Blessed Beyond Measure

Proverb 22: 9              NIV

The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor.

For some, generosity seems to come naturally. Others of us struggle. I do not believe that this lack of generosity always stems from greed. Sure, some people are tight fisted because they want everything for themselves. They are, in fact, selfish. I think, though, that some of us are generous of heart but fearful. The truth is we are not as generous as we might be because we lack faith in our God and Father. We don’t truly believe He will take care of us. That is why we hold on so tightly.

I have seen much in the scriptures lately about giving and though I consider myself a pretty good giver, I have found myself challenged. I need to do more. One of the things Father has shown me is that sometimes I hold on so tightly to what I have that He can’t get more to me. The expression, tight-fisted, is apropos. My fist is clenched and that is what I present to the Father rather than a hand outstretched and open. He cannot give into a clenched fist.

I am convinced that anyone who really loves God and does a study of the scriptures cannot continue to horde their wealth. These believers give beyond the tithe. They constantly find ways to bless others. I love these folks because they continue to show me ways I can give and I am often overwhelmed by their goodness, which is one of God’s qualities. I am still living in the glow of the outpouring of gifts for the Multiple Sclerosis charity bike ride. Many of you showed the most tender part of your hearts in your giving.

If I may, I would also like to be so honest as to say, some gave nothing. I do not believe it is because they lack kindness. Some may have chosen other charities for the year. That’s fair. Others though, may suffer this depression era mentality that causes us to hold on too tightly to what we have. If that is you, I sympathize because I stumble over that line too. However, there is hope for us and I want us all to be blessed in the full measure that God desires.

Father, bless those people who so demonstrate your kindness in their own giving. Pour out upon them a blessing so large they cannot contain it. And Father, for those who have not become great givers yet, teach us by your gentle Holy Spirit that it is your way and part of our calling. Relieve us of fear and boost our faith in you and your provision. Give us stalwart hearts and bless our giving as you do those who have already learned this important lesson. Father, make us, everyone, givers beyond the ten percent tithe and Father, for those who have not yet learned to tithe, encourage them that this is your way of meeting their need. Give them extra faith in your Word. Challenge them to take this first step. Give us all hearts of the giver, Father that we might be like you, and I thank you for this and bless you in Jesus’ name. Amen.


Psalm 115: 15

May you be blessed of the Lord, maker of heaven and earth.

I have noticed that there is a new expression that has gained much popularity. It seems I hear it mostly on voicemail messages not actually spoken person to person. That expression? “Have a blessed day.”

It is a nice sentiment but at the same time can be pretty empty. I expect that the people who leave this on their voicemail message are very sincere about wishing you to be blessed; I hope they are anyway. But it is good to remind ourselves from where blessings come.

God is the source of all blessing, but we are the hands of the Lord here in the earth. So, although all good things come from above, it is through us that the Lord reaches out to others. And while it is nice to wish others a blessed day, let us not forget that we can effectuate that ourselves. You can be the one that ensures that they have a blessed day by blessing them.

Hasn’t Jesus taught us that it is not enough for us to just say to a hungry person, “Be fed.” He taught us to feed them. When we wish for someone to be fed or to be otherwise blessed aren’t we really saying that I hope someone will bless you today? Aren’t we really expecting the person’s blessed day to come through other people? Well, why should we wait for someone else to have the idea to bless them? It is already in our mind and on our tongue.

Additionally, hungry and homeless people aren’t the only persons needing blessing today. Everyone you see could use a blessing. Also, do some kind thing for someone wherein you have no benefit in the blessing. In other words, bless someone in a way that you are not also reaping a benefit. It is alright to have win/win situations, but we need to learn to do what is in the best interest of others even if it is not in our interest. How much of a blessing is it really if your blessing of someone else is reaping a benefit for you? You’ve got to ask yourself how true your motive is if that is a constant occurrence.

And lastly, become a giver. Let being a giver become part of your personality. Look for opportunities to bless others. Try to figure out a way every day to do something kind for someone. What if we all got in the habit of blessing one person a day? Wouldn’t that be something? We might start some kind of revolution. I think it could really have an impact on our communities. So, shall we start today? Find someone to bless. Do something kind; give to others. I guarantee that you will end up being the most blessed person of all.

Generous Growth

Proverb 11: 24 – 25

There is one who scatters, yet increases all the more and there is one who withholds what is justly due, but it results only in want. There generous man will be prosperous and he who waters will himself be watered.

How is it that the one who gives generously shall increase all the more while the person who hordes shall experience lack? It hardly makes sense. This, however, is the law of sowing and reaping that Jesus taught his disciples and is still teaching us today. This is how the Kingdom of God works. You cannot reap a harvest without putting some seed in the ground. When the Israelites were being fed in the desert by manna from heaven, they found that when they tried to store away extra, it rotted. That is what happens with our resources. I am all for saving but not at the cost of being tight fisted and stingy. The Kingdom goes to those who learn how to give.

I have noticed that the people who get the most disturbed about Christians and especially ministers having substance are those who are not givers. The reason might be that they simply do not have a revelation yet of how generous Father God is yet. They seem afraid to release anything that belongs to them. Once they find out that there is joy in giving then they will no longer be afraid of loss. Then, perhaps, they will not begrudge others having material wealth because they will understand two important principles. First, they will not fear that someone else having wealth means that they will somehow be deprived and second, they will understand that those people acquired their substance through their own generosity as the scripture says. Once we understand how the kingdom of God works and have experienced God’s generosity in our own lives then there really is no place for fear of lack or jealousy.

A House Well Built

Jeremiah 22: 13, 17

13 Woe to him who builds his house without righteousness and his upper rooms without justice, who uses his neighbors services without pay and does not give him his wages.
17 But your eyes and your heart are intent only upon your own dishonest gain.

What is this really about? It is about building our lives on virtue and righteousness. We are living in a time that is very much centered on the individual. Our society tells us to get all we can for ourselves. We are actually taught to be very self-centered and greedy. And just look at the economic trouble that ideology is causing all of us right now. God wants us to have nice things but he does not want our gain to come off of the misused labors of others. God is a giver, not a taker. He wants us to behave as He does. When He wants something, He sows a seed. He gives his way into what he desires. He sowed His only child and got back many sons and daughters. That is how His kingdom works. Let us build our lives on the same principles God uses. Rather than using people for our gain and our purposes, let us bless those around us; building our house in righteousness rather than selfishness.