Updated: Mar 23
FURTHER THOUGHTS IN DEUTERONOMY: INTANGIBLE GENEROSITY I wanted to take a moment and share some further thoughts that have been sort of “rolling around” in my head since this past Sunday. On Sunday, in our study in Deuteronomy, we spent time together looking at Deuteronomy 14:22-29. We spent time discussing the call of God upon His people, both then and now, to be a people who give. To be a people who embrace the practice of regularly giving of their goods and resources to the Lord and to others, SO THAT we “may learn to fear the Lord our God always” (vs 23) and that He “may bless us in all the work of our hands that we do” (vs 29). We give to remember that it is the Lord Who provides for us, not ourselves, and to remember that the Lord has blessed us to bless others. As we open our hands, God opens our hearts to the truth that “from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen” (Romans 11:36), and that we have been “enriched in every way to be generous in every way” (2 Cor 9:6). Now, on Sunday, we mainly discussed this in regards to our goods and resources; in regards to our “things.” Then, toward the end of our service, Jean Holt led us in a prayer. It was a prayer of reflection. A prayer asking God to show us places in our lives where we may be holding on too tightly. Were there places where we needed to practice opening our hands? And she took us to a place beyond just our tangible, physical things. Beyond just the things we can see, but also to the things we can’t see. Beyond the tangible, to the intangible. For example, for her, it was her time. Friends, I have been thinking about this prayer time since. Personally, it has challenged me in a very good way. Since then, I have been asking myself, “what does it look like to consider the passage above, that is 2 Corinthians 9:6, in regards to ‘my things’ that I cannot see?” Let me explain. That passage says, “You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way.” What does that look like when thinking about things like my time? What does that look like when thinking about things like forgiveness? What does that look like when thinking about things like grace and mercy? God has blessed us with all of these things and more in His Son, Jesus Christ (Eph 1:3). Furthermore, His Spirit is actively growing His fruit within us, fruit like love, joy, peace, and so on. (Gal 5:22-23). God has “enriched” us in these ways to then be “generous” in these ways. What does that look like, and more than that, how can I regularly practice this generosity?
“YOU WILL BE ENRICHED IN EVERY WAY TO BE GENEROUS IN EVERY WAY.” 2 CORINTHIANS 9:6
As I have considered this, I am realizing more and more of how close-fisted I can be when it comes to these things. Especially when I consider those closest to me, my beautiful wife and children. Specifically, I see my lack of generosity with things like grace and patience. Consequently, I am remembering more and more the great grace and patience God has shown me through the years. I am remembering the unending grace and patience of our Good Shepherd. This sheep has required much patience and grace, I assure you, and He has not been close fisted toward me, instead quite the opposite. He has had an open hand; so much so that His open hand was pierced for me. O, His generosity to me! He has blessed me and now calls me to do the same. But I need His help. So, I’m asking His Spirit to grow His fruit within me and to open my eyes to opportunities to be generous; to think intentionally of practices that I can put in place that will position me to give in this way. Anyway, friends, that’s me. How about you? How is God calling you? To pick up where Jean left off from Sunday, where is God calling you to open your hand, so that He can open your heart and the hearts of others more and more to Him. He has called us to be a generous people in all the ways that He has so generously blessed us, both with the tangible and the intangible.
WHERE IS GOD CALLING YOU TO OPEN YOUR HAND, SO THAT HE CAN OPEN YOUR HEART AND THE HEARTS OF OTHERS MORE AND MORE TO HIM.