TODAY'S WORD FOR Thursday, January 16, 2020:
Unselfish; liberal in giving; showing a readiness to give more of something, such as money or time, than is necessary or expected.
All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor.
Blessed is he who is generous to the poor.
It is more blessed to give than to receive.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
As believers how are we to be generous to others? Today we want to share with you several Biblical directives about being generous to others.
God is a generous God who has given us everything we need and He calls on us to be generous to others.
Giving to the poor and the needy was a mandate given by God to Moses which he in turn was to give to the Israelites. At harvest time the Israelites were to leave the edges of their fields un-harvested to provide food for the needy.
In Galatians 2:10 we read that when Paul was beginning his ministry as an apostle to the Gentiles, the apostles James, Peter and John instructed him to remember the poor.
In Ephesians 4:28 Paul advises that we do something useful with our hands so that we are able to have something to share with those in need.
In Proverbs 25:21 we are told to feed our enemies if they are hungry. We are not inclined to be generous to our enemies and to do so is most difficult. Jesus tells us to love our enemies and do good to them as we are told in Luke 6:35.
In Philippians chapter four, Paul thanks the church at Philippi for their generosity in sending him aid when he was in need. In verse 18 Paul says that gifts to God's servants are "a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice pleasing to God."
As believers we are not only expected but commanded by our Lord to be generous to the poor and needy, to our enemies, and to God's servants.
Our parents trained us and constantly reminded us that God wanted us to be generous in helping the poor, the needy, our enemies and those who were God's servants. Our parents practiced what they preached to us. They were generous in their giving and this served as a great example to us. Just as God instructed Moses to teach the Israelites to be generous, we must teach our children to be generous. Children are naturally inclined to be selfish. They must be taught to share and be generous.
The scripture gives us some guidelines on being generous:
• When we give, we are to give in love. Love for the Lord and love for others should be what motivates our acts of generosity (I Corinthians 13:3).
• We are to give cheerfully because God loves a cheerful giver as recorded in II Corinthians 9:7.
• In Acts 11:29 we are first required to be generous to the poor and give according to our ability. The more God has blessed us with the more He requires of us. If God has blessed us with time, talent and or treasures we are to share these, based on what He has given us, to the needy, the poor, and our enemies and with those that serve Him in the ministry.
Finally, the scriptures tell us the blessings of being generous that we can expect when we give to those He requires us to give to. In Hebrews 13:16 we are told that when we give with sacrifice, God is well pleased. In Acts 20:35 (above), Paul tells us that when we are generous to others we will be blessed by God. Proverbs 11:25 says that being generous to others, enriches us and in I Timothy 6:17-19 we are told that we will be rewarded when we are generous and ready to share.
Our memory verse for this week is found in Mark 13:31.
Heaven and earth will pass away, but My Words will by no means pass away.
Thank You for the ability that You have given me to be generous with those who are in need today. Help me to be alert to the leading that Your Holy Spirit gives me today. May my family be known as a generous family that acknowledges that we have received so much from You that we cannot help but give and give even more back to others in Your name.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions
with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International,
and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship
development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family.
Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their
second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily
devotionals and is now available for only $10.
Ken & Dottie Phillips
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