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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Psalm 32:7-9 For you are my hiding place; you protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of victory. Interlude The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.”
Exodus 39:42, 43 So the people of Israel followed all of the Lord’s instructions to Moses. Then Moses inspected all their work. When he found it had been done just as the Lord had commanded him, he blessed them.
Exodus 33:13 “If it is true that you look favorably on me, let me know your ways so I may understand you more fully and continue to enjoy your favor. And remember that this nation is your very own people.”
Exodus 31:1-5 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Look, I have specifically chosen Bezalel son of Uri, grandson of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. I have filled him with the Spirit of God, giving him great wisdom, ability, and expertise in all kinds of crafts. He is a master craftsman, expert in working with gold, silver, and bronze. He is skilled in engraving and mounting gemstones and in carving wood. He is a master at every craft!”