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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Romans 2:4 Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?
Acts 18:24-26 Meanwhile, a Jew named Apollos, an eloquent speaker who knew the Scriptures well, had arrived in Ephesus from Alexandria in Egypt. He had been taught the way of the Lord, and he taught others about Jesus with an enthusiastic spirit and with accuracy. However, he knew only about John’s baptism. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him preaching boldly in the synagogue, they took him aside and explained the way of God even more accurately.