• Topic > Christianity & Culture > Stewardship & Giving >

    God’s gift of grace

    In the busyness and stress of the holiday season, it’s helpful to take a break and remember why we celebrate. Join us for a refreshing Christmas edition of “Words to Live By.” We’ll enjoy heartfelt reflections on the mystery of God’s grace! Discover the joy of our Savior’s arrival.  

    How can we use the wealth God has given us?

    The Bible makes it clear that God calls us to offer care and compassion for the poor. The Old Testament prophets were burdened for the poor. In fact, Isaiah told God’s people that it was better to help the needy than to fast.

    Behind the Bible’s stories about the rich and the poor

    Wealth and possessions have divided people ever since time began. Jesus spoke into this division when He said, “life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.”

    How God Taught Me to Give

    I am surrounded by giving people. Their tireless generosity is inspiring to me, and I want to emulate their giving spirit.

    Why Didn’t I Give More?

    Once, while my friends and I were having dinner, a skinny boy in a worn-out t-shirt and shorts approached us to sell tissue paper. Initially, we didn’t respond as we weren’t interested in buying any. But the boy, probably about 10, kept standing there, with a hopeful look on his face.

    What Really Happens When You Give More Than You Receive

    We know this saying well: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35) But why? Isn’t that counter-intuitive? After all, when you give, you deplete your own resources—be it physical, monetary, or emotional.

    I Didn’t Care About Starving Kids in Africa

    It was Christmas morning. The whole family was together, even though most of the children were married and starting their own families. We were about to open presents.

    My Brothers and Sisters

    Several years ago when the Southern California economy took a downturn, Pastor Bob Johnson saw not only difficulty but also opportunity. So he scheduled a meeting with the mayor of his city and asked, “What can our church do to help you?” The mayor was astonished. People usually came to him for help. Here was a minister offering him the services of an entire congregation.

    Together the mayor and pastor came up with a plan to address several pressing needs. In their county alone, more than 20,000 seniors had gone the previous year without a single visitor. Hundreds of foster children…

    Am I Giving Enough For God?

    Living a faithful, godly life in the area of finances is something I am desperately trying to do. I give generously, but I still feel like I am doing it all wrong. About five times a year, I decide I am going to give away all of my money to the poor.

    Blessed to Bless Others

    Three months ago, I took a nervous step off a plane onto Australian soil (or rather, concrete pavements), after an incredible nine months in another country. This re-entry to my home country marked the end of a life-changing journey of working in a developing country.

    Generous Hearts

    I opened a letter from our mortgage lender and, instead of a bill, found a check! Our escrow account had accrued a surplus, and the bank had sent us a check for the amount. The previous month had been overly busy, and I had been unable to take on any freelance work during those weeks. But we strived to remain faithful in our giving, and now God had provided. I was holding a check with a value that exceeded what we had lost due to my inability to work more hours.

    An Open Hand

    In 1891, Biddy Mason was laid to rest in an unmarked grave in Los Angeles. That wasn’t unusual for a woman born into slavery, but it was remarkable for someone as accomplished as Biddy. After winning her freedom in a court battle in 1856, she combined her nursing skills with wise business decisions to make a small fortune. As she observed the plight of immigrants and prisoners, she reached out to them, investing in charity so frequently that people began lining up at her house for help. In 1872, just sixteen years out of slavery, she and her son-in-law financed…

    True Sacrifice

    The Giving Pledge,” formed in 2009 by billionaire founders Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, is a campaign to encourage the world’s wealthiest people to give away most of their cash to help others. Buffett himself is taking the lead and plans to donate 99 percent of his wealth by the time he dies. This is an incredibly generous act! But it’s interesting to note that his present worth is $72.3 billion, meaning that if he gives away 99 percent of his wealth, he’ll still have $700 million remaining.

    Stewards Unaware

    Recently I met the captain of one of the boats featured on Wicked Tuna, National Geographic Channel’s reality television show. The show follows the lives of bluefin tuna fishermen living in the US. Bluefin tuna are some of the largest marine creatures. They can grow to 10 feet long and weigh more than 1,000 pounds. Sadly, illegal practices and over-fishing have seriously threatened their population.

    Celebrate!

    Last Christmas I read an article from a religious thinker I admire. She attempted to make the case that we should avoid the exuberant celebration of Christmas—particularly gift-giving. Her familiar complaints? The consumerism and hustle and bustle of the holidays. As we take an axe to consumerism or greed, however, we must not unwittingly also take the axe to joy. In the next few days, you’ll likely give someone a Christmas gift that feels at least a little lavish or unnecessary. You may receive one as well. I believe this mirrors the generosity of God. Certainly, joy doesn’t require expensive…