VIDEO Generosity – Give Like God Gives

Generosity

And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8

For many years, analyses have shown that middle- and low-income people tend to give a greater percentage of their income to charity than high-income people do. The difference isn’t huge—three-plus percent to charity for middle-/low-income families, one-plus percent for high earners. It seems the more we have, the less we are willing to part with it.

Jesus made a point of praising people who give sacrificially instead of giving out of their abundance (Mark 12:41-44). And Paul praised the Macedonian churches who gave out of their poverty to help the church in Jerusalem (2 Corinthians 8:1-4). Behind every instance of sacrificial giving is the promise that God’s grace will provide “sufficiency in all things.” Because giving is God-like, God’s abundance undergirds it.

Giving sacrificially and generously is a way to grow faith. God can’t fill a hand that has a tight grasp on money. God moves money into and out of our open hands.

The church treasurer counts what we give; God counts what we keep.  John Blanchard


Give Like God Gives – Sarah Thebarge How Generosity Heals Us

He Knows Us

You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise. Psalm 139:1–2

Did God know about me as I drove at night on a 100-mile journey to my village? Given the condition I was in, the answer was not simple. My temperature ran high and my head ached. I prayed, “Lord, I know you are with me, but I’m in pain!”

Tired and weak, I parked by the road near a small village. Ten minutes later, I heard a voice. “Hello! Do you need any help?” It was a man with his companions from the community. Their presence felt good. When they told me the name of their village, Naa mi n’yala (meaning, “The King knows about me!”), I was amazed. I had passed this community dozens of times without stopping. This time, the Lord used its name to remind me that, indeed, He, the King, was with me while I was alone on that road in my ailing condition. Encouraged, I pressed on toward the nearest clinic.

God knows us thoroughly as we go about our everyday chores, at different locations and situations, no matter our condition (Psalm 139:1–4, 7–12). He does not abandon us or forget us; nor is He so busy that He neglects us. Even when we are in trouble or in difficult circumstances—“darkness” and “night” (vv. 11–12)—we are not hidden from His presence. This truth gives us such hope and assurance that we can praise the Lord who has carefully created us and leads us through life (v. 14).

Thank You, Lord, that You always know where I am and how I am doing. You know me inside and out. I’m thankful I can count on You to care.

No matter where we are, God knows about us.

By Lawrence Darmani 

INSIGHT

In Psalm 139 David marvels at the Creator God. In these verses the poet-king reflects on God’s omniscience (vv. 1–6), omnipresence (vv. 7–12), and omnipotence (vv. 13–18)—clearly marking God out as distinct and above the creation He has made. This is the God who has welcomed us into relationship with Himself—and that invitation is based on His complete knowledge of who we are and how we have failed. His total awareness of our brokenness makes it all the more amazing that He desires for us to know Him.

Bill Crowder

What Christ’s Blood Does for Believers

Romans 3:21-26

Knowing what we believe is key to a life-sustaining faith. Yesterday we saw two of the blessings that are ours through the blood of the Savior. Today we will look at two more.

By trusting in Christ as Savior, we are …

Justified. Justification is the process by which God sees us as not guilty— just as if we had not committed any wrong. Romans 3:23 condemns all mankind as sinners who are under a sentence of death and facing a dreadful eternity apart from God and His blessings. But everything changes for the person who accepts Christ’s shed blood as payment for his or her sins—through Jesus, that sinner is declared “not guilty” and is provided with Christ’s righteousness. And the new believer is adopted into God’s own family (Gal. 3:26). Jesus’ sacrifice has satisfied our sin debt, and His death is counted by God as our own (Rom. 5:9).

Reconciled. Before salvation, we were separated from the Lord and spiritually dead (Eph. 2:1). We had no way to span the gap between Him and us. Christ sent His Holy Spirit to convict us of our guilt (John 16:8), make us aware that we need a Savior, and bring us to saving faith. Jesus, the Lamb of God, removed the barrier of sin that separated us from God. Christ died to reconcile us to God, “having made peace through the blood of His cross” (Col. 1:20).

As believers, we should understand what occurred when we received Jesus as Savior. Through His sacrifice, we are redeemed, forgiven, justified, and reconciled to God. That is, Christ’s blood has brought us from death to life—and has let us enter into an eternal relationship with the Father.

He Became Poor For Us

“For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.” (2 Corinthians 8:9)

The doctrine of Christ’s kenosis, or self-emptying, is one of the most amazing of all biblical truths. The extent to which He who was not only “in the form of God” but also “equal with God” condescended to “make himself of no reputation” (the translation of kenoo in Philippians 2:6-7) is utterly beyond human comprehension.

He who once sat on the throne of the universe came to Earth “lying in a manger” (Luke 2:12). Throughout His public ministry, He had “not where to lay his head” (Matthew 8:20). Because He had no money to pay the tax, He had to catch a fish with the necessary coin in its mouth (Matthew 17:27). In His agony at Gethsemane, none of His friends would pray with Him, and when He was arrested they all “forsook him and fled” (Matthew 26:40, 56). No one defended Him at His trial.

