Dr. Michael Youssel's Devotion: The Joy of Giving
By Ella Chan
Perhaps there was a time in your life when you made a bold pledge to God, vowing to give Him all that you are and all that you have. But then you were drawn off course and ended up forgetting you made this promise.
As believers intent on reflecting the goodness of God's grace, we must learn what it means to be grace givers-people who give out of nothing but love for the One to whom they give. Many Christians give because the Bible says to do it, but those who have found the secret of giving know it is more than just duty that sparks their hearts to give.
They give because God has first given to them. He is the One who gives and keeps on giving His love and so much more to us.
When we emulate God's love to others, we are doing the very thing He has commanded us to do: to love and to extend His grace and forgiveness even to those who hurt us. When we do this, His heart is warmed by our actions.
Simply modeling God's grace out of obligation will not last long. God sees the motives of our hearts. However, when we seek to live according to the model He has given us through Jesus Christ and out of pure love for Him, God is honored. When we give to God and to others out of love-not out of duty-those around us will see our hearts aflame for Christ and be changed by our testimony.
Christ gave more to the world than anyone else has given. He yielded His own pure life to be sacrificed so that others may come to know Him intimately and experience His gracious gift of salvation. And the truth is: Jesus Christ is still giving Himself to us each day.
Prayer: Lord, instill in me the passion to give as freely as Christ gave, not out of duty, but out of love. I open myself to Your leading as I seek to give more to others. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity" (2 Corinthians 8:2).