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The Promise of Increase

Things feeling pretty tight in this economy? Are you feeding your family a lot of pasta? Has your giving decreased–to charities as well as to the Lord?

Did you know there are several Scripture verses that promise you will “increase” if you are generous with what you do have?

“There is one who scatters, yet increases more;
and there is one who withholds more than is right, but it leads to poverty.
The generous soul will be made rich
and he who waters will also be watered himself.”
~ Proverbs 11:24-25 (NKJV)
“Cast your bread upon the waters,
for you will find it after many days.
Give a serving to seven and also to eight,
for you do not know what evil will be upon the earth.”
~ Ecclesiastes 11:1-2
Giving with reckless abandon–and that is what some would call it if you have barely enough for yourself–honors God. In a very practical way, it says that you trust your heavenly Father to provide for you, to give you your daily bread and to meet your needs.
That begs the question: what are my needs?  Does my list of needs include some of my wants?
I read in the paper yesterday about a man who gave away his millions because he discovered they were making him miserable. And earlier in the week another wealthy family sold their house (giving half of the proceeds to charity) and moved into a much smaller one in order to live more simply. The end result is that they grew closer as a family.
I’m not suggesting that you sell everything and move into a poorhouse–that would be irresponsible. I am suggesting that each of us develop a more generous spirit and, when opportunities arise, give what we can, trusting God to supply our need.  
Remember how Jesus commended the poor widow for giving out of her poverty?
“Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put
and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury.
Many rich people threw in large amounts. 
But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins,
worth only a fraction of a penny.
Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said,
‘I tell you a 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 that she had to live on.'”
~ Mark 12:41-44

Why did she do that? I’ll hazard a guess–she trusted God. Do we?

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