that "if you give your money away freely and consistently - regardless of the financial position you happen to be in - God will always take care of you and your family."

He suggests "saying this prayer 'God, outdo me in generosity' and then doing your best to be as generous as possible to anyone and everyone who comes your way" and then let God take over from there.

So, I tried it. I prayed to God and told him I would trust him the next time I got a request for a donation. And literally within hours, I received two requests for money from two different charities -one through the mail and one through email. Normally I would have discarded them.  But these had just come to me right after I prayed so I knew God sent them.  These two donations were not in my budget but I took a deep breath, wrote the checks and prayed "God, outdo me in generosity."

And for the next couple of days, I continued to pray "God, outdo me in generosity."

And then, I got a phone call from my husband who was at work. He had been told a week earlier that there weren't going to be bonuses at his company this year. But guess what? My husband was getting one after all.

He said to me, "This is so strange. They told me not to mention this to anyone I work with but I'm getting a bonus after all! I don't know why but I am getting one!"

I know why.

If you have something you want to share, it's easy to participate in Miracle Monday. Just post a miracle or an answered prayer on your blog and link it back here using Mr. Linky below.
Please mention "A Mom's Life" and my URL (www.beth-amomslife.blogspot.com) in your post. And if you want, you can use the Miracle Monday button in your post as well.
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9 comments:

Aimee said...

LOVE this. We have always found the same thing to be true about our tithing/charitable giving. God cannot be outdone in generosity - and everything we have comes from God anyway!

Happy Monday :)

He And Me + 3 said...

Beth,

we have always tithed too. We would never skip or cheat God...because of us being faithful, He has always been faithful to us. I love how that works. Yes, times are tight, but we are doing Dave Ramseys plan to and getting out of debt and helping others, paying tithe and God just continues to bless. I have always tithed since i was little even on a dollar. I just couldn't imagine not doing it. God is so good! I will have to check out that book. Sounds wonderful!

Christina said...

WOW!!! I am so happy for you and especially since you trusted in the Lord. It's not always easy for me either, but what a powerful statement he just made to you and even more powerful that you can share it with us. I am going over to put this one on my Amazon wish list. Next week I have to try to remember about Miracle Monday.

Denise said...

So very powerful my friend, bless you.

Momisodes said...

Wow. What an incredible story. So happy that it all worked out.

Beth said...

Thank you for sharing this story. With the direction the country is going in, I have been struggling in my faith lately. Maybe this is the answer. I will definitly be checking out this book.

Rebekah said...

God is good all the time. All the time God is good. Amen sistah!

Jaina said...

How wonderful. What a beautiful reminder, thank you :)

Mommy Cracked said...

I can so feel you on this one! I've noticed the tighter I hang on to ANYTHING, the less I have. It's such a good lesson.