Daily D – Romans 16:1-2
Romans 16:1, 2 I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a deacon of the church in Cenchreae. I ask you to receive her in the Lord in a way worthy of his people and to give her any help she may need from you, for she has been the benefactor of many people, including me. (NIV)
Benefactor, patron, helper – These are good words to be called. They indicate strategic investment. What do you have others could benefit from? How will you strategically enrich the lives of others? God blesses us so that he can bless others through us.
Yesterday a large group of generous people gathered to distribute gifts and groceries to many families around their community. There was a great deal of joy in the room where these people came together, made preparation, and prayed for those they were on the way to serve.
Something about kindness elevates our souls. It enriches our relationships. It delights in sharing. It insists on blessing.
A wealthy woman recently provided a large gift, an above-the-tithe kind of gift, to a ministry that will strategically use those funds to enrich the work of young leaders who are big on ideas, amped up with energy, and eager to get started. They are also as poor as church mice.
Christmas Day is two weeks from today. Christmas is a time people often consider giving generously. This is good and right and loving. January is the time when the bills arrive and people are reminded how overly generous they were with themselves and how beans and rice sound like the necessary staples of their diets for a few weeks.
January is also a good time for planning how to live generously all year long. While making plans for diet and exercise, plan a budget. Prioritize giving all year long. People are in need every single day. Many depend on the generosity of others to make it day by day.
One young preacher looked at his young wife and their young son and said, “I would like to give away a million dollars.” The young wife said, “That’s great. Where are you going to get a million dollars?”
There’s the rub. Not many people will ever write a check for such an extravagant amount. However, every one of us can write a check or provide a service for something or someone today. Do not worry about what you do not have. Use what God has already placed in your hand. Start where you are and grow in the grace of giving.
Your name may never grace a hospital building, an institution of higher education, or a card next to a donated artwork in a museum, but your gift, however large or small, may change a life forever. In fact, many lives, maybe even multitudes, may be enriched forever because of your generosity.
I will live generously and give strategically.
Our Father, you have blessed us so extravagantly. Make us extravagant in strategic investments in others. Amen.
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Daily D – 1 Samuel 9:21
1 Samuel 9:21 Saul replied, “But I’m only from the tribe of Benjamin, the smallest tribe in Israel, and my family is the least important of all the families of that tribe! Why are you talking like this to me?”
Daily D – 1 Samuel 7:12
1 Samuel 7:12 Samuel then took a large stone and placed it between the towns of Mizpah and Jeshanah. He named it Ebenezer (which means “the stone of help”), for he said, “Up to this point the Lord has helped us!”
Daily D – 1 Samuel 3:19
1 Samuel 3:19 As Samuel grew up, the Lord was with him, and everything Samuel said proved to be reliable.
Daily D – Ruth 2:12-13
Ruth 2:12, 13 “May the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge, reward you fully for what you have done.” “I hope I continue to please you, sir,” she replied. “You have comforted me by speaking so kindly to me, even though I am not one of your workers.”
Daily D – Judges 19:1
Judges 19:1 Now in those days Israel had no king. There was a man from the tribe of Levi living in a remote area of the hill country of Ephraim. One day he brought home a woman from Bethlehem in Judah to be his concubine.