Do good

Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny

But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to ungrateful and evil people. Luke 6.35

The majority of people would not think of doing anything for their enemies. The worst they might do would be to seek vengeance for a perceived wrong that their enemy did to them. At best, they would ignore their presence to the best of their ability.

However, Jesus would not agree with either of those actions. Jesus taught to love your enemies and to pray for them, Matthew 5.44-45. His objective is that you might become more like your heavenly Father.

When someone comes to you in need, generosity is the attitude that we must have, especially if the person is a Christian, Galatians 6.10. We are to do good and not expect anything in return.

God is kind to all men, even those who are ungrateful and evil. He sent Jesus to die for all mankind, John 3.16. May we follow in his steps and practice kindness to all, not just to our friends.

Doing good is doing right, the theme of the book, The Right Kind of Christianity.

#risingjoy #Luke #generosity

People who were generous

Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny

Now we make known to you brothers and sisters, the grace of God given to the churches of Macedonia, that during a severe ordeal of suffering, their abundant joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in the wealth of their generosity. For I testify, they gave according to their means and beyond their means. They did so voluntarily, … 2 Corinthians 8.1-3

I have met people in the past who were generous. They were always there to give when there was a need. If money was not in abundance, they would share what they did have. The culture that we adopted has taught me many things about helping others.

Paul had written to the church in Corinth. They had been enthusiastic about taking up an offering to send to those in need. They had made a good start, but somewhere along the way, the offering had not been completed. Several months, perhaps even a year, had passed and still, they had not completed the task.

Paul used the Christians in Macedonia as an example to the Corinthians. He wanted them to know of the voluntary offering made by the churches there. Even though they were suffering severely, they had been very generous in the offering they had made. It was not given grudgingly, but with abundant joy in the midst of extreme poverty. First, they had given themselves to the Lord. God’s grace was seen in their attitudes and actions. They begged to be able to help the saints!

Do we allow God’s grace to flow through us? Do we beg to be able to help others or do we turn our backs on brothers and sisters in need? Do we overflow in the wealth of our generosity or do we restrain from giving what we can, in case we need it? God will provide if we place his kingdom as our priority!

#risingjoy #2-Corinthians #generosity

Tell them: 1 Timothy 6.18

“Tell them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, to be generous givers, sharing with others.”

1 Timothy 6.18

Paul tells Timothy to pass on these instructions to those who are rich in this world’s goods, to think of others and be generous. Sometimes, the more one has the more one wants to keep for self.

Let yourself be bothered with the needs of others. Take time to see where others are, how you can be helpful. Think ahead, v. 19, and invest in the future of life.

#votd #1-Timothy #generosity


(#47) The Proverbs of Solomon 11:24-25- Banking on Giving

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 11:24-25: “There is one who scatters, yet increases more; And there is one who withholds more than is right, But it leads to poverty. 25 The generous soul will be made rich, And he who waters will also be watered himself.”

The benefits of “generosity” are summarized here with: it comes back to you. The movie “It’s A Wonderful Life” visualizes the principle of helping others in a way that helps them be able to help you back. The “one who scatters” in verse 24 is the “generous soul” of verse 25. It is the “generous soul” who is “rich,” and the one who “waters” (shares blessings) will “be watered himself.” Moses’ Law required a generous spirit to the “poor man of your brethren” (Deuteronomy 15:7-11). Solomon showed generosity to an enemy can act like punishment on his conscience: “If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; For so you will heap coals of fire on his head, And the LORD will reward you” (Proverbs 25:21-22), which the Apostle Paul bound on Christians (Romans 12:20). Jesus Christ had extended this spirit to our “enemies” (Luke 6:27-31) ending with the words, “And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.” Other proverbs which teach this thought are: Proverbs 19:17: “He who has pity on the poor lends to the LORD, And He will pay back what he has given;” Proverbs 22:9: “He who has a generous eye will be blessed, For he gives of his bread to the poor.” Isaiah prophesied of “a righteous king” who would see to it things were set straight (Isaiah 32:5-7), ending with, “a generous man devises generous things, And by generosity he shall stand.” Whenever there are “hard times,” whether caused by unemployment, marriage problems, short supply of goods, this principle of generosity will be sorely tested! Sometimes generosity is the only “line of credit” we are given that we must remember when our situation improves.

The other side is of the “one who withholds more than is right, But it leads to poverty.” This is the stingy, greedy, selfish person who sees no more than his/her own needs, and always lives lonely. The “poverty” is not only of goods, but of friendships, as well! One may become poor by holding onto whatever he possesses! Other proverbs call this oppression and mocking the poor: Proverbs 14:31: “He who oppresses the poor reproaches his Maker, But he who honors Him has mercy on the needy;” Proverbs 17:5: “He who mocks the poor reproaches his Maker; He who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished;” Proverbs 22:22-23: “Do not rob the poor because he is poor, Nor oppress the afflicted at the gate; 23 For the LORD will plead their cause, And plunder the soul of those who plunder them;” Proverbs 28:27: “He who gives to the poor will not lack, But he who hides his eyes will have many curses;” Proverbs 29:7: “The righteous considers the cause of the poor, But the wicked does not understand such knowledge.”

Jesus Christ established this generosity for the church: “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren” (1 John 3:16).

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #generosity, #giving, #hard-times, #poor, #poverty, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #stingy, #wisdom

Honeycomb givers

There are three kinds of givers: the flint, the sponge, and the honeycomb. Which kind are you?

To get anything from the flint, you must hammer it. Yet, all you generally get are chips and sparks. The flint gives nothing away if it can help it, and even then only with a great display.

To get anything from the sponge, you must squeeze it. It readily yields to pressure, and the more it is pressed, the more it gives. Still, you must push.

To get anything from the honeycomb, however, you must only take what freely flows from it. It gives its sweetness generously, dripping on all without pressure, without begging or badgering:

Note, too, that there is another difference in the honeycomb. It is a renewable resource. Unlike the flint or sponge, the honeycomb is connected to life; it is the product of the ongoing work and creative energy of bees.

If you are a “honeycomb giver,” your life will be continually replenished as you give. And, as long as you are connected to the Source of all life, you can never run dry. When you give freely, you will receive in like manner, so that whatever you give away will soon be multiplied back to you.

—God’s Little Lessons for Teens, page 83

Luke 6:30 – Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back.

Luke 6:38 – Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”

2 Corinthians 9:7 – So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.

“Thoughts For Today to Brighten Your Day” by Glenn, Mercedes and Lauren Hitchcock

#generosity, #giving

On Thanksgiving day, my wife and I will …

On Thanksgiving day, my wife and I will visit the home of one of our members, who through her generosity, and the generosity of her three sisters will have plenty of food and fellowship.

#fellowship, #food, #generosity, #home, #member, #plenty, #sister, #visit, #wife

How did someone encourage me lately? I h…

How did someone encourage me lately? I have been encouraged through TFR contributors. Through their comments and postings. I have been encouraged by the goodness (generosity) of God’s people in the benevolent work for one brother in Christ.

#encouragement, #generosity, #goodness