Weekday Devotionals

Devotional by Tony Tolvo

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. [Mat 6:21 KJV]

Since we have been a part of the Thrive family for the past 5 years or so, I can always count on being enlightened, encouraged or challenged by Pastor Pete’s Sunday sermons. This past Sunday was all of the above.

I had never really looked at Generosity as “foundational”. Surely Prayer and Bible study are foundational…right? And, worship…that’s gotta be up there at or near the top? Like I said…sometimes I’m challenged to examine my own opinions and convictions.

As I contemplated this truth, I came to realize that, while prayer, Bible study and worship are absolutely essential in our Spiritual growth as individuals, it is our generosity that has the largest impact on our communities. Coincidentally, if you believe in coincidences, just the day before a friend had shared some very pertinent data on the total economic impact our Generosity has on these United States we all call home. Here is a summary:

Religion annually contributes about $1.2 trillion dollars of socio-economic value to the United States economy, according to a 2016 study by the Religious Freedom and Business Foundation.

That is equivalent to being the 15th largest national economy, outpacing nearly 180 other countries and territories. It’s more than the global annual revenues of the world’s top ten tech companies, including Apple, Amazon and Google.

It’s also more than 50% larger than the global annual revenues of America’s six largest oil and gas companies. You could say that’s a lot of Spiritual fuel being pumped into the economy.

These contributions fall into three general categories:
Religious Congregations - $418 Billion
Religious Institutions (Universities, Charities, Health Systems) - $303 Billion
Faith based, Faith-related or Faith-inspired Businesses - $437 Billion

Religious congregations – Churches, Synagogues, Mosques, Temples and Chapels number more that 344,000 and employ hundreds of thousands of staff and purchase billions in services in every corner of the US and support thousands on missionaries overseas.

These local congregations do so much more than just provide places of worship, they spend upwards of $84 Billion on their operations, almost all of which is spent in their local community.

To say that this encourages me is an understatement…this flat out fires me up!

There is a very famous Bible study by  Henry T. Blackaby titled “Experiencing God” One of the main points of the study is for the Christian, through his relationship with God, to see where He is already working and join him there. There is no better way to do that then through our generosity.

Let’s Get Busy!

Love y’all…




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