Sunday, August 3, 2014

August 3 – Time for refreshment

Give freely and become more wealthy; be stingy and lose everything.  The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.  (Proverbs 11:24-25 NLT)

This teaching is sprinkled all over the Bible, in both Old and New Testaments.  Give and it shall be given unto you. You reap what you sow. God loves a cheerful giver. Teachings on giving possessions and time, love and effort, the surrender of our wills and the sacrifice of our flesh – all of these reveal the nature of God and His love for us.  God is the most generous, gracious and giving being that exists.  So when we, in our small limited ways, begin to live in a spirit of generosity to Him and to others, we join in His Spirit too.  We become like Him, and His Spirit draws close to us.  

Those who feel a pang of resentment every time giving is mentioned, are those who don’t understand that God plans to refresh them.  Why would God do that?  Because those who truly give in a godly manner, are refreshing others.  They give time and love and compassion, so they have refreshed Jesus Himself without knowing.  They give offerings and tithes and enable God’s House to remain open to help suffering people, so they have refreshed total strangers by their generosity.  God is obligated to fulfill His promises, and so He joyfully finds ways to refresh everyone who joins in His Spirit of giving.  You never lose.

It’s no mistake that the promise begins, “give freely.”  There are plenty of givers, even givers of large amounts.  But they don’t necessarily give freely.  Hearts can be bound up in grudges, resentment, or concern about how they will appear in the eyes of others.  They may give wishing that God wouldn’t ask so much from them.  They may have given with doubts in the past, nurtured negative attitudes, and then concluded that God doesn’t really keep His promises because the refreshing doesn’t happen. The cycle can continue for years of religiously giving with a heavy heart, yet never falling into step with the Spirit of God.

How sad it is to have refreshing available to you, but all you find is a dry parched land.  The promise even says that the stingy lose everything.  If you have never given generously to God, begin now with a free and unburdened heart.  If you have been a tither, an offering giver, and a giver of your time and energy but have seen nothing returned to you, examine your heart and motives.  Clean out whatever is blocking your blessings, because this promise is meant for you to begin experiencing today, this week!

Our loving and generous Father enjoys giving refreshment and relief to His children.  Give freely with that faith, exactly as you need Him to give to you, and watch just how freely He will respond. 

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