Bible on Money
 Research Library


Other options  



Home > Reflections & Prayers > Private Meditations

Stewardship Meditations on God’s Generosity

Although the idea is somewhat tainted by Eastern religion and the New Age movement, meditation has long been an important part of the Christian life. Unlike its eastern substitute, Christian meditation is not a clearing of the mind but, rather, a dwelling on the things of the Lord. This is why the psalmist writes, “I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds” (Psalm 77:12). Read here the meditations of fellow brothers and sisters in the Lord on generous giving. More importantly, see what Scripture says about money, giving and generosity.


Sharing God’s Heart for the Poor: Meditations for Worship, Prayer and Service
Amy L. Sherman. Charlottesville, Va.: Urban Ministries of Trinity Presbyterian Church, 2000; Indianapolis: Welfare Policy Center of the Hudson Institute, 2000.
In this 39-page booklet, Dr. Amy L. Sherman offers 17 scriptural devotionals about God’s heart for the poor, presented with clarity, passion and understanding. Dr. Sherman is senior fellow at the Welfare Policy Center of the Hudson Institute and urban ministries advisor at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Charlottesville, Va. As Christians, developing a heart for the poor is part of worshipping God. God wants us to worship him as he is, and “a central, irreducible component of [God’s] self-identity is His love for the poor.” God’s character calls us, as his followers, to active service to the poor. Sherman uncovers often overlooked facts about God’s view of poverty such as the truth about the sin of Sodom. Ezekiel 16:49 reads, “Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.” Sherman writes, “God was as upset about the Sodomites’ careless disregard for the poor as He was about their sexual immorality.” Each section of this devotional booklet concludes with questions for further thought to aid in personal reflection on ways to love the poor.

Back to top

Distinguishing ‘Needs’ from ‘Wants’
Randal Walti. Monday Manna [weekly devotional by the Christian Business Men’s Committee], April 24, 2006.
Randal Walti, business consultant and author of the email newsletter Business Life Today, writes this brief devotional on the often ignored difference between our needs and our wants. The world today is full of pressures to get more and newer things, and most people fail to take notice that little of what they already have truly is needed. In this world of distractions, “... it is easier to seek entertainment rather than the God of the universe.” Lifestyle decisions can lead quickly to self glorification. When we are in doubt of our intentions, we should ask, “How will this purchase help me love God better?” This short but well-done devotional ends with several helpful reflection and discussion questions.

Back to top

Under God II: Assistance
Dynamis [daily devotional of St. George Orthodox Christian Cathedral, Wichita, Kans.], June 1, 2004.
In Deuteronomy 15, Moses gives instructions to the children of Israel regarding their treatment of the poor, the enslaved and the oppressed. They were not to harden their hearts nor withhold their hands from their brothers in need, remembering they were also in need when the Lord delivered them out of Egypt. When our hearts are callous to the poor, it is because they have already become callous to the Lord. The author encourages us to be mindful of the condition of our hearts and to cultivate the same virtue of liberality that is exemplified by our Savior.

Back to top

The Uncalculating Heart
Dynamis [daily devotional of St. George Orthodox Christian Cathedral, Wichita, Kans.], March 6, 2005.
One mark of a heart touched by God is that it gives so freely to others that it does not even realize that it is being generous; the heart that is enflamed with God’s love does not calculate. The author of this devotional calls to mind the believers in Matthew 25:37-40, who were unaware that their works of charity had been done to Christ himself. They did not act out of conscious deliberation, but from hearts that were so full of love, humility and gratitude that generosity flowed out naturally. Does the love of God flow in our own hearts to the extant that we are not even aware of our own generosity?

Back to top

Philanthropy: Active Love
Chris Andreas. Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, n.d.
As Christ did not love us passively but came down from the Father’s glory to give himself to us completely, so we who are called to imitate Christ must manifest his love actively in giving ourselves to one another. Chris Andreas, the stewardship administrator for the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, believes that one of the main characteristics of true philanthropy is that it is ever active, ever seeking how it may serve those in need. Even though we may have only meager material resources, if we have love for mankind, we can be philanthropists. Let the poor widow in the temple (Luke 21:1-4) be our guide as we seek to put Christ’s love in action.

