Money, money, money. We constantly hear nowadays about issues of money, inflation, and cost of living in different places across the nation and the world. But when it comes to living the Christian life, what does it mean to say that following Jesus Christ is expensive?
Pray: Ask God to really quiet your heart before Him right now and to find joy in His presence. Yes, spending time in His Word is technically “costing” you time, but ask God to take away that mindset if that is how you are tempted to see it.
Read: 2 Samuel 24:18-24
Ask yourself: How would you have reacted to Araunah’s gracious offering if you were David? Be honest with yourself and with God.
In verse 24, David says, “I will not offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God that cost me nothing.” What does/would that look like in your life?
Application: Take a minute right now to meditate on verse 24. Think about and ask God whether or not you can truthfully say that from your heart, that you refuse to offer to your loving and faithful God things that cost you nothing.
Why is re-gifting such an appealing concept? Because that way, we can pass on to others gifts that we received but didn’t particularly like. That way, we can act like we spent our own money in consideration of others when we didn’t really. And don’t get me wrong–I’ve re-gifted quite a few items. But although it may be acceptable to do that with, say, friends who are not that close to you, would you re-gift something for your parents, your siblings, your best friend? Hopefully not, because you care enough about them to be willing to spend your own money and time picking out something special for them.
If this is the case, then how much more does God, the Creator of the universe and Lord of our very lives, deserve our best? I mean, He created you fearfully and wonderfully! Let us respond in kind. And it doesn’t have to be money: God has placed us in different situations and provided different blessings for each of us, and I’m sure He knows how hard it is for many who are college students to get by financially. However, what is crucial is that you realize in what ways and areas God has blessed you resource-wise, and from that, be willing to freely give Him your best (whether it is money, time, food, clothes, music, other talents, etc.) and nothing less.
For example, we are all given 24 hours in a day. However, we often fill up those hours with things that do NOT involve spending time with God, studying His Word, talking to Him, listening to Him. At the end of the day, we often make excuses for not having time to do devotionals, or we’ll squeeze in an extra 5 or 10 minutes before we go to bed for some Jesus-time. Well, here’s a newsflash for you: our God deserves much better than that, and He demands much more from you and me.
“Grace is free, but not cheap.” God calls us to sacrifice our desires, our time, our efforts, our relationships–yes, our entire lives–to follow Him and serve Him. But take comfort knowing that it is in exchange for an incomparable joy–the joy of knowing Him!
Pray: Ask God to show you what resources you are still clinging to in your life currently. Ask Him to loosen your grip on those earthly things so that your eyes may be focused on Him. Ask Him to show you what He wants you to give up or give to others who are less fortunate, that you may use the blessings He has given to you to bless others.