DEAR DR. GRAHAM: How much money does God expect us to give to our church and to other groups that are doing good things? We aren’t wealthy by any measure, and frankly I can’t imagine that the little amount we give actually does much good. — N.T.
DEAR N.T.: Without exception, every organization that’s seeking to do God’s work in the world needs financial support, whether it’s your church or another ministry. Even Jesus’ little band of disciples needed people who would support it financially (see Luke 8:1-3). God wants us to give, and His work requires us to give.
Nor should you feel that God can only use large gifts! Do you remember when Jesus fed a crowd of 5,000 people? (You can read about it in John 6:1-13.) In their excitement, no one had brought any food, except a little boy who had five small loaves of bread and two fish. But in Jesus’ hands that small lunch miraculously fed the entire crowd — with some left over. The lesson is clear: Jesus can use even our smallest gifts to do great things.
Why don’t we give more? One reason, I believe, is because we’ve lost sight of the needs in our world. Tonight millions of people will barely sleep because of the pain in their empty stomachs, and some won’t make it through the night. Billions of people today are spiritually lost, “without hope and without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:12).
Begin by realizing that everything you are and everything you have has come from God. Then ask Him to help you to be generous, and to use your resources wisely for His glory. May you be like the early Christians in Macedonia, who “gave as much as they were able, and even beyond. ... They gave themselves first of all to the Lord” (2 Corinthians 8:3,5).
Focus on Christ
DEAR DR. GRAHAM: My faith is like a yo-yo, constantly bouncing up and down but not going anywhere. I’d love to have a solid faith like some of my friends do, but it isn’t happening. What’s wrong with me? Maybe I’m just not the religious type. — Mrs. J.R.
DEAR MRS. J.R.: If you weren’t “the religious type” you wouldn’t be concerned about your faith; in fact, you’d probably never give it a thought. (I don’t believe that only some people are “religious types” anyway; God is real to all kinds of people, and He loves us all.)
The most important thing I can tell you is that God doesn’t want us to have a “yo-yo” faith, and He has done everything possible to give us a strong and stable faith. The key is to build our faith not on our feelings but on facts — the facts of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, and the facts of His promises and His presence with us.
Feelings come and go, and if we look only at whether or not we “feel” God is with us, our faith will never be strong. But when we focus on Jesus, our faith will grow. The more you focus on Christ and His love for you, the stronger your faith will become.
How does this happen? First, make sure of your commitment to Jesus Christ. Have you put your faith and trust in Him? If you aren’t sure, turn to Christ and ask Him to come into your life today. Then take time every day to focus on Him — through reading the Bible, through prayer, and through your fellowship with other believers in a church where Christ is preached and lived.
The Bible says, “Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ” (Romans 10:17).
You can know God personally as He comes to live within you by His spirit
Send your queries to “My Answer,” c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-877- 2GRAHAM, or go to www.billygraham.org.