“You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.” - Acts 20:35 (NIV).
Although giving is not among the gifts the Apostle Paul listed in I Cor 12: 4-12; it is quite clear there are those of us who find it easier to give than being stringent. Whenever a call is made to contribute to any cause, there are quick to dig into their sparse resources and freely share.
Now by the way, lest we are confused, the givers often do not have much more than others. If one thinks that giving is a matter of how much one has, why do a majority of billionaires die with their billions all intact, hardly ever having given a penny to charity! Try fundraising from a country club and you will get an idea! Actually, for some, the more they have, the more stringent they become.
Yet those who are “givers’ among us are bound to experience more of God’s blessings in ways that outrival the rest of us. Luke 6:36 says, “Give and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” The implication here that wherever we give we are also depositing into a heavenly account from which we draw a multiplicity of blessings.
This is why, we are challenged, “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly,” and whoever sows generously will also reap generously” (2 Cor 9:6). Giving it must be remembered is a matter of heart and not how big one’s pockets are. Once Jesus compared the giving of some rich people and a poor widow with hardly anything and said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on” (Mark 12:43-44).
The people with big hearts tend not only be more blessed but are far happier to live for they enjoy sharing and making all fulfilled. If there is a gift any of us should pray for, if we are missing it, it should be giving. Trust, it will pay off. “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work” (2 Cor 9:7-8).
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, creator of heaven and earth, from you who gave your life for our salvation, we learn the value of giving, and today I pray that you may give me the gifting of giving knowing the multiple blessings of those who give!
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“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful” – ( 2 Timothy 4:7).
Fighting may be looked at as a non-desirable way of life, especially by those who are pacifists. In fact, throughout Christian history there are many who have literally taken Jesus’s admonition of “turn the other cheek” in Mathew 5:39, to mean nonresistance in the face of attack. The fact that Jesus rebuked the Apostle Peter for drawing a sword against his captors ( Mathew 26:52), means giving in to those who attack them, as a sign of humility.
Yes, of course there are moments where Christians must practice that humility and give in to those who attack them well remembering His word, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay, says the Lord” ( Romans 12:19). However, that said, Believers in Christ would be mistaken to imagine that they must not fight for their faith, whenever under attack. For in reality, the faith of believers is under constant attack from Satan, who comes to “kill and destroy” ( John 10:1).
Faced with this, Paul went at great length to advise Christians to “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” ( Ephesians 6:11). To ward of constant attacks by the enemy Paul challenged us to “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” ( vv 14-17).
Paul is telling us that if you think that ours is a walk over faith where you are not going to fight back against the attacks of the enemy you are very mistaken. Fight we must, and hold our ground. The devil respects that! And when all is done, we can then gladly say, “we have fought the good fight, finished the race” and thank God Almighty we are free at last!
Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I rise ready to resist the attacks of the enemy, by wearing the full of armor of God, and with the sword of the Spirit, fight back to victory, this I pray in Jesus’ name!