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God expects us to manage our money, taking care of our family's needs first and foremost. Sacrificial giving is something people often misunderstand.
Planning for the needs of our families first is scriptural. Let's read what the Bible says: "But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel." (1 Tim. 5:8)

This is a strong statement, isn't it? Clearly, God expects us to provide for our own, especially those of our own household. But that makes sense. How are we going to be a light to the world and minister to our community if we can't even take care of our own families? If we become social burdens, how in the world are we ever going to minister to other families?

So our first concern after generating an income and giving God what belongs to Him is to take care of our own family needs.

Sadly, I see people missing it in this area all the time. I've heard of some people who find themselves in a financial bind, desperately saying, "Okay, God, I'm going to clean out my bank account and give it all to You. After all, God, You say, 'Give and it'll be given unto you.' You say, 'If you sow bountifully, you'll reap bountifully.'"

So they clean out their bank accounts, which contain all their grocery money, their house payment, and money for their bills, and they just give it away, presumptively expecting God to come through. It can be a cop-out, depending on God to bail them out of a bind they probably got themselves into in the first place. That's not faith; that's presumption.

God expects us to manage our money, taking care of our family's needs first and foremost. Sacrificial giving is something people often misunderstand. Some people will hear an evangelist encouraging them to dig deeper and give sacrificially to his ministry, but unless they've taken care of their basic familial needs and then heard from God regarding what He wants them to give, it's not the appropriate time to give.

The only basis we see in the Word for sacrificial giving relates to a rhema word from God. We see an example of this when God sent Elijah to the widow's house. On this occasion, Elijah knocked on her door, saying, "Give me your last morsel of food" (1 Kings 17:13.) That was true sacrificial giving. She needed that food for her own survival. However, when she gave to Elijah on God's behalf, she got the miracle she needed.

Sacrificial giving such as this only occurs on rare occasions when God specifically tells us to do something like that. Usually, it's because something dramatic has happened in our lives and we're in desperate need. If that occurs, God will send someone to confirm to you that you are to give that way.

Short of a rhema word from God, our regular method of financial management should not incorporate this kind of giving.

God's Word says that as a steward, a man must be found faithful. (1 Cor. 4:2.) That means we must take that which God has entrusted to us at the outset and be found diligent to manage our expenses within our means. Do it God's way and be faithful. Faithfulness in turn will result in promotion and increase. God will work with you while you grow and bring increase as you remain faithful.

Source: Simplify Your Life by Mac Hammond
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers

Author Biography

Mac Hammond
Web site: Mac Hammond
Mac Hammond is the senior pastor of Living Word, a large and growing church in Brooklyn Park (a suburb of Minneapolis), Minnesota. He is the host of the Winner’s Minute, which is seen locally in the Minneapolis area on KMSP Channel 9 at 6:44 a.m. and 11:11 a.m. He is also the host of the Winner's Way broadcast and author of several internationally distributed books. Mac is broadly acclaimed for his ability to apply the principles of the Bible to practical situations and the challenges of daily living.

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