The Blessings We Receive From Giving to Operation Blessing
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By Greg Gargus
Life on earth carries with it many uncertainties. One that impacts most families and individuals is finances. Some of the challenges that arise may include our choices, yet some are completely unexpected. Since 1984, being self-employed has had problems, mainly serving the research & development (R & R&D) corporate sector. When economic contractions occurred, R&D spending was the first to be frozen, causing severe reductions in my income.
My dad would offer money during economic stress; however, after extending my appreciation, I would politely refuse to lessen the pressure necessary to push me further into discovering Biblical solutions. My goal was to learn more about how to access God's ability to provide amid circumstances that towered above collapsing income. At its height, a family of six children and a wife stayed at home for 25 years to attend to day-to-day family needs and help with our business.
Beyond giving to our local church, we also gave frequently to CBN, including the high adventure ministries such as radio & TV in the mid-East, flying hospital, and general operations. God delivered us through difficult situations where our giving was a demonstration (not of tithing) but a declaration of our utter dependence on Him. Tithing and giving was a core practice in our lives.
Fast forward to recent years. In 2014 my dad had a massive stroke and was concerned about mom and her declining health. I assured dad that I would do everything for mom's best care, and he could pass on to glory, leaving the concern to me. He died in July 2014. Caring for my mother's needs required much more time than expected. To meet those needs, I had to forgo business contracts until the only one remained.
Ninety percent of my business was gone, passed on, willfully relinquished. Mom died in December 2018. My business was all but gone after those four years of caretaking. For the first time in 35 years of operations, severe business losses occurred - expenses without income.
After praying with my wife and then our church, I investigated how to revive a dead business. While seeking the Lord for answers, an unexpected find in scripture occurred. Whether it was my work in pattern recognition or a revelation to my mind, 2 Corinthians 9: 8-9 became the operational guidance.
Having read 2 Cor 9: 8 & 9 numerous times through the years, the idea of a flowing process originating from The Lord never occurred to me. In essence, this was not just a single event. It describes an ongoing transformative process that can affect all of our life, not just finances.
Essentially, I realized that these verses were describing an ever-flowing "River of Grace." When considering what the Apostle Paul wrote in verses 6 & 7, he was appealing to the mind, attitudes, and expectations for God to act due to their sacrificial giving to the poor in Jerusalem. Verse 14 illustrates that the blessings derived did not just affect the resources of those who gave but impacted the whole person for "their lives were full of Grace."
Verse 9 designated the target for this type of giving, the poor. So, after I secured a minor consulting contract, I planned to give the whole $500 to Operation Blessing since they minister to those who are poor, displaced, destitute and persecuted. So, that is what we did and how this story began.
After reporting remarkable results to CBN, a couple of months later, a researcher reviewed our life story preliminary to production on The 700 Club. Motivated by that extensive interview, www.biblehub.com, I studied these verses more closely, seeking a greater depth of understanding. For example, in 2 Cor 9: 9, this word for poor in Greek was only used once in the New Testament. It meant the "Qualified Poor." Thus, CBN Operation Blessing was an ideal vehicle since they carefully qualify those they care for.
Furthermore, Alexander MacLaren considered the Prince of Expository Preaching in the 1870s, also saw the "River of Grace" pattern in the commentaries. He expounded on it extensively as "a Fountain, Basin and Stream." Read his exposition here: https://biblehub.com/commentaries/maclaren/2_corinthians/9.htm.
Now, as the one year mark is approaching, we chose to continue planting the monthly consulting check into CBN Operation Blessing and Orphans Promise - continuing our exposure to "Gods River of Grace." Extraordinary results are occurring in our work and ministry. In a short time, we moved from desperation to remarkable productivity.
In many ways, it is the culmination of what we have been learning through the decades about dependence on God as we coordinate efforts to synchronize our lives to His Almighty Niagara of Transforming Grace. This episode, brought on by escorting my parents to the "Edge of Eternity," has seen that sacrifice turned into an incredible breakthrough of blessing, wisdom, access to understanding and a joy for living, a capstone experience in Bible adventures.
CBN helped make this possible. So, when you give, do it as an act of worship. In that way, let Him direct the "River of Grace" into your life.
Hallelujah Lord Jesus
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