Recently I was feeling rather cheated because I had been helping a number of of colleagues get connected to potential client companies without getting much back in return. I was using my personal network for their benefit and didn’t really see much in the way of reciprocation. While I was having my pity party, I got to thinking about how would this story sound if it was in the Bible. What distinctly came into my mind was the phrase, “you are only giving what you have been given.” I was feeling quite possessive of the relationships I have and God gently but clearly reminded me that anything I have to offer someone else is a gift I myself have received from Him.
Freely have you received, freely give
Things to think about:
- Have you had a time where you felt like you were most the giving?
- maybe it was in a relationship, at work, at church, a ministry/charity, etc.
- James 1:17 is probably familiar to you, “Every good and perfect gift from above is from the Father of heavenly lights…”
- Can you do an inventory of every good and perfect gift you have been given?
- It might be helpful to think of it in terms of your time, talents, and treasure
- In my folly, I forgot Deuteronomy 8:17-18 - "You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth.”
- 2 Corinthians 9:6-11
- Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 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. As it is written:
“They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor;
- their righteousness endures forever.”
Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
- We looked at Philippians 2:3-4 recently (which apparently I have already forgotten!)
- Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
- Why is it so important to develop the attitude and actions of being a generous giver?
- What do you need to freely give today to give honor to God?
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