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Week 44 | Give Generously

When I was in high school, I would drive my teammates around in my small Nissan Sentra. Imagine 5 or 6 tall basketball players trying to pack into a small car; it was like an old-school clown show.

One of my teammates would always buy a small bag of 0.25 chips, and when he would open the bag, he would offer some to everyone in the car before he took his own first bite. That was something that really stood out to me. He was willing to give to others before he gave to himself.

One day, we pulled up on a homeless man at a street corner, and he rolled his window down and gave the man some money. When I asked him why, all the man was going to do was probably buy alcohol, my friend said, "It's not my job to determine what he does with the money or to judge him for what he does with it; my job is just to give."

We are called to give generously.

In his 2nd letter to the Corinthians, Paul wrote this about the churches in Macedonia, "They are being tested by many troubles, and they are very poor. But they are also filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed in rich generosity. For I can testify that they gave not only what they could afford, but far more. And they did it of their own free will. They begged us again and again for the privilege of sharing in the gift for the believers in Jerusalem. They even did more than we had hoped, for their first action was to give themselves to the Lord and to us, just as God wanted them to do."

They gave themselves first to God, then they gave what they had to others, and they did it while not having much and while they were going through their own struggles. When I am struggling, and when I don't have a lot, the last thing I am thinking about is giving away the last of what I do have.

Maybe if we start with God and give him our time, our energy, and our love, H will make sure we have more than what we need to take care of ourselves and then still give plenty to others.

Paul then wrote, "Since you excel in so many ways - in your father, your gifted speakers, your knowledge, your enthusiasm, and your love from us - I want you to excel also in this gracious act of giving."

The challenge Paul has for the people he is writing to is not to just give but to excel at it.

Paul later wrote in Galatians 6:9: A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

We all have blessings. We can either be selfish and hold on to those blessings, or we can share them with the world.

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