The Art of Giving – What If God Doesn’t Provide?
Recently, I had an existential crisis.
“God, I thought I was called to do your ministry and to build better men. Yet looking at my financial situation and my heart situation, how am I possibly supposed to make it?
This question became especially poignant as we approached our December focus on giving. Despite previously discussing the pitfalls of a scarcity mindset, I realized I was entangled in the very fears I had warned against – the fear of not having enough and, more profoundly, the fear of not being enough myself.
Just Another Message About Giving?
The holiday season often trivializes the act of giving, reducing it to a mere exchange overshadowed by our worries about limited resources and time constraints. Even as we reflect on the words of Jesus in Acts 20:35,
“‘It is more blessed to give than to receive“
we still find ourselves shackled by our perceived deficiencies, and therefore fail to experience the immense blessing. But let’s pause and reflect – do the gifts we received last Christmas even resonate with us anymore? If they don’t, it might be because our giving has shifted from a place of heartfelt generosity to one of mere obligation.
It’s easy to miss that Jesus isn’t just talking about Christmas presents.
Three Gifts to Transform Your Beliefs Around Giving:
So this month, we’re not talking about how to choose the best stocking stuffers. We’re examining how Jesus both gave and received. The implications will transform how you see giving, and free you from scarcity.
God has already equipped us with more potent gifts than we realize – authority that dwarfs earthly power, resources that defy our understanding, and a love that can annihilate every fear.
Shortly after his birth, Jesus received three gifts that parallel what he also gave to us.
The Gift of Gold – This represents kingship.
The Gift of Frankincense – This represents righteousness.
The Gift of Myrrh. – This represents immortality.
–I hope this exploration of giving helps transform your relationship with God. It certainly has mine!
The First Gift, GOLD: Freedom From Scarcity
There is nothing more terrifying as a man than to be unable to provide or protect his family. Being a provider and a protector is engraved into our identity as Men. So much so that, If we can’t provide we have essentially failed as a man.
Take Joseph, for instance. During his wife Mary’s greatest need, by worldly standards, he failed to provide. However, in that moment of apparent failure, God stepped in, providing GOLD for Joseph and baby Jesus. This gold, symbolizing Kingship, was not just a resource but a marker of identity.
Think about how this must have affected Joseph. Amid Joseph’s moment of scarcity, Jesus had a claim to an overwhelming abundance. The lesson? Ultimately, God (not Joseph) was the protector and provider.
The Robe & Ring: Jesus Returns the Favor
Later in His life, Jesus tells the parable of the prodigal son. The prodigal son (us) thinks he can make it on his own. But he can’t. He loses everything. He enters scarcity.
Upon his return, the father bestows upon him a robe and a ring. These gifts are not mere objects; they symbolize the Father’s favor, blessing, and authority. They reaffirm the son’s identity and give him access to abundance through his father.
What Does This Mean? Claim These Promises
Similarly, the gift of gold to Jesus is more than a resource; it’s a declaration of His identity. By giving us a ring Jesus gives us access to His abundance. This doesn’t mean our bank accounts will have extra zeros, It means we can claim these promises. Choose one and meditate on it this week
- (John 16:24) Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.
- (Luke 10:19) I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.”
- (Psalms 23:1) The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want
Phew! This was a long email this week. Here’s a quote that does a good job of summarizing everything above:
“Stop speaking to God about your mountains… Start speaking to the mountains about your God!”
– Mark Batterson
With Abundance & Thanksgiving,
Blueprint Communications Director