DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: How much money does God expect us to give to our church and to other groups that are doing good things? We aren’t wealthy by any measure, and frankly I can’t imagine that the little amount we give actually does much good. — N.T.
DEAR N.T.: Without exception, every organization that’s seeking to do God’s work in the world needs financial support, whether it’s your church or another ministry. Even Jesus’ little band of disciples needed people who would support it financially (see Luke 8:1-3). God wants us to give, and his work requires us to give.
Nor should you feel that God can only use large gifts! Do you remember when Jesus fed a crowd of 5,000 people? (You can read about it in John 6:1-13.) In their excitement, no one had brought any food, except a little boy who had five small loaves of bread and two fish. But in Jesus’ hands that small lunch miraculously fed the entire crowd, with some left over. The lesson is clear: Jesus can use even our smallest gifts to do great things.
Why don’t we give more? One reason, I believe, is because we’ve lost sight of the needs in our world. Tonight millions of people will barely sleep because of the pain in their empty stomachs, and some won’t make it through the night. Billions of people today are spiritually lost, “without hope and without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:12).
Begin by realizing that everything you are and everything you have has come from God. Then ask him to help you to be generous, and to use your resources wisely for his glory. May you be like the early Christians in Macedonia, who “gave as much as they were able, and even beyond.… They gave themselves first of all to the Lord” (2 Corinthians 8:3,5).
Tribune Media Services 8/30