Category Archives: Generosity

Psalm 13 Captures My Attitude


Long enough, GOD — you’ve ignored me long enough. I’ve looked at the back of your head long enough. Long enough I’ve carried this ton of trouble, lived with a stomach full of pain. Long enough my arrogant enemies have looked down their noses at me.

Take a good look at me, GOD, my God; I want to look life in the eye, So no enemy can get the best of me or laugh when I fall on my face.

I’ve thrown myself headlong into your arms— I’m celebrating your rescue. I’m singing at the top of my lungs, I’m so full of answered prayers. (‭Psalm‬ ‭13‬:‭1-6‬ MSG)

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I find myself feeling the way the Psalmist does in this passage on occasion. It is NOT appropriate for me to feel sorry for myself and to exhibit these negative thoughts. God has blessed me beyond anything I deserve! I have found that He is absolutely faithful…sometimes, even when I am not!

Prayer: LORD…Help me to keep my attitude
Right. Thank you for loving me and intervening in my life. I love you for that!

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God’s Love Never Quits


Thank GOD! He deserves your thanks. His love never quits. Thank the God of all gods, His love never quits. Thank the Lord of all lords. His love never quits.

Thank the miracle-working God, His love never quits. The God whose skill formed the cosmos, His love never quits. The God who laid out earth on ocean foundations, His love never quits. The God who filled the skies with light, His love never quits. The sun to watch over the day, His love never quits. Moon and stars as guardians of the night, His love never quits. The God who struck down the Egyptian firstborn, His love never quits. And rescued Israel from Egypt’s oppression, His love never quits. Took Israel in hand with his powerful hand, His love never quits. Split the Red Sea right in half, His love never quits. Led Israel right through the middle, His love never quits. Dumped Pharaoh and his army in the sea, His love never quits. The God who marched his people through the desert, His love never quits. Smashed huge kingdoms right and left, His love never quits. Struck down the famous kings, His love never quits. Struck Sihon the Amorite king, His love never quits. Struck Og the Bashanite king, His love never quits. Then distributed their land as booty, His love never quits. Handed the land over to Israel. His love never quits. (‭Psalm‬ ‭136‬:‭1-22‬ MSG)

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The Very Nature of Kindness…


Galatians 5:22 NKJV

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But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

Kindness is a virtue that is misunderstood.  It should be of the heart and not just well-intentioned action. 
If we love one another to the point where we demonstrate kindness, without thinking, without any conscious intention, then we are of the same nature as Christ!  He loved us so much, He gave His life for us…freely!
The kindness that we have simply does not measure up.

Compassion: A Fourteen-day Journey #13


Stewardship Begins at Home

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God has ordained the family unit in part so that we can meet one another’s needs. Few social structures, if any, have fed more widows, raised more orphans and encouraged more lonely elderly people than families taking care of other family members in need. For the believer, it is a matter of being like Christ and being an example to others. The Christian must see that the needs of his own family are met. Theologian and pastor John Wesley (1703-1791) considers:

Not yet are we forbidden to provide for our children, and for those of our own household. This also is our duty to do, even upon principles of heathen morality. Every man ought to provide the plain necessities of life, both for his own wife and children; and to put them into a capacity of providing these for themselves, when he is gone hence and is no more seen. I say, of providing these; the plain necessities of life; not delicacies; not superfluities–and that their diligent labor.
Expository preacher Stephen F. Olford (1918-2004) weighs in on the issue.

Paul uses family life to illustrate the importance of laying money aside as he spoke to the Corinthian church (2Co 12:14). For children are not obligated to save up for their parents, but parents are for their children. In my pastoral counseling I have listened to many stories of tragic circumstances. Husbands have failed their wives, parents have cheated their children, and grown sons and daughters have neglected their widowed mothers or other dependents. Such shortcomings are soundly and solemnly condemned by the Word of God; in fact, such dereliction of duty is described as worse than infidelity.

In light of the foregoing, it is certainly biblical and practical that savings accounts be established and insurance policies be taken out to cover the needs of dependents, emergency requirements, funeral expenses, and so on. Such financial matters should be openly discussed in every Christian household. With an open Bible and in an atmosphere of prayer, our tithes, offerings, expenses, and savings should be surveyed in a relation to personal, as well as general, income. Happy and healthy in the Spirit is the family that is united on all these matters. In the last analysis, every one of us is responsible to God in time and accountable to Him in eternity (Gal 6:2-10).

1 Timothy 5:1-16 NKJV

Do not rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, with all purity. Honor widows who are really widows. But if any widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show piety at home and to repay their parents; for this is good and acceptable before God. Now she who is really a widow, and left alone, trusts in God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day. But she who lives in pleasure is dead while she lives. And these things command, that they may be blameless. But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. Do not let a widow under sixty years old be taken into the number, and  not  unless she has been the wife of one man, well reported for good works: if she has brought up children, if she has lodged strangers, if she has washed the saints’ feet, if she has relieved the afflicted, if she has diligently followed every good work. But refuse the younger widows; for when they have begun to grow wanton against Christ, they desire to marry, having condemnation because they have cast off their first faith. And besides they learn to  be idle, wandering about from house to house, and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not. Therefore I desire that the younger widows marry, bear children, manage the house, give no opportunity to the adversary to speak reproachfully. For some have already turned aside after Satan. If any believing man or woman has widows, let them relieve them, and do not let the church be burdened, that it may relieve those who are really widows.

