You know that Sunday feeling, right?

We leave church inspired and filled with Truth and encouragement on Sundays … and somewhere along the course of the week, pieces of the message tend to fade and we often lose that Sunday feeling.

The Monday After {the Sunday Sermon} carries the Sunday message into Monday mornings by sharing how what we’ve heard on Sunday morning is making a difference in our Mondays, our weeks, our lives. Because of your generosity to Accelerate, we are able to share these stories! Thank you!

The Monday After Sunday, September 30, 2013: Fully Devoted: Serving Others, part one

By Anita Everly

My Aunt Mabel, 94, is a never married farmer’s daughter who has lived all her life on a very low income.

In spite of that, every year for Christmas she gave her many grand nieces and nephews a one dollar bill.  Each visit to her home included freshly baked cookies out of a round tin, prepared in advance of our arrival, and time talking with us.  To this day she refuses to accept postage stamps we send her to write us back, knowing He provides.  Her simple ways of giving have ultimately been grand and glorious, going beyond the resources of a bank balance.

The Macedonians, too, were audacious givers:  “Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity.” (2 Corinthians 8:2).  That is so contrary to our culture—severe trials and extreme poverty produced overflowing joy and rich generosity.

Aunt Mabel’s poverty has always “welled up in joyful generosity.”  She is a woman of deep faith and dependence on Him and she has seen His provision throughout her near century of living.  She knows the truth of 2 Corinthians 9:11:  “You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.”

Surely you have an Aunt Mabel in your life, too.  And probably the rich aunt who collects, hoards, begs and stomps her foot demanding more and more, too.  We all do.  But who do you more resemble?

It’s hard for most of us to put aside our idolatry of money, whether it’s fear of not enough or pride in keeping what we have attained.

Pastor Joe stepped right on my toes when he said, “We are inconsistent if we say we can’t commit to God and yet we are committed to our house, car, and Visa.”  And, let’s break it down to truth, a commitment to Amazon, Starbucks, Marshall’s, Bass Pro, restaurants and the like.  It’s all so selfish.

abundantgivingliving

So, what do we do?  We give.

I was preparing this, my husband and I remembered long ago when we had “fun money” in our budget.  We laughed at where that budget line went, but then I started thinking how much more fun it would be to reinstate that in a very intentional way.  Not for ourselves but for others.  Money to give away!  That’s fun!

Maybe you already generously give money away, but has it become too routine and impersonal?  Just writing a check or auto draft?

Maybe you’re barely making ends meet and that’s all you can do.

Either way, praying and asking God what he wants you to do with your resources will make clear the opportunities to give with joy and generosity in spite of your circumstances.  His Word promises it.

Practically speaking, maybe that means actually taking out some cash to pray over for the purpose of giving it away as God directs this week.  Maybe it’s skipping an indulgence for self to give away to another just for the practice of giving.  I don’t know what it will look like, but I’m confident He will lead and provide.

Sometimes it’s easy to give what’s expected, but to give abundantly is another story.

I’m going to be working to trade in my selfish ways to instead “excel in the grace of giving.”  (2 Corinthians 8:7)

Anita Everly is the wife of David and mom to their three sons.  She can be found watching the lives of her men unfold, creating a home, and encouraging other women in life and motherhood.  She is striving to live life on purpose because she is crazy in love with the One who is crazy in love with her.

 

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