Putting Others First
By, Toni Smothers
Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 8:9-14
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Scripture Quote: Acts 20:35 (NIV) “In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"
A generous person, who has plenty, finds joy in opportunities to help another who may have a need. The person with little, however, isn't always joyous over being obliged to live off the bounty of another - It may pain him to receive what the other offers. That might seem strange, but in many cases it is true. So it seems that joy, respect and compassion need to be extended along with the gift, because it really is the pleasure of the giver to help another.
If God has granted you abundance, it seems only natural to use affluence for less than selfish purposes, especially for the benefit of fellow believers and those actively working in the ministry. Being hospitable is a virtue very similar to generosity - Both really means providing for another in distress or need of some kind. The gospel promotes generosity as synonymous with the Christian lifestyle. Remember also that the day may come that your circumstance can change. You might need the charitable help from another. Imagine the humiliation of accepting help from a begrudged donor. Don’t give with a closed fist, but with an open hand of grace.
Today’s meditation: Wrap your gifts joyfully, in kindness and love.
Memory Verse: “Share with the Lord's people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” Romans 12:13 (NIV)
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