Give a £1 away

Today’s Live Life Love Lent action is to Leave a £1 coin in the shopping trolley or where someone will find it. I’m going to try this at the supermarket this afternoon! It goes against the grain so I need a good dose of this to remind me:

The great Reformer, Martin Luther, said that “there are three conversions necessary: the conversion of the heart, the conversion of the mind, and the conversion of the purse.” Charles Spurgeon writes, “With some [Christians] the last part of their nature that ever gets sanctified is their pockets.”

Not all kinds of giving are equally commendable. As Calvin writes, “liberality is estimated by God, not so much from the sum, as from the disposition.”

If the right way to give is to give eagerly (2 Corinthians 9.6-15), the wrong way to give is to give sparingly. To Spare no effort means to hold back no effort. When the Bible says that, “God did not spare his only Son”, it means that God did not hold Him back. God didn’t keep his Son in heaven for himself, but he shared him.

So then, as John Piper puts it, to give sparingly is to give from a heart that, deep inside, wants to hold back. Instead of assessing how much we can possibly give, we often begin our thinking with how much we can keep, how much we can hold back.

And we are encouraged to give cheerfully. This is what Paul writes, “Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly, or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

I suspect that God delights in a cheerful giver because, in such a Christian, he sees the work of his Spirit. For our God is not a Taker, but a Giver. Not only is God a Giver, but he is the most generous Giver in the universe. God has not held back the most valuable thing in the universe. God did not hold back his Son, but gave him to us and we benefit from his righteousness. God did not hold back His Spirit, but he has given his Spirit to every believer.

And when God gives, he does not give reluctantly, or under compulsion. No, God is a cheerful Giver. He is the most cheerful Giver in the universe.

God is not a Taker, but a Giver. If God did not first give to us, we would be unable to give. Giving, not taking, is a sign of the work of the Spirit.

So I’m off to Tesco with a £1 and a spring in my step – I hope.

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