Back to top

Using Wealth for the Benefit of Others
Chris Andreas. Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, n.d.
We are likely all familiar with the parable of the rich man and the beggar Lazarus from Luke 16:19-32. Chris Andreas, the stewardship administrator for the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, believes that this passage should give us pause. We as Americans don’t often realize that, in our prosperity, we are the rich man in the story; and we know where the rich man ends up! How can we follow Christ and have true riches? Early church father John Chrysostom (ca. 350-407) said it best: “A rich man is not one who has much, but one who gives much, for that remains his forever.” If we minister out of our abundance to those who are less fortunate, we will be found among them in Abraham’s bosom, along with blessed Lazarus.

Back to top

Stewardship in Church and Life
Chris Andreas. Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, n.d.
“Everything that is in the world is the Lord’s, but in His plans for us and for our salvation He has placed in our hands the care of all things. This is our great test.” Chris Andreas, the stewardship administrator for the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, defines stewardship as “living in Jesus Christ.” We must have faith in Christ, but if we are not living that faith (i.e., if we are not being good stewards), than our faith is dead (James 2:17). When we actively love others by giving of ourselves for their benefit, we begin to live in the self-emptying love of Christ. This is what it means to be a “good and faithful steward.”

Back to top

Twelfth Sunday of Matthew
Andrew Demotses. Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, n.d.
Andrew Demotses, pastor of St. Vasilios Greek Orthodox Church in Peabody, Mass., does not believe that Jesus’ command to the rich young ruler (Matthew 19:16-22) is normative for all Christians. Jesus is not encouraging an upheaval of the social order, and we all know of many powerful and wealthy people who have served God with a fervent heart and were generous with their plenty. However, this passage should make us heedful of our attitudes concerning our possessions. The rich young ruler desired the wisdom and virtue of God, but not at the expense of his wealth; his true riches were earthly, not heavenly. What will take precedence in our hearts when we are approached by our Lord—our possessions, or his salvation? Fr. Demotses encourages us: “It is not so much a question of surrendering things; that just creates a feeling of emptiness. Rather it is a question of acquiring a spiritual treasure in our hearts that does not leave room for the endless acquisition of earthly goods.”

Back to top

Leftovers for God?
Andrew Demotses. Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, n.d.
Do we give God the best of our labors, or do we stick him with the leftovers? According to Andrew Demotses, pastor of St. Vasilios Greek Orthodox Church in Peabody, Mass., “The depth of our devotion is inseparable from the quality of the service with which we offer to Him.” God has made us his top priority, but we do not often make him ours. When we do give, it is rarely a sacrifice for us; we offer God what we ourselves did not require. We all need to have the heart of King David, who refused to give an offering to God that did not cost him anything (2 Samuel 24:24). He who sacrificed all for us has called us to sacrifice a portion of our abundance for his sake; let us share his sacrificial love with those in need.

Back to top

Let Us Give Thanks by Sharing
Andrew Demotses. Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, n.d.
Andrew Demotses, pastor of St. Vasilios Greek Orthodox Church in Peabody, Mass., takes the occasion of Thanksgiving Day to ponder what it means to be thankful. A holiday which calls to mind all the gifts that we have received from God should also make us mindful of the cruel poverty and starvation faced by millions of people around the world. Being thankful is “not merely a state of mind,” but “a call to action.” God has blessed us so that we can be a blessing to others. He calls us to not only be thankful but also to act thankful by sharing the abundance that he has shared with us. Fr. Demotses urges us to observe Thanksgiving faithfully by emulating the same generosity that characterizes our Lord and Savior.

Back to top

Santa Claus vs. St. Nicholas?
Terry Mattingly. Syndicated column from Scripps Howard News Service, December 8, 2004.
Terry Mattingly, syndicated columnist and senior fellow for journalism at the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, relates a humorous but telling story of how we approach the true meaning of Christmas today, even in the church. A Catholic priest used the opportunity of a parochial school mass to tell his rapt audience, students from kindergarten up to third grade, that there was no Santa Claus. His censure by ecclesial and school authorities is a cautionary warning for those who would desire to teach children that Christmas is more than a consumer-driven frenzy. What options do we as Christians have to advance the true spirit of Christmas in our families, churches and communities? Mattingly suggests that we celebrate the life and legacy of that man of God who indirectly inspired the Santa Claus legend: Nicholas of Myra. This fourth-century bishop, whose feast day is observed on December 6, was born into a wealthy family but chose a life of poverty and service, giving all his possessions to the poor. By teaching our children to emulate the example of St. Nicholas, we are imparting to them the true spirit of the season, generosity.

