Giving

It’s What You Give

Jesus does not give us gifts, talents, and resources merely to spend them on ourselves. He gives them to us so that we will use them to expand His kingdom and to meet the needs of others – especially fellow believers (1 Corinthians 12:4-7; Galatians 6:9-10).

Commentary from the Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Bible, 2d ed., notes for Luke 12:48.

How to Make a Difference

The Lord has given believers an amazing responsibility – He has called them to accomplish His work here on earth. How remarkable that God Almighty, who can do all things, invites us to participate in drawing people to Him, helping His children reach spiritual maturity, and caring for those in need. Being a servant of the Lord means we put ourselves under His authority, listen to His instructions, and carry out His commands. In our own strength, this task is impossible, but when we defer to God and rely on Him, He supplies everything we need.

The Father always equips His children. He begins by developing Christlike character within us. Then, as we cooperate with His Spirit, God transforms a self-centered heart into the heart of a servant who delights in meeting others’ needs. And the Lord also bestows the spiritual gift needed for the specific work He’s appointed each believer to do.

The invitation is issued; the strength and ability are provided. All that is needed are some willing servants to participate in the most exciting adventure on earth. Join with the Lord in His work, use your spiritual gifts, and make an impact for Christ in this world.

Commentary from the In Touch devotional by Charles Stanley, November 25, 2020.

Untold

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That’s a LOT of books.  Innumerable I suppose.  Why did Jesus do all of those things?  It was not for His own glory, according to John 8:50.  It was love and compassion.  That’s a lot of love!

What about your books, about the things you’ve done to show God that you love Him?  We know that we do not earn anything by the things we do.  We can show God our love for Him though, through those things.  What things?  First, several times in John, Jesus states that those who love Him will keep His word-obey Him.  What else can we do?  Love our neighbors-at every opportunity.  Just as God cares for you, he cares for your neighbor just the same.  It’s easy.  Small acts of kindness matter to God-even a cup of cold water (Matthew 10:42).  “They do well and wisely who give the ‘cup of cold water’ whenever they have opportunity…This is to have the mind of Christ.”  (J.C. Ryle, in Expository Thoughts on the Gospels).

I don’t have much, in fact, I feel like I have nothing to give.  Well, that’s OK to, according to God.  “So the Lord said to him, ‘What is that in your hand?'” (Exodus 4:2).  Moses really only had a staff.  He accomplished quite a bit with that staff, with God.  “Little is much if God is in it.” (Barbara Fairchild).  We can ask every morning, if we don’t already, “God what do you have for me to do today?”  What an incomparable honor and privilege it is to partner with God.

Rescue

This is a true story.  This, again, is Muffin.  How she ended up as my pet is a story I would like to tell you.  It happened about three or four years ago.  I was taking a break from working in my yard in extremely high heat, and was sitting on my front porch which is shaded.  Out of the corner of my eye I saw something moving in the middle of the busy road I live on, a few houses down.  It was so tiny I couldn’t make out exactly what it was.  I could only see that it was in the very center of the road.  I decided to get closer if I could, at least to figure out what it was.  I walked down about two doors to look, and saw that it was a very tiny kitten.  I wasn’t even sure if it was old enough to be weaned yet.

I also noticed that this tiny creature was basically…strutting, and seemed extremely happy.  Think…the character the baby in Baby’s Day Out book.  Well, obviously, this tiny kitten was not aware that she was in the center of a busy street.  We get a lot of traffic from people using the street to cut through to get to other areas, and they usually drive fast.  I picked the kitten up and set it on the curb, and started back to my porch.  Before I got there, I turned around to check and the kitten was already back in the center of the road.  I repeated my safety technique, gave her a talking to, and headed back to my porch.  Again, she was in the center of the street within seconds.  Three times I moved her, but she really liked being in the center of the road for whatever reason.  I picked her up and brought her to my porch and we sat there, observing each other, trying to determine whether we were going to be okay or not.  I let her stay, I shared my home.

There’s more to the story-minor details like vet visits, because she was not in good condition, even though she hadn’t been around very long.  Another part of the story I skipped was her trying to make friends with a dog that was trying to make her a dinner that day in the middle of the street.  She likes dogs, a lot!  I also checked with everyone on my street, no one knew where she came from.  She is the gentlest creature I have ever been in the presence of.  She was created by God, and so she is beautiful.  She is so perfect in appearance and disposition that she is almost therapeutic to be around.  It’s not so much a cat that I’m admiring, but rather I’m in constant awe of God’s work.  What I would like to leave you with is this-share what you have, and be kind always, really, it is to your own benefit.  That day, a kitten wasn’t the only one rescued.

Half full? Half empty?

Which is it?  We’re told we have one view or the other in regard to life, everything.  SO what’s your perspective?  Do you view the world around you, your own life, the future and the past with rosy glasses or with those really dark shades?  Is there another perspective?  A better one?  (Is that too many questions?!)  I personally think there are lots of them.  How about these, for example:  Do not judge, and you will not be judged.  Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned.  Forgive, and you will be forgiven.  Give, and it will be given to you; a good measure-pressed down, shaken together, and running over-will be poured into your lap.  For the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.

Luke 6:37-38

That’s sounds a lot better than ‘half full’, or ‘half empty’ to me.

P.S. the glass is overflowing 😉

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Also, I do this all of the time, because I don’t have an ice maker, I get tired of buying ice, and I don’t use my ice trays because they were more trouble than they’re worth.  I fill a glass half way with water and set it in the freezer.  Once it’s frozen I just add strong tea (so it’s not too diluted) or water, and let it melt.  It always looks interesting 🙂