“Each one must do just as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” – 2 Corinthians 9:7

Today has been designated as Giving Tuesday. It was created in response to the popularity of such commercial days such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This is a day designed to encourage people and businesses to celebrate generosity and give. As this special campaign suggests, some people are motivated to give by promotions and incentives. But the Bible suggests a more important motive. Giving should be central to our worship, a fundamental part of our Christian lives. We are to be giving people, always generous, always ready to invest what we’ve been given in the lives of others. It should be a joy to give, a responsibility, and a great opportunity. Giving to God is a recognition that He has blessed us and allows us to invest His blessings in the lives of others. We have been blessed that we might be a blessing (Genesis 12:2). As we give, we help support God’s work. But we also unleash Biblical principles. Jesus taught this principle when He said, “Give, and it will be given to you.” As we give to God’s Kingdom, we will receive an abundant return that is “running over” (Luke 6:38). Today, ask God to help you evaluate your motives and priorities. What are you doing with your resources? Make sure you seek first His kingdom (Matthew 6:33). As you give to God, trust Him to bless you abundantly.

Read: 2 Corinthians 9

Serious Commitment

“He struck [the ground] three times and stopped. The man of God was angry with him and said, ‘You should have struck the ground five or six times; then you would have defeated Aram and completely destroyed it.’” – 2 Kings 13:18-19

Elisha gave King Jehoash two assignments. First, he was to shoot some arrows toward the east. Observing the king’s actions, the prophet was pleased. Based on his response, Elisha declared, “You will completely destroy the Arameans” (v. 17). In unanticipated ways, Jehoash had revealed an important clue into his personality. The second assignment was to strike the ground with arrows. “He struck it three times and stopped.” To Jehoash, this was an adequate response. But Elisha reacted with anger: “You should have struck the ground five or six times.” If he had responded more intensely, he would have “completely destroyed” the enemy. But his response lacked intensity. As a result, he would have only limited success. Jehoash demonstrated that he was half-hearted. If he was not willing to do his best with an assignment like this, Elisha knew that he would have the same lack of commitment in his war against Aram. This story provides an important lesson. Throughout our lives, we will face situations that, on the surface, may not seem connected. But the Bible reminds us that God looks at our heart (1 Samuel 16:7). Every situation provides an opportunity to reveal insights into our character. Will we do our best? Or be half-hearted? Commit your life anew to God. Resolve to do your best in every situation. Be intense in your commitment to Him and His kingdom. Dedicate yourself to doing work of excellence in every task!

Read: 2 Kings 13