Theme of the Week: The Goodness of Generosity
Bible Verse: “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.” 2 Corinthians 8:9
Scripture Reading: John 13:34-35
“How much?” After a week of generosity devotionals, it’s time to face this pertinent question. To put it simply, it’s the wrong question.
A female teacher had a student whose father was deceased and whose mother an addict. The teacher first gave extra help, then a lunch… on it went until she was the one he went to at Christmas and later called ‘Mom’. That wasn’t in her job description. She didn’t have to give that much, but that’s what love can look like.
A lady was walking through Central Park with her friend. Little did she know it was a set-up. The boyfriend had flown out and was sitting on a bench, ready to pop the question. He didn’t have to propose like that, but that’s what love can look like.
A daughter devoted several years to caring for her elderly parent. The child became the parent, and delighted in her aging father. Schedules were changed, money spent; all of it gladly done to honor the one who’d helped to give her life. She didn’t have to, but that’s what love can look like.
The Apostle Paul masterfully navigates the “how much” question while fundraising for the poor in Jerusalem. He opens with a moving testimony, telling the Corinthian church how poverty-gripped Macedonian Christians “urgently pleaded” to chip in and gave beyond their ability. They didn’t have to, but that’s what love can look like.
Next, Paul says generosity is a test of our love. If some version of Central Park proposals, aging parent care, and extra help for students never bubbles up in our lives, we probably don’t love much.
Finally, Paul writes, “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich.” (2 Corinthians 8:9)
Look at how Jesus loves you. Stop, don’t pass go… look again. Then start giving. Look again at Christ, marvel at His love, then return to giving. Repeat that cycle like a broken record and see where you end up.
Prayer: Lord, make your love more real to me. The Psalmist says, “your beauty and love follow me all the days of my life” (Psalm 23) – help me see! Then help me love as you do. Amen.
Reflection: Think about the difference between primarily asking “how much should I give” and what was suggested above.
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