Many people are experiencing poverty. Dr. Billy Graham has said that according to his research, at least 90 percent of all Christians in America are living defeated lives. Others who are in a position to know the spiritual pulse of America have made similar statements. A life of spiritual poverty is completely unnecessary, and does not glorify God. The many thousands of promises recorded in the Word of God apply to every Christian. These promises include: assurance of God's love (John 3:16), eternal life (Romans 6:23), forgiveness of sin (1 John 1:9), peace, comfort, provision, and many other promises.
"Reverence for the Lord gives a man deep strength; his children have a place of refuge and security." - Proverbs 14:26 While some days are 72 degrees and sunny, most of us experience some pretty severe storms in life, storms that threaten to wash us away. Things don't always go as planned. And in those tough times we need a place of shelter. We need a place of protection, stability, security.
"Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, `Look, half of my possessions, Lord, I will give to the poor; and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will pay back four times as much.' Then Jesus said to him, `Today salvation has come to this house, because he too is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost.'" - Luke 19: 8-10 (NRSV) If we merely give out of our excess we don't give God the opportunity to prove his faithfulness. That's like lifting a very light weight. It won't strengthen your muscles. But when we give sacrificially, when we give to the point of it hurting a bit, we exercise our faith - we learn to trust in God by giving him a chance to prove himself trustworthy.