Lessons I've Learned From Giving (Part 2)

Lesson 3 - Eagerness starts a project but love finishes it. 
Starting things is a whole lot easier than finishing things. The bigger the project, the more costly the sacrifice, the harder it is to finish. Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 8 & 9 to encourage the church to finish strong. The church already knew about the need and had already started giving, but that was back before the hot water heater went out and the transmission broke. That was before braces were needed, and the unexpected pregnancy. That was before the rent went up and before the job moved to Mexico. Back in 1 Corinthians 16 they were excited and committed to giving, but now things were a little different. The bills are a little higher, the sacrifice are a little more painful, the reality is a little more real. This is why Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 8:11 (NIV), "Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means."

Back when we started our campaign I knew it would be hard. Back then I looked forward to the holy struggle of sacrifice, but now I feel the pain of the sacrifice! Sacrifice is never easy!

Lesson 4 - We grow stronger as a family when we each do our part. 
Sacrifice is never easy, but it's easier to bear when it's shared. Our motto of the campaign from the very beginning was, “Equal sacrifice, not equal gifts.” Paul gets at this in 2 Corinthians 8:13, "I do not mean that there should be relief for others and pressure on you, but it is a question of a fair balance between."

We grow stronger when we each do our part! Even if you think your gift is small. Our campaign had no gifts that consultants considered "large" ($100,000 or higher), but we received 50% more than the national average! We exceeded our goal not because one person wrote a big check but because we each did our part!

Lesson 5 - Giving grows our faith as we trust God’s ability to provide. 
This has been the most recent lesson I’ve learned. When we thought about the building I didn’t realize it, but I had my faith in two places: God and the people of the church. I believed God could do this big thing through us! But as I’ve given personally I’ve not had anyone else to lean on and I’ve had to lean into God.

I've learned the truth of 2 Corinthians 9:6-8 (NIV84), "Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work."

This is God’s word and it says that God will take care of us. It doesn’t say that if you give $1,000 you’ll get $10,000 back. This is not a get rich quick scheme, this is a promise from God. God’s promise is that He will care for you and provide for you as you serve him. I've learned this to be true in my own life.

This campaign has taught me one simple truth, "God’s got this!" It has become my motto. I don't say it flippantly or carelessly, but faithfully. I say it because I believe that God is in control and that whatever my situation I know "God's got this!"

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