“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.
“The wicked borrow and do not repay, but the righteous give generously.” (Psa 37:21)
We are called to be in contrast to those around us. If it is considered good practice to borrow and not to repay, then we should give generously. Just because everyone is doing it doesn’t mean it is okay to do.
We serve a generous God—One Who gave everything to save us. The material things we have are all His. Everything we have, and everything we are, has come from the hand of a generous God. We are merely stewards of what has been entrusted to us. It is all God’s.
Quick Prayer: Teach me to be generous. 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.
“Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?” (Luke 7:42)
Those of us who know God are a privileged few. We are sinners saved by grace. Our sin has been washed away. We are clean, redeemed, and sanctified. We have the righteousness of Jesus Christ.
Those who have been forgiven much will love much. We have been forgiven so much. How can we even begin to understand the depth of forgiveness that has been given to us who deserve no forgiveness?
How much more should we forgive those around us who sin against us?
Quick Prayer: Help me to forgive as You have forgiven me. Amen.
“When her owners realized that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities.” (Acts 16:19)
Whether we like to admit it or not we often find ourselves serving God for what we can get rather than who He is. This is reflected in our prayers that are often “help me I want something.”
There are consequences for following Jesus that none of us would choose. We will get ridiculed and sometimes persecuted. We can take some comfort in the fact that Jesus was continually being taken to task and ultimately killed.
When we receive opposition take it as a compliment. Our enemy only has limited resources and when he allocates some to your life you must be having an impact.
Quick Prayer. “I know I will pay a price for standing with you. Help me be strong and protect my heart at that time.” Amen
“If I preach voluntarily, I have a reward; if not voluntarily, I am simply discharging the trust committed to me.” (1 Corinthians 9:17)
As we go about our daily business, we are often so intent on the task we don’t take the time to consider the circumstances of those around us. We are surrounded by people who may be struggling, and dealing with all sorts of family, health or financial issues.
Going beyond the physical; what about spiritual wellbeing. There is an eternity to live, and only one way in. We literally hold the keys to eternal life. Do we believe that? Then what stops us from sharing the good news with others? Pride? What will people think? Will we really let that stand between someone and eternity.
Ask God to open your eyes to those around you. Somewhere in your world today is someone, who needs to hear some truth. And the Truth shall set them free.
Quick Prayer. “Lead me to someone who needs to hear about you today.” Amen
“The LORD tears down the house of the proud, but he sets the widow’s boundary stones in place.” (Proverbs 15:25)
We are not proud are we? Maybe we are just proud of our humility? Pride comes in many forms. Are we self reliant, too proud to ask? Do we feel a sense of entitlement in our roles at work? Surely it is the work of our hands that have built this business, family, wealth, or whatever just came into your mind.
When our pride affects our thinking it will ultimately impact our lives, and those in our sphere of influence. He will protect us, and the people in our lives, by tearing down that which is built on pride.
Look at your heart and examine it before God. Best we deal with pride, than fall into a sin with consequences.
Quick Prayer. “Keep me from pride.” 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