Daily D – 2 Corinthians 8:7
Since you excel in so many ways—in your faith, your gifted speakers, your knowledge, your enthusiasm, and your love from us—I want you to excel also in this gracious act of giving. 2 CORINTHIANS 8:7 (NLT)
Study after study declares those on the lower end of the economic scales are, on average, more generous than those on the higher end of the scale. This is a general truth. It is not true in all cases.
In the 1980s, Texas endured an oil bust. The price of oil plummeted due to OPEC nations flooding the market with cheap oil. Many in that business suffered serious setbacks. This affected everyone in Texas because of how much our economy in those days depended on those natural resources.
Even then when millionaires settled into more average incomes, one of those men led his family to live on twenty percent of their income and give away eighty percent. He had two sons in college at the time. They lived on twenty percent when times were good, and they lived on twenty percent when times were bad. He was a giant of humility and generosity.
A survey of the wealthiest pastors in America includes Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in California. His book, The Purpose-Driven Life, is one of the best-selling books of all time. He promptly paid back all the salary he had ever received from his church. He began the practice of a reverse tithe. He kept ten percent of his income and gave away ninety percent.
The point is not to instruct you, “Go thou and do likewise.” My bride and I, and here I take credit for her faithfulness, have sought to live generously across the years. We give more than average. However, we do not come anywhere close to these examples. As soon as I write an international bestseller or two, we will give it a shot.
Paul wrote to the Gifted and Talented Church and asked them to finish what they had started a year before. I know a guy who is really good at starting stuff he never can seem to finish. I visit him every morning when I shave. Finishing things can be hard.
The church in Philippi, which did not have much in their bank accounts, gave to help those who were suffering famine immediately and generously and above their ability (vv. 1-5). The Gifted and Talented Church talked about generosity, started down the path of generosity, but had not yet actually made any generous deposits (vv. 6, 7, 10-14).
Paul told them, “Give whatever you can according to what you have,” (v. 11). Don’t wait for the next Big Deal. Don’t wait for your ship to come in. Don’t wait for that international bestseller. Do what you can with what you have. No one will be looked down on for giving five bucks if that is the best you can do. Live as generously with others as you would want them to be with you if your life situations were exchanged (v. 14).
God’s blessings multiply when they are shared. Live generously.
I will do what I can with what I have.
Our Father, you can do more with five loaves of bread and two fish than I can with a million dollars. You multiply, amplify, and maximize the effectiveness of our generosity. When we live generously, we are simply following your lead. You are the Giver of All Good Things. Everything we call our own came from your gracious hand. As you enrich our lives, empower us to join you in enriching the lives of others. Give us the discipline to give automatically. Give us the heart to give extravagantly. Make us more like you in this gift of giving. Amen.
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Daily D – Psalm 143:8-10
Psalm 143:8-10 Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you. Rescue me from my enemies, Lord; I run to you to hide me. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing.
Daily D – Psalm 142:5
Psalm 142:5 Then I pray to you, O Lord. I say, “You are my place of refuge. You are all I really want in life.”
Daily D – Ezra 3:11-13
Ezra 3:11-13 With praise and thanks, they sang this song to the Lord: “He is so good! His faithful love for Israel endures forever!” Then all the people gave a great shout, praising the Lord because the foundation of the Lord’s Temple had been laid. But many of the older priests, Levites, and other leaders who had seen the first Temple wept aloud when they saw the new Temple’s foundation. The others, however, were shouting for joy. The joyful shouting and weeping mingled together in a loud noise that could be heard far in the distance.
Daily D – 2 Chronicles 35:22-25
2 Chronicles 35:22-25 After Josiah had finished restoring the Temple, King Neco of Egypt led his army up from Egypt to do battle at Carchemish on the Euphrates River, and Josiah and his army marched out to fight him. But King Neco sent messengers to Josiah with this message: “What do you want with me, king of Judah? I have no quarrel with you today! I am on my way to fight another nation, and God has told me to hurry! Do not interfere with God, who is with me, or he will destroy you.” But Josiah refused to listen to Neco, to whom God had indeed spoken, and he would not turn back. Instead, he disguised himself and led his army into battle on the plain of Megiddo. But the enemy archers hit King Josiah with their arrows and wounded him. He cried out to his men, “Take me from the battle, for I am badly wounded!”
Daily D – 2 Chronicles 32:31
2 Chronicles 32:31 However, when ambassadors arrived from Babylon to ask about the remarkable events that had taken place in the land, God withdrew from Hezekiah in order to test him and to see what was really in his heart.