Our time, energy, and finances are just a few ways for us to display His relational grace.
After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another,
proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him,
and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases:
Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out;
Joanna the wife of Cuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others.
These women were helping to support them out of their own means
– Luke 8:1-3
All of the profits from the purchase of my book Rooted in Grace go directly to Compassion International®, an organization that is releasing children from poverty. Compassion International® sponsors over 1.2 million children in 26 countries. One of their prayers is that these numbers would triple in the near future. As we put our children to bed at night, we pray with them for children who don’t have beds, medical care, or enough food to survive. God is using Compassion International® to spread the grace of Jesus around the world. Even though Jesus created everything in the world, He still relies on other people to support His ministry financially. Why would He do this? It is a demonstration of His humility.
But more important, it gives people the opportunity to participate in His ministry in a tangible way. The women who supported Jesus in this passage gave with grateful hearts. They truly wanted to give back to the One who healed and rescued them. And they could see how their financial gifts were being used to reach other people. God wants His grace to flow through all of our relationships. There was a deep conviction that the best investment of their money was to support Jesus. Our time, energy, and finances are just a few ways for us to display His relational grace. God’s pure joy comes to those who are generous.
Joanna sets the example for us in this passage in terms of generous giving:
1) It was risky. Joanna’s husband was the manager of Herod’s household, and Herod was violently opposed to Jesus. If Herod found out that his money and paychecks were going to support Jesus, he would have been furious to know this fact. Ultimately, Joanna was risking her life to give financially to Jesus. She also gave her time and willingness to travel as they journeyed from town to town.
2) It was rewarded. In Luke 24:1-10, we read about the resurrection of Jesus. After watching Jesus die on the cross (Luke 23: 44-49), Joanna was one of the first people to see Jesus appear after exiting the tomb. Jesus was risen, and He wanted Joanna to know this miracle firsthand. What a privilege! Jesus had not forgotten her generosity and service.
Even a little money can go a long way—here is a list of some ideas:
1) Give a generous percentage of the money you earn to good causes.
2) Take someone out to lunch to show God’s love in a practical way.
3) Make some food bags and give them out to people in need.
4) Buy a Bible for someone in a different country (www.gfa.org).
5) Surprise someone by unexpectedly paying their bill at a store.
Excerpt republished with permission from Rooted in Grace by Jesse Bradley c. 2012.