“Do not say to your neighbor, ‘Come back tomorrow and I’ll give it to you’—when you already have it with you.” (Pro 3:28)
I like this description because it demonstrates the heart of God. There is something very right and proper about spontaneously meeting a need. If we have something in hand that can meet a need of others, we shouldn’t even hesitate to give.
There is something inherently wrong with having resources and not meeting the need. Even in business, in the brutal cut and thrust of the commercial world, the principles of generosity apply.
If we can pay bills now, why not pay them now? This could cut across the prevailing culture and demonstrate a transformed life. Isn’t that what we are supposed to be doing?
Quick Prayer: Help me to be prompt in my payments. Amen.
“When the neighboring peoples bring merchandise or grain to sell on the Sabbath, we will not buy from them on the Sabbath or on any holy day. Every seventh year we will forgo working the land and will cancel all debts.” (Neh 10:31)
We sometimes forget that our economy is not necessarily built on godly principles. While I truly believe that the democratic free-market capitalist system is as good as it gets, there are certain godly principles that are not inherent in the way we do commerce.
In the ancient world, there was a seven-year cycle of forgiving debts. What a wonderful demonstration of forgiveness and grace and mercy. What an acknowledgment that all belongs to God.
We have been forgiven much. Let’s not forget where we were when God found us. We who have received mercy should be merciful.
Quick Prayer: Help me to be merciful with those who owe me money. Amen.
“However, there need be no poor people among you, for in the land the LORD your God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, he will richly bless you.” (Deuteronomy 15:4)
Hang on that can’t be right surely. If we have God’s blessing there will be no poverty. He will richly provide for all our needs and for those around us. It is God’s heart that there be no poverty. Let’s bear in mind the heart of God.
Here is an unpopular question for you; how much of what God has given us have we set aside to meet the needs of the poor. We are rich beyond all measure if we take a global view. Are we eating the bread He destined to provide for others?
Quick Prayer. “Help me to reach out in your way Lord.” Amen
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.” (Job 1:21)
A God that takes away as well as gives? I am not sure that fits with our individualistic, self centered, post-modern, positive thinking, lifestyle oriented, materialistic, and capitalist view of God. Have we constructed an idol for ourselves? Do we expect Him to do our bidding? How easily can faith become presumption?
We are here a few short years. An insignificant spec in time, yet we demand of an eternal God, a conformity to our expectations. Sometimes we will not understand from an eternal perspective.
Sometimes it will look like God has done us wrong. He gives and He takes away. Will we still serve Him? Yes, for in Him are the answers to all things, and eternal life in Christ.
Quick Prayer. “Thank you that you give and that you take away in your wisdom.” Amen
“to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine.” (Psalm 33:19)
He is faithful. He is faithful. He is faithful. I say it again He is faithful. He will not let you suffer, and He will deliver you from harm. We need to sometimes stand on the promises of God and declare the victory He has already one.
These promises are yes and Amen, regardless of the circumstances, the times we live in, the environment, the economy, or the political status. He is our deliverer and our salvation, our ever-present help in a time of need. Speak to those circumstances that seem to overwhelm you and command them to submit to the word of God.
His strength will sustain you and His promises are always true.
Quick Prayer. “Keep me faithful in your strength, always.” Amen
“Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.” (Proverbs 3:9-10)
Wow! What a promise. All the promises of God are “yes and amen” to those who love Jesus (see 2 Cor 1:20). You will have more than enough when you are faithful and honor God with your income. His Word is true; He is not a man that He would lie (see Num 23:19). Do we dare to accept Him according to His Word and exercise faith and action to appropriate His promise?
This is a mind-bending promise but one that is true because God said it was so. How we honor God with our first fruits is between us and God, and many errors have been placed on this truth. The important part is recognizing the truth of His provision and actually acting on it to reflect the command to honor Him with the cream of the crop.
Quick Prayer. “Thank you that you are a generous God. Please bless me according to your Word, as I have sought to be faithful to your will.” Amen
“Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.” (Luke 6:30)
It is easy to become paralyzed by the scam artists, the fraudster and the false beggars. Soon enough we won’t give to anyone for fear of being ripped of or swindled. Jesus had a novel approach. Let it go and just give.
I met a great Salvation Army man and asked him about this. His response was sure use some discernment, but he would rather give to ten and be ripped off by nine, if it meant the genuine case was ministered to. What a refreshing view in a cynical world, and very much in line with Jesus suggestion, or was it an instruction?
Look for the opportunity to share Jesus’ love at work today. There will be at least one.
Quick Prayer. “Fill me with grace, to give and not judge.” Amen
“But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand.” (1 Chronicles 29:14)
God gives us excess to be able to give. He is the ultimate giver, He gave His Son. All we have is His, lets hold on to it knowing that He may have uses for it elsewhere, and be faithful as stewards of all He has given us.
Just as he is generous, so He calls us to reflect His nature. As we spend time with Him and are obedient to His word and promptings we begin to be shaped and moulded by His character.
We ought to be known for our generosity just as He is. We are merely a reflection of His nature and character as we are transformed into His image.
Quick Prayer. “Help me to hold on loosely to all that is yours anyway.” Amen