Back to top

Giving and Receiving
Michael Oleksa. Again 24, no.3.
Michael Oleksa, a missionary priest of the Orthodox Church in America serving in Alaska, relates the creation myth of the Yup’ik Eskimos. The creator, in the form of a raven, discovered the first humans on the seashore and observed that they were in a perilous state, having no fur or feathers to keep warm and no claws with which to hunt for food. He took pity on the humans and called a council of all the animals to determine what could be done for them. The animals also took pity on the humans and agreed to give their skins for clothing and their flesh for food. All that they asked for return was for the humans to be grateful to the animal world and to honor their contribution to human survival. To this day, Eskimo society is marked by a profound gratitude for the natural world, a gratitude that should also be characteristic of Christians toward the real Creator of the universe. Fr. Oleksa calls us to remember that everything we have is through Christ our Savior; how can we withhold anything from the One who sacrificed his own life for us? Although the Bible teaches the tithe as a bare minimum for giving, we should reciprocate Christ’s gift to us by giving our lives and possessions to him.

Back to top

The Ladder of Divine Ascent
John Climacus. Colm Luibheid and Norman Russell, trans. With notes on translation by Norman Russell, introduction by Kallistos Ware, and preface by Colm Luibheid. Mahwah, N.J.: Paulist Press, 1982.
“The pretext of almsgiving is the start of avarice ... the collector is stirred by charity, but, when the money is in, the grip tightens.” This seventh-century monastic spiritual handbook contains words of wisdom for today’s Christian interested in giving. Step 16 of the ladder, “On Avarice,” warns against originally good intentions that eventually turn into greed. We must be careful to not let an acquisitive spirit creep in to our lives in the interest of giving more to God. Step 17 describes the anxiety-free life of one who has entrusted all he has to God. “The man who has tasted the things of heaven easily thinks nothing of what is below, but he who has had no taste of heaven finds pleasure in possessions.” John Climacus (ca. 525-606) extols Job the Old Testament patriarch as an example to all Christians; when he lost all that he had, he was undisturbed, for God was his true possession. Note: No downloadable text or audio is available at this time.

Back to top

On Giving and Receiving
D. James Kennedy and Jerry Newcombe. Daily reading for August 22 in “New Every Morning: A Daily Devotional.” Sisters, Ore.: Multnomah Books, 1996.
“Money is nothing to God except an index to our souls.” In this brief devotional D.James Kennedy, pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Jerry Newcombe remind us that God does not want our money as much as he wants our trust. As we believe that God will provide for all our needs, we will become the cheerful and generous givers in whom God will delight. Note: No downloadable text or audio is available at this time.

Back to top

Jesus Slept Here
John Fischer. Purpose-Driven Life Daily Devotional, March 24, 2005.
When Easter approaches, we think of Jesus riding on a donkey, eating a last supper with his disciples, and giving “the upper room discourse” before his death. But have you ever stopped to consider that someone donated that donkey, that meal, that room? John Fischer writes, “Think of how many ... people served Jesus and His cause, and without them, the work would not have been able to be accomplished. Yet we hear so little about them.” Should we, then, pity these servants who remain nameless, without public recognition? Absolutely not. They had the highest honor possible in ministering to the Lord Jesus himself, and “their reward is in knowing that God sees their work.”

Back to top

21 Days to Generous Living Devotional
Gordon MacDonald. From The Generous Church Toolkit. Chattanooga, Tenn.: Generous Giving, 2004.
This collection of 21 daily devotional readings are taken from Scripture passages on the theme of Christian generosity. These readings are organized into three groups of seven, and they are designed to be read over a three-week period. There is a biblical theme for each week, on which all readings for that week elaborate: (1) God owns everything, and I am His money manager. (2) My heart always goes where I put God’s money. (3) If I look at Christ long enough, I will become a giver. In addition, there is a memory verse for each week, corresponding to that week’s theme; so that ideally, on any given day, you would read that day’s devotional and work on that week’s memory verse. Whether used in conjunction with a church-wide program or just for private meditation, it is designed help readers hear the word of God clearly and to excel more and more in the grace of giving (2 Corinthians 8:7).

