The Circle of Generosity

Have you ever thought that your gifts of love, food, blankets, or money bring back thanks  to God?  The New Testament believers in Corinth were asked to give donations to their suffering fellow believers in Jerusalem.  Paul was headed to Jerusalem and would carry the offerings to them.  Paul explains the benefits of giving to them in 2 Corinthians 9:11-15.   

“Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God. 12 So two good things will result from this ministry of giving—the needs of the believers in Jerusalem will be met, and they will joyfully express their thanks to God.”    Paul first tells them 2 good things will come from their generosity.  Their needs will be met and then they will thank God for providing for them. 

Paul then continues, As a result of your ministry, they will give glory to God. For your generosity to them and to all believers will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ. 14 And they will pray for you with deep affection because of the overflowing grace God has given to you. 15 Thank God for this gift  too wonderful for words!”   Your giving and their thanks will bring glory to God and show your obedience to Christ.  Then they will pray for you and give thanks for you and your giving.

Paul is showing us that giving generously to provide for others brings glory to God, and thank-filled prayers for ourselves.  Giving comes back to you in thanks.  Thanks is something that cannot be measured or quantified but received with grace and turned back to God brings Him glory and you good.

ciclre of praiseYour giving causes needs to be met and the receiver to be thankful = glorifies God.

Their thankfulness caused by your giving shows how much you love Jesus =glorifies God.

Their thankfulness spurs them to pray for you = glorifies God.

Consider your own generosity at this time of Thanksgiving.  Do you know someone who is in need that you can help?  Remember your generosity brings glory to God and will result in good for you too.  At the very least, it makes you feel good to help others and pleases God by your actions, but knowing our Good God, it will achieve so much more!

Linda 

Place or person, who is your refuge?

God refugeHow many times have you said, “God is my refuge”?   These are words that David repeatedly spoke about God.  By definition a refuge is a place of shelter or protection from danger or difficulty, or it can be a person who gives shelter, help or comfort.  David spent 14 years running from King Saul after being anointed the future king  by Samuel.  He was hunted, attacked and driven into the wilds away from friends, family and others.

David refers to God as his refuge, a place of safety,  in Psalm 91:1-2 and 91:9-10.                    He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say  to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.”                                                                                                             91:9-10  “Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place—
    the Most High, who is my refuge —
10 no evil shall be allowed to befall you,
    no plague come near your tent.”                    Abiding with God in your heart, soul and mind each day gives you a refuge, a safe place where you can depend upon God to shelter and protect you.     

David also saw God as his refuge, a person who brings protection, help or comfort.  In Psalm 62:5-7 David describes his refuge relationship with God.                                          psalm 62For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
    for my hope is from him.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
    my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
On God rests my salvation and my glory;
    my mighty rock, my refuge is God.       David sees God as the one who keeps him secure, steadfast and is his provider of salvation.

Psalm 59:16-17 “But I will sing of your strength;
    I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning.
For you have been to me a fortress
    and a refuge in the day of my distress.
17 O my Strength, I will sing praises to you,
    for you, O God, are my fortress,
    the God who shows me steadfast love.     David is so thankful that God is his refuge providing him with protection, steadfast love and comfort.       

Is this the lens through which you see God?  Is He your place and person of protection, safely, love and comfort?  He can be that and more.  Look to Him today and ask Him to draw near to you and He will just as he promised in James 4:7-8. “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, psalm 91 2 NLTand he will draw near to you.”   David repeatedly resisted the desire and opportunity to kill Saul which would have ended his running,  but he did not yield to that temptation and kept drawing nearer to God depending upon Him for refuge.      God can do the same for you.     

Linda                                              

Pleading with God

If you could write down your prayers, what would they look like?  Are they filled with joy, praise, thanksgiving, submission, confession and petitions?  In reality, our prayers are filled with all of these but often vary according to our need or level of distress in life.  The psalmist in Psalm 119:33-40 pleads with God.  Look at the verbs as you read.

He

33 Teach me your decrees, O Lord;
    I will keep them to the end.
34 Give me understanding and I will obey your instructions;
    I will put them into practice with all my heart.
35 Make me walk along the path of your commands,
    for that is where my happiness is found.
36 Give me an eagerness for your laws
    rather than a love for money!
37 Turn my eyes from worthless things,
    and give me life through your word.
38 Reassure me of your promise,
    made to those who fear you.
39 Help me abandon my shameful ways;
    for your regulations are good.
40 I long to obey your commandments!
    Renew my life with your goodness.

psalm 119 37The psalmist is struggling with his daily life and desires God to guide him away from temporal things to a focus on eternal truths that will change and renew his life.  God’s goodness will transform our lives is we submit to His truths and follow Him.  Do you desire God’s help with your life problems?  Seek His wisdom and truth.  Open His Word and bow in prayer.  He will find you, just like He promised.  Hebrews 11:6 challenges us to believe and take that step of faith. “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”   Does that describe you and your search for God?  Turn to Him in faith today.  He will find you.

Hebrews 11 6Walking with Him is an adventure in faith,

Linda