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November 29 I Friday

Ezekiel 35-36

2 Peter 1

“This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.”   —2 Corinthians 9:12

 

When it comes to giving, our key understanding of it comes from our view of God because our giving is in the measure to which our hearts have connected with the giving nature of God. There are two ways we view God in relation to giving: a taker or a giver. If we see God as a taker, we feel He is incessantly demanding of our lives, our time, our possessions and our money. We assume God is always saying, “Give Me, give Me, give Me!” We may look to the needs of the world around us and infer God is saying, “Do more, do more, do more!” From the pressures to give and do more, some of us may feel a sense of guilt placed on our shoulders with what we are not doing, what we are not giving, what we should be doing and what we should be giving. But what if God is not a taker but a giver?

In Paul’s letter to the Corinthian church, he writes, “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you…” (2 Corinthians 9:8, NKJV). The word for “grace” means, “gift.” In other words, “God is able to make all gifts abound towards us.”

With the perspective of God as a giver bearing gifts, Paul elaborates, “And God is able to bless you abundantly....As it is written: ‘They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor’…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….And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you
(2 Corinthians 9:8-11, 14, emphasis added). Paul highlights throughout his writing that God blesses, scatters, supplies, enriches and gives. It is no wonder, in this classical chapter on giving in the Bible, we find that God is the great giver.

As Paul ends this section of his letter addressing giving, he concludes by saying, “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” (2 Corinthians 9:15). When we are enriched by God’s generosity towards us, our natural response is not only to give but also to be thankful. Our thanksgiving response may be to look at things that have taken place in our lives and simply say, “thank you.”

May our hearts overflow with generosity and thanksgiving because of the grace-giving God that we worship and how He will always be the great giver.

Prayer: God the Great Giver, thank You that Your grace abounds so deeply in me. You will always be the great giver. Overflow my heart with Your generosity to give. Praise You!


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