Verse of the Day – February 26th


http://bible.com/114/php4.8.nkjv

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Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
Phillipians 4:8 NKJV

Two Ways of Being Rich…by Billy Graham


LUKE 12:15 NKJV

And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”

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Being Rich

There are two ways of being rich—have a lot, or want very little. The latter way is the easier for most of us. Many people make themselves miserable by wanting more than they can ever have. They suffer from “thing-itis,” the insatiable desire for more, better, and newer things. Jesus was the most satisfied man that ever lived, and He had less than most of us. “The foxes have their holes, and the birds their nests, but the Son of man has no place to lay His head.” He had learned the secret of adjusting His wants to His needs.

E. Stanley Jones tells about a poor man who had an overnight guest, and as he showed him to his humble bedroom in the hayloft he said, “If there is anything you want, let us know, and we’ll come and show you how to get along without it.” We don’t need to learn how to get more, but how to get along with what we’ve got, and get on with the business of living.

Daily Prayer

Father, You have given me so much more than I deserve. May I always show a grateful and contented heart.

Hearing God Speak #7 – “Finalé”


2 Timothy 3:16-17 NKJV

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

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All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

That is a remarkable phrase: “every good work”! Everything good that God expects us to do, the Scriptures equip us to do. That is an amazing claim. How does it work? How does the Bible equip us for “every good work”?

It’s not by supplying specific lists that cover all possible situations. Thinking that way would be a mistake in two ways. It would be a mistake because there are hundreds of specific situations we are in that the Bible does not specifically address. There were no TVs, computers, cars, phones, birth control pills, Prozac, genetic engineering, respirators, bullets, bombs in Jesus’;s day. The Bible does not equip us for every good deed by telling us the specific choice to make for every new situation.

The other reason it would be a mistake to think that way is that it leads straight to legalism — doing things because of outward conformity to a demand in the hope that performance will win approval. That is not Christian morality. Good works are done from a heart that treasures God and his help, and from a heart that loves to display the glory of Christ, else the good works are not good, no matter how they conform to external expectations.

The Scripture, day after day, reveals to us the greatness and the beauty and the power and the wisdom and the mercy of all that God is for us in Christ so that by the power of the Spirit we find our joy in him, and the ways of sin become distasteful —indeed ugly and repugnant. Yes the Bible gives us many specifics as pointers how to live. But most deeply the way the Bible equips us for every good work is by changing what we find satisfaction in so that our obedience comes from within freely, not by coercion from without. It does this when we read it and meditate on it and memorize it and meditate over it every day.

©2014 Desiring God Foundation. Find many other free resources by John Piper at desiringGod.org

Compassion: A Fourteen-Day Journey #11


A New Justice

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Jesus’ great transformation of values is at work in this passage. The world we live in expects us to live by its standard operation procedures of self-service, self-preservation and self-fulfillment. But Jesus calls to us a life lived with radically different motives and actions. He calls us to “be perfect, as our heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt 5:48), which is to receive into a nurture within ourselves the love of God–agape love.

For instance, just as God has not let our hostility toward him turn him against us, so are we to demonstrate the same kind of persistent love toward those who are hostile toward us. Jesus said, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Mt 5:44). Christ taught his followers not only to love their enemies but also to be good stewards of their human brothers and sisters. Imagine how Jesus looked deep into the eyes of hose who opposed him to see them as the Father would. Can you and I do less than to look into the eyes of our enemies and search deep for the image of God in them, that which Scottish Victorian novelist, poet and Christian fantasy writer George MacDonald (1824-1905) calls the “divine essence”?

The very words humane and humanity denote some shadow of that loving-kindness which, when perfected after the divine fashion, shall include even our enemies. The offering of human sacrifices, the torturing of captives, cannibalism–we do not call this humanity. Not because they do such deeds are they men. Their humanity must be deeper than those. It is in virtue of the divine essence which is in them, that pure essential humanity, that we call our enemies men and women. It is this humanity that we are to love–a something, I say, deeper altogether than and independent of the region of hate.

It is agape love that enables the children of God to be as generous and openhanded as God as been to them. Such radical action may be “bad stewardship” by the world’s standards, but not by God’s.

After all, by the world’s standards, loving those who love you is perfectly understandable. Doing good to those who do you good is just sensible reciprocal business (see Mt 5:46-47). But kingdom economy has a very different dynamic. Those who are children of the Most High God give without reciprocity. Kingdom economics are “flowing through” accounts. Theologian Miroslav Volf says, “If God is the third party in the relationship between givers and recipients, givers cannot lose. They always receive what they give, and more. That’s the ‘law’ of the flow. Those who pass gifts receive more abundantly from the source of all gifts.”

When a kingdom steward lives and loves by this mode of operation the world looks at him on her and sees something different. They see the light (see Mt 5:14) that comes from “the light of the world” (Jn 8:12).

LUKE 6:27-36 NKJV

“But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,  bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.  To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either.  Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back.  And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise. “But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.  And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.  And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back.  But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil.  Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.