1 Timothy 4:12 – Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. (NIV 1978)
My Musings – Spiritual maturity has very little to do with chronological age. “Older” Christians can learn from those who are younger.
My Advice – You do not live your life for yourself alone. One way or another you are an example to other believers, non-believers and someday to a family. Be diligent in continuing to be a good example in the ways listed and in others ways that people might look up to you.
2 Corinthians 9:6-7 – Remember this: 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. (NIV 1978)
My Musings – Stinginess implies reluctance. Reluctance implies compulsion. Compulsion implies grumbling. What kind of “gift” would that be?
My Advice – Give, not because you are able to give, but because you want to give. And remember, your generosity is not measured by how much you give, but by how much it costs you.
Mark 12:43 – “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything – all she had to live on.” (NIV 1978)
My Musings – God’s economy measures things a lot differently than man’s economy. Man measures by the value of what is given over. God measures by the cost of what is given up.
My Advice – As you gain in success in your career, your financial resources as well as your talents are likely to increase. So too should your ability to give both to God. Always remember that God weighs your giving by your ability to give. To whom much is given, much is required. You’ve already been given much. Respond to God in gratitude.
Malachi 3:10 – “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.” (NIV 1978)
My Musings – God will indeed bless if we do this, but we must make sure that our motive in doing so is not to obtain the blessing. We must make sure we want to contribute, but have been reluctant to do so because of our own needs. Then it becomes a measure of our faith, not our greed. God blesses faith, not selfishness or greed.
My Advice – Your mother and I have seen this in our own lives. My career did not really take off financially until we began tithing. Since then God has blessed so that we have lacked nothing we needed, yet we are not consumed by greed to get more. As you start your career, you may feel you do not make enough to tithe. Do it anyway and get ready to be amazed at how God stretches the resources.
Malachi 1:6-10 – How have we despised Your name? How have we defiled You? “”When you sacrifice blind, crippled or diseased animals. Oh, that one of you would shut the temple doors, so that you would not light useless fires on my altar!” (NIV 1978)
My Musings – God often gets our leftovers, because we keep the best for ourselves. We should ask ourselves where would we be if He had not given His best for us?
My Advice – God sacrificed His best for you – His Son. Make sure He doesn’t just get the leftovers of your life. Attend Church regularly, not just if you have time. Support God’s work with your money, not just if you have something leftover.
Haggai 1:2, 9 – “Give careful thought to your ways. You have planted much, but have harvested little. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but you are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it. You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. Why? Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with his own house.” (NIV 1978)
My Musings – While we are busy building a life, we often neglect God’s temple – the condition of our heart, where the Holy spirit resides. Building a life is not bad, but it should not be done at the expense of not developing our relationship with Christ, being transformed into His image.
My Advice – You’ve put a lot into your education (planted much) so you can build a successful career, earn a comfortable living and enjoy the finer things of life. Just make sure that you do not look solely to these things to satisfy you (have your fill). Do not neglect God. Do not become too distracted by the accumulation of these other things. In the end, they mean little without God (harvest is little).
Ezra 2:69 – According to their ability they gave. (NIV 1978)
My Musing – It really is true that to those who have been given much (talent, wealth, etc.), much is required.
My Advice – Do not judge what you give to the Lord by its quantity. Smaller quantities given are more of a sacrifice for those who have less to give in the first place. The gift is measured by the sacrifice not by the amount.