"Because you are here"

Have you ever been short of money when it really mattered? As a college student working on a post-graduate degree, Keith Taylor worked three jobs. When his car broke down, he had to decide: pay the rent, or repair the car? He fixed his Ford Escort and would have been evicted if it hadn't been for a bighearted boss who handed him a gift of $525 so he could pay his landlord.

Keith now runs modestneeds.com, a Web site that helps people bridge small financial gaps. Amazingly, a whopping 70 percent of those who are helped go back to the site to donate.

Taylor's program embodies Paul's words to the Corinthians: "Right now you have plenty and can help those who are in need. Later, they will have plenty and can share with you when you need it" (v.14).

Okay, so we know we're supposed to "use [our] worldly resources to benefit others" (Luke 16:9), but I think God is more interested in our willingness than the amount of money we actually fork over. "God loves a person who gives cheerfully" (2 Corinthians 9:7), and He can use any amount to provide for others. Paul said, "Whatever you give is acceptable if you give it eagerly" (8:12).

Giving eagerly does not always mean donating until our bank accounts are empty. Paul reminded believers, "I don't mean your giving should make life easy for others and hard for yourselves" (2 Corinthians 8:13). Rather, we're to "give in proportion to what [we] have" (v.11).

God loves it when we're generous with people. So here's a challenge: Take a look at what God has given you. How much could you comfortably, willingly give away to help meet the needs of the people around you, modest or otherwise? , Jennifer Benson Schuldt, Our Daily Journey

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