I hate it when I misplace days. Does that happen to you? I knew all day Tuesday, that it WAS indeed Tuesday, but somehow when I woke up Wednesday I thought it was Tuesday all over again! UGH. These stupid antihistamines... It's a wonder I can think at all!! I'm grateful that despite those days I'd love a do-over, God keeps us moving forward... or rather, with all the snow and ice around here... PLOWING forward! He's so gracious to give us all things in it's proper season.
God is SO good to give. He is a GIVING God! I love to read about the giving that goes on over at The Generous City, hearing stories of people blessing others. Mark and I try to make it a priority to live generously, and it's always exciting to hear of new ways that others are being led by God to live that out in their lives.
Last weekend at church (Crossroads Christian Church, Newburgh, IN), one of our pastors, Patrick Garcia, offered a moving prayer (well, it moved ME) as we were preparing to give our tithes and offerings. The phrase he said (and maybe others have said before) that resonated so clearly in my mind was this:
Goodness... is there not a more compelling reason to be generous than that?
I'm not one for prosperity preaching/teaching, or "stake it claim it" theology for us to receive much from God, but I believe that the Bible is FULL of examples of commanding us to GIVE. Consider a few of these...
Paul in Acts 20:33 states this,
“I have never coveted anyone’s silver or gold or fine clothes. You know that these hands of mine have worked to supply my own needs and even the needs of those who were with me. And I have been a constant example of how you can help those in need by working hard. You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” (NLT)
and in Proverbs 11:24-25, Solomon shares,
One shares liberally and yet gains even more,
while another hoards more than is right and still has need.
25 A giving person will receive much in return,
and someone who gives water will also receive the water he needs.
and in 2 Corinthians...
Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God.
2 Corinthians 9:11
Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.
Which, I think, says it all... to keep our attitudes, our priorities, our activities, all pointing heavenward... from our hearts to His.
(Emphasis in all scriptures is mine.)
Father, I ask that You will make me generous, financially, in mercy, and forgiveness. Help me to see ways around me that I can be a blessing to others, with my seasons of much and my season's of need. I pray that You will show me creative ways to bless others, giving from my heart to please You alone, not man or woman, just You. I ask You God, that You will give freely through me, to bless Your work in my church, in my home, in my neighborhood, my community and my world around me. Give me a passion for those organizations that You have ordained to be Your hands and feet, to carry Your Good News to the Nations, and in my back yard. Give me Your eyes, and Your heart, to help those around me. Turn my world upside down, to bless You and give You glory. In Jesus' Name... amen.