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Joy to the World

Those without Christ average about 2.5% of their income to charities; how does your giving compare?

The Stability of Our Joy
Staying Alert – Part III

Scripture Reading: 1 Peter 1:13-25

Key Verse: John 16:22
“… then you will rejoice, and no one can rob you of that joy.”

Yesterday’s devotional ended by giving a second sign on how we can tell if we are “alert and sober” in our walk with the Lord. That sign is our money and the habits that surround it.

Let’s get really practical. Do you give 10% of your income to God’s Kingdom? Those without Christ give an average of about 2.5% of their income to charities. Are you more like those without Christ, or more like those who give 10% or more?

I realize there are many in the Christian faith that say they do not believe that 10% giving is biblical. Sometimes they use the phrase “generous giving” as their way of giving. I always say: how do we know if we are “generous givers” if we throw out the standard given in the Bible?

For me personally, I believe 10% giving is a good standard to judge if you are being “alert and sober” in your walk with God. These days, I set up automatic giving through my bank so that my giving is consistent.

A third sign to help you see if you are staying alert is your level of sinning. The Apostle John wrote:

My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. (1 John 2:1).

Later in this same letter John writes:

We know that God’s children do not make a practice of sinning… (1 John 5:18).

“Practice” is the key word in these verses. All of us fall into sin occasionally, due to our human natures that plague us. But true Christ-followers feel horrible about those lapses in our self-control and work hard not to make a practice of failing that way.

Join me in deciding to stay alert and sober in our spiritual journeys, so that our joy in the Lord stays strong!

Father, put your light on my money and lifestyle and point out the areas I need to work on. In Jesus’s Name I pray, amen.