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    • The Church Is Generous

      Our Scripture readings and reflections this week focus on the generous God we love and His desire to create that same trait in us. To honor Him and bless others through generous living and giving is evidence of deep freedom.

      Monday – Mark 10.21-23. Do you consider yourself rich? Most of us don’t. Yet, when we consider our global family, most of us are quite rich. If you and I have a roof over our heads, food to eat, and an income, we are indeed rich compared with most of the world. Let’s ask God for grace to see the big picture and for a heart of generosity toward God and others.

      Tuesday – Deuteronomy 15.10-11. Every seven years, God’s people were to cancel the debts of their fellow Israelites. God’s desire was that “there should be no poor among you” (vs 4). Sadly, there is no evidence that Israel ever obeyed the Lord’s command. Generosity and compassion for others was to be one of their characteristics. It’s quite easy to ignore God’s desires when it comes to money, and His call for us to help those who have need.

      Wednesday – 1 Chronicles 29.10-16. Here, David has led by example in presenting an offering from a grateful and generous heart. The people respond in like manner. When you and I prayerfully reflect on the generosity of God, “it all comes from Your hand,” we are moved to gratitude and generosity. Do you look at your resources as being from God’s hands or from yours? We are tempted to believe that we earn our way, but it’s important to remember that it’s all grace. We also have great responsibility.

      Thursday – 2 Chronicles 31.5-8. Generosity in giving of one’s resources for God’s purposes was a key element in the revival that occurred under King Hezekiah’s leadership. Hezekiah, himself, led the way. Repentance and genuine spiritual renewal at any level is evidenced in a return to God’s perspective on resources and care for others.

      Friday – Luke 12.32-34. “When Jesus comes into your life and says, ‘Let me take over,’ it is not because He is trying to steal your treasure or strip away your character. He is trying to protect you and help you be all you were intended to be, without any unnecessary scars or wounds. He simply wants to bring you to the fulfillment for which you long” (Dennis Kinlaw, This Day with the Master). He knows we tend to allow the love of money and selfish pursuits control us. He wants to liberate us. How liberated from greed, which is that selfish and excessive desire for more, would you say you are?

      Saturday – John 19.25-27. This thought comes from pastor and professor Dr. Dennis Kinlaw as he reflected on this scene between Jesus and His mother at the cross. “Would it not be wonderful if we lived in such a way that when we are ready to die, we would be thinking not of ourselves, but of other people? This is true freedom, giving to others until the very end.” If giving and caring for others is evidence of true freedom, let’s ask ourselves, “What evidence in my life suggests that I am truly free?”

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