Back to top

Bounds of Charity
William Penn. From “Fruits of Solitude.” The Harvard Classics, vol. 1, part 3. Charles W. Eliot, ed. New York: P.F. Collier & Son, 1909–14.
William Penn (1644-1718), the Quaker founder of the Pennsylvania colony, published a series of aphorisms anonymously so as not to be re-imprisoned by the English king for disloyalty. These on the subject of money and charity epitomize the simple Quaker truths upon which the American Republic would be based.

Back to top

Of Charity
William Penn. From “Fruits of Solitude.” The Harvard Classics, vol. 1, part 3. Charles W. Eliot, ed. New York: P.F. Collier & Son, 1909–14.
In his book of aphorisms, William Penn (1644-1781), the founder of the Pennsylvania colony, shares these truths concerning the topic of Christian charity. We all have a responsibility toward the poor, he teaches, to make sure they are cared for through abundant giving.

Back to top

The Eye Is the Lamp of the Body
John Piper. From his “Fresh Words” column in “The Bethlehem Star” [newsletter of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minn.], January 29, 2003.
In this meditation on Matthew 6:19-24, Piper reflects on the verse that ties together the famous “Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven” and “You cannot serve God and Money” verses. A person whose one treasure is God is one who is full of light.

Back to top

My Personal Stewardship Pilgrimage
Margaret Tohill. First Presbyterian Church, Jackson, Miss., n.d.
In these short reflections, a Mississippi stewardship committeewoman shares what she has learned about God’s call to stewardship of all He has given. She exhorts her fellow congregants to join her in the pilgrimage of stewardship. Her reflections are as follows: (1) Faith: You Can Take It with You to the Bank, (2) It’s Not Just the Money, Honey!, (3) Workin’ on the Chain Gang, (4) R US Toys?, (5) Time As a Sacrifice, (6) Where Your Treasure Is, (7) Miss Manners Visits First Pres, (8) Help! I’m Talking and I Can’t Shut Up, (9) Heart Trouble: I’ve Got the Greatest Cardiologist, (10) Not Just Another Party Animal! and (11) Bulls and Bears and Ebbers—Oh My!

Back to top

He Is the Giver of Each Breath
Anonymous.
This reflection on Ecclesiastes 5:13-20 reminds us that “it is not the pursuit of labor that causes unrest. Nor is it the possession of wealth that causes unrest. The unrest, this lack of sweet sleep, is the residue of a wandering heart.” Instead of wandering hearts, Christians should have glad hearts, hearts resting in promises of God.

Back to top

Motivation: The Key to Giving
Bill Bright. Daily Insights, April 26, 2003.
The founder of Campus Crusade for Christ teaches that the more we give, the more we will get back. While God promises us this, “We really have to be on guard about our motivation. Our heart attitude in giving is critical.”

Back to top

The Street Urchin
Bill Bright. Daily Insights, April 22, 2003.
A homeless boy inherits a millionaire’s fortune? As unlikely as this sounds, the Christian has experienced this miracle through Christ, teaches the founder of Campus Crusade for Christ. Because we are heirs—coheirs with Christ—all of God’s abundant riches are ours.

Back to top

Nine Wealthy Financiers
Bill Bright. Daily Insights, April 17, 2003.
Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, tells how nine of the world’s wealthiest men ended their lives. Many people search for security and the abundant life through acquiring money and possessions, through marriage, career or other intense interests, which can become idols in our lives, which we worship with our time and energy. However, security is found only in a right relationship with our great Creator God and Savior.

Back to top

The Missionary and the Poor Indian
Bill Bright. Daily Insights, April 17, 2003.
Sacrificial giving is almost unknown to Americans, teaches Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ. Worldly motives have clouded our thinking and dulled our sensitivity. We constantly battle the lure of personal desires over the needs of others. Bright shares the touching story of a poor Indian who taught a missionary what it means to give.

Back to top

Help Desk

Top Picks

  • Daily Reflection



    More on This Topic

  • Books








































  • Home
    | About Us | FAQ | Store | Stories & Testimonies | Translate

    Copyright © 2000-2009, Generous Giving. All rights reserved.
    This material may not be reproduced without written permission.