We were newlyweds, crazy in love but poorer than church mice, working a combined three jobs to cover our school loans, rent, utilities, and other expenses. Little remained for frills, no money for extravagant weekend dates, restaurant meals, or even a proper honeymoon. So imagine my surprise opening the refrigerator door upon arriving home after a long day at work and finding that it was LOADED! No exaggeration, it was loaded! Fresh fruits, meats, cheese! Grapes! I hadn’t seen a grape in months (that MAY BE an exaggeration). One fact was obvious, crystal clear: my mom had donned her Super Lady cape and swooped into our little abode, and left in her wake a huge blessing!
I was raised under the kind hand of a generous, giving momma. A daughter of the Great Depression and a widow for most of her years, she was never wealthy according to the world’s standards, but God had given her a propensity for compassionate, liberal giving. I had witnessed it time-and-time again, as she used her own limited supply to meet the needs of others in her small realm of influence. What an example of love and compassion she was!
The apostle Paul was planning a trip to Jerusalem. He would be bearing a precious gift to those believers residing within the walls of that blessed city of God. Those saints in Jerusalem, mostly Jewish, were in need; they were poor, barely surviving, under intense persecution. The Gentile churches at Macedonia and Achaia were made aware of that pressing need. They had two choices before them, apathy or action. They pondered how gracious God had been to them, opening the doors of salvation to the Gentiles, making them “partakers of…spiritual things.” If God had so blessed them so deeply, did they not bear the “duty…to minister unto…them (their fellow believers at Jerusalem)?”
These Macedonian believers had met the prerequisite of giving, for they had surrendered their own lives to Christ, they “…first gave their own selves to the Lord,” and now they would enjoy the pleasure of “…ministering to the saints.” (II Corinthians 8) Giving is a natural outflow of salvation, as we humbly consider the fact that, because of the sacrifice of Christ for our sin at Calvary, we belong to Him, and all that we are and all that we have are also His.
Has your hand of generosity blessed someone recently? Watch and pray for opportunities to be used by God to bless others, either financially, perhaps through the gift of your time, or by passing on a small, unpretentious gift to let someone know that you love them. God promises that “The liberal soul shall prosper, and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.” Not only will that generous act boomerang into blessings upon you own life, but it also pleases your Father beyond measure. Allow your mind to ponder the marvelous free gift that is yours through Christ and afford Him the opportunity to use you to come to that aid of someone else, even if it is a through a simple gift of grapes.
II Corinthians 9:7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
Father, You love a cheerful giver; that pleases You because it is a reflection of all that You have given to us. Please help me to always have an open hand and an open heart.<div class='sharedaddy sd-block sd-like jetpack-likes-widget-wrapper jetpack-likes-widget-unloaded' id='like-post-wrapper-164683012-682-6571d8c098862' data-src='https://widgets.wp.com/likes/#blog_id=164683012&post_id=682&origin=wp.blog.blog.grandmasgleanings.com&obj_id=164683012-682-6571d8c098862' data-name='like-post-frame-164683012-682-6571d8c098862' data-title='Like or Reblog'><h3 class="sd-title">Like this:</h3><div class='likes-widget-placeholder post-likes-widget-placeholder' style='height: 55px;'><span class='button'><span>Like</span></span> <span class="loading">Loading...</span></div><span class='sd-text-color'></span><a class='sd-link-color'></a></div>