On the cross, the soldiers stripped away His only personal possessions—the clothes on His back—and then “parted his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take” (Mark 15:24). When He died, His body had to be buried in a tomb belonging to Joseph of Arimathea (Matthew 27:59-60). No home, no money, no possessions, no defenders, not even a tomb of His own in which to lie.

But He had a cross on which to die, and because He was obedient to the death of the cross, “God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name” (Philippians 2:9). Through His poverty we become rich, through His homelessness we have a mansion in heaven, and through His terrible death on Calvary we have everlasting life. Yes, we do know the grace of Christ! HMM

Love one another

John 13:31-37

John 13:31

In spirit he had already triumphed. At the sight of Judas he had suffered pangs unutterable, but his soul had overcome the trial, and had gained an earnest of complete victory in the battle which lay before him. The traitor also was driven out of his church, and he saw in this a prophecy of the overthrow of Antichrist.

John 13:32

His eye is on the glory as he enter’s upon his passion; “for the joy that was set before him he endured the cross, despising the shame.”

John 13:33

Now that Judas is gone, he unbosoms his heart, and speaks to the eleven under the tender term of “little children.” He tells them that just now they are not to die with him and for a while they cannot follow him into heaven, but must tarry below; and he teaches them how to behave to one another in his absence, and leaves them the law of love as one of his last words.

John 13:36

Peter would one day die a martyrs death, but not. just then. This ought to have satisfied and silenced him, but his loving heart outran his judgment.

Luke 22:31-38

Luke 22:31, 32

This solemn warning and gracious declaration were meant to set the bold disciple on his guard, but he was self-confident, and again declared his strength of purpose.

Luke 22:34

Never was man more hearty and sincere, but the Lord knew he would waver. Let none of us talk of what we will do, but pray for grace to do it.

Luke 22:36

Now all was changed, no one would entertain them, every one would harm them, and they would be as men needing defence against deadly foes. He did not, however, mean that they should fight with carnal weapons, as we shall see immediately. It was only an intimation that they were now to be assailed by force.

Luke 22:38

If they were literally to fight, two swords were not enough, but they were enough to express the Saviour’s idea. They were now to go out as warriors to conquer the world, and the swords represented their militant condition. One sword was rashly used by Peter, and his Lord bade him put it away, to show that armed force is not to be employed; there was another sword not then wielded, which typified the Word of God, with which nations are subdued.

 

Boast not thy strength of faith and zeal

For trials yet unknown;

Or thou wilt soon by falling feel

Thou canst not stand alone.

 

To Jesus now confide thy heart,

He only can defend,

He will his mighty grace impart,

And keep thee to the end.

 

You Out of Balance?

If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed. (John 8:31)

We must admit that in the evangelical Christian churches of our day, almost all of us are guilty of a lop-sided view of the Christian life—all is made to depend upon the initial act of believing. At a given moment a decision is made for Christ, and after that everything is “automatic.”

This is because of our failure to lay a scriptural emphasis in our evangelical preaching.

In our eagerness to make converts we allow our believers to absorb the idea that they can deal with their entire responsibility once and for all by an act of believing. This is in some vague way supposed to honor grace and glorify God, whereas actually it is to make Christ the author of a grotesque, unworkable system that has no counterpart in the Scriptures of Truth.

In the New Testament accounts, faith was for each believer a beginning, not an end. Believing was not a once-done act; it was more than an act. It was an attitude of heart and mind which inspired and enabled the believer to take up his cross and follow the Lamb whithersoever He went!

 

Implicit Trust

“For I will surely deliver thee, and thou shalt not fall by the sword, but thy life shall be for a prey unto thee: because thou hast put thy trust in me, saith the Lord.” Jer. 39:18

Behold the protecting power of trust in God. The great men of Jerusalem fell by the sword, but poor Ebed-melech was secure, for his confidence was in Jehovah. Where else should a man trust but in his Maker? We are foolish when we prefer the creature to the Creator. Oh, that we could in all things live by faith, then should we be delivered in all time of danger! No one ever did trust in the Lord in vain, and no one ever shall.

The Lord saith, “I will surely deliver thee.” Mark the divine “surely.” Whatever else may be uncertain, God’s care of believers is sure. God Himself is the guardian of the gracious. Under His sacred wing there is safety even when every danger is abroad. Can we accept this promise as sure? Then in our present emergency we shall find that it stands fast. We hope to be delivered because we have friends, or because we are prudent, or because we can see hopeful signs; but none of these things are one half so good as God’s simple “because thou hast put thy trust in me.” Dear reader, try this way, and, trying it, you will keep to it all your life. It is as sweet as it is sure.

 

%d bloggers like this: