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Posts Tagged ‘reward’

An Abounding Life

September 9th, 2016

EDL sowing and reaaping                  

Whatever good toward God or man will be returned from God’s own hand.

“Whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord.” Ephesians 6:8 NKJV.

 

 

My thoughts and comments today are about “an abounding life.”

There is a simple lesson in life. What you do and say, whether good or bad, eventually comes back to you in some form of either kindness or distress. Because you feel like speaking or behaving in a certain way does not mean that you should. When you give and what you give determine what you will receive. Therefore, it would only be wise to consider carefully the effect of what you do or say before doing so.

Solomon wisely observed, “Your reward depends on what you say and what you do; you will get what you deserve.” Proverbs 12:14 TEV. Now that can be either encouraging or terrifying. It’s great to know that God rewards goodness; It is not so comforting to realize that He does not spare you the bitter fruit of wrongdoing. The Bible calls that sowing and reaping: “For he who sows to the flesh will of the flesh reap corruption. He who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.” Galatians 6:7-10 NKJV. Whenever you are not reaping enough, you are not sowing enough. 2 Corinthians 9:6-11 NIV.

As a child, I remember my grandfather McGinness saying, “God will be no man’s debtor.” I have come to understand what he meant by that. A simple rhyme comes to mind: “Whatever good toward God or man, will be returned from God’s own hand.” My grandfather had learned that whatever good is done, toward God or man, will be returned with added blessing from God, in one way or another at one time or another. God lets no good go unrewarded, however unnoticed by others. Your return may not always come from an expected source, but your reward always comes from the true Source of all that is good. God uses whom He chooses to do His work.

Here’s the practical lesson in this. Never hesitate to do what is right or to deal generously when you can; those opportunities come your way with God’s promise of blessing and enrichment. Conversely, never do what you know is wrong, nor withhold what you know is due, however small or secret that may at first appear. Solomon was specific. “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is the power of your hand to do so.” Proverbs 3:27 NLT. There is a moral law. Good comes from the good you do or the grace God gives.

You can count this to be true, “Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does.” Ephesians 6:7-8 NKJV. You may not realize the connection with a previous occasion at that moment, but God does, and remembers and rewards accordingly.

Today, I pray for you to do good freely and receive reward extravagantly.

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You may be receiving “Abounding Life” twice, we were notified that the majority of readers did not receive this devotional because of a server error. We want to provide this devotional for those who did not receive it. We apologize for that. Know that much time and effort has been invested in rectifying this technical problem. We trust the error has been corrected. And watch your Monday email for my thoughts on, “Living Passionately.” Spiritual life weakens when passion lessens.

Christian Communications 2016

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Liberality

April 1st, 2016

“He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.” Proverbs 11:25 NIV.

Generosity has gratitude as its source.

My thoughts and comments today are about, “liberality.”

On a particular occasion, Gayle and I were with friends. To each other, we commented on their effortless generosity. They were not trying to be generous; they aren’t required to be generous; they just live generously. We recognized those friends consistently evidence a generous heart – a heart much like God’s heart, joyfully absorbed with giving of themselves to serve others. As we drove away from our time with them, I said to Gayle, only partially in jest, “When I grow up, I want to be generous just like that.” With so many models in my life, and especially Gayle’s example, I should be better at this by now.

Let me share what I am learning. Giving is not from what you have, but from sharing what you are willing not to have. From God’s Word and example, you can learn to nurture a lifestyle that is consistently gracious and generous. I heard a minister instruct his congregation, “Give ‘till it hurