Something I wanted to write about for some time is about giving! I want to rely on the Word of God and my own experience with giving.
Since I was little I have seen my dad as a very generous person. He never thought about giving away freely anything he had. He really gave out of love and without second thoughts. My mom sometimes complained about it, because then he didn't have things he needed, but he never complained and never felt the loss of those things he had given away. I was always amazed about His generosity and unselfishness! It amazed me and I always wished to be able to live like that. Then as we, the children, grew up, I saw how my siblings were generous too and I was again amazed by their example.
In my first year of university I received grant for a semester, because we weren't standing so good financially. As I had the money, I decided to give God the tithe of it and I was so happy to finally be able to give Him from my own money. It was hard, I'm not saying that it was easy, but I wanted to give it to Him with all of my heart, because I understood that everything came from Him. As I was paying that, God blessed me and in the second semester I received a third place scholarship. It wasn't much money, but it was enough to help out with living. Then I read Joseph's story in the Bible and there I read how Joseph established a law which said that a fifth of the produce grown in the land belonged to the Pharaoh. So I decided to double my tithe, give it to God by sowing into someone. God brought someone to give to and so I decided to do it. As I gave, God blessed me the following semester with a rise to a second place scholarship, which brought me a little more. I kept to my resolution and God blessed me again in the fourth semester with a raise of the second place scholarship. In the next semester I received a the first place scholarship and by then I was amazed by how faithful God was and how amazing He has been blessing me in every semester. I started telling others to trust God with their finances because He will bless them. Finally in the last semester the first place scholarship was raised. God can work miracles. Every semester the money kept rising and I was praising God for seeing that His Words are true in my life:
"Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap." (Luke 6:38)
"One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered." Proverbs 11:24-25
‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ Acts 20:35
"God loves a cheerful giver". 2 Cor. 9:7
There are so many verses in the Bible about giving that I can't write them all down. The last I have mentioned touches me very much, because I realized that God is a cheerful giver and when we give we act like Him and that makes Him happy. And the joy of the Lord is my strength ^_^
Then when I started to do my MA studies I was speechless to see how God was blessing me financially. I kept receiving the scholarships, but I had to start working. I didn't know where and how. I kept praying and I didn't know what to do. So, I decided to do what I knew best and what I liked: to teach! I bought a newspaper to write an ad into it, but I didn't even get to write the first sentence because people started calling me to tutor their kids. So I had a full but flexible schedule, earned more than an average Romanian and I enjoyed it so much! I learned more about the parable of the sower and God told me that I should sow into things I wished to have and people I desired to be. So I payed money for a person's laptop, cell phone, tablet and other things. Then while praying He showed me a missionary in whose service I should sow, because my dad prophesied over me that some day I will be a missionary (but that's a whole story for another time). Then He showed me a worship leader and speaker. So, I immediately knew these were the right persons. I kept everything open, so when God told me to stop, then I did and when God told me to sow, I did. The sums of money weren't high, but were given out of love for God and I was so happy to be able to do it and I was more happier to know that those people were blessed by it. Giving to the poor is also something very important in my life and that's again another story in itself.
Once I was asking God with such a deep sincerity that He should give me more money that I may learn to give more and believe me, He did listen to my prayer. My heart is so sensitive when I talk about this, because it was such a close moment with God.
Far be it from to boast about these things...believe me, I'm still human and I sometimes wonder about what those people have spent the money on and I often wonder if I act wisely. I'm far from being truly generous like other people, but God's working in me and I'm a work in progress! Since I dedicated my life to God I've had a prayer in my heart: "Lord, please keep me from loving money!" He answers every prayer and I'm sooo happy! There are so many other times when God provided finances and He is so faithful, but I think these will encourage you to bless others because you will be also blessed. I want to never stop praising, worshiping, adoring, glorifying and loving Him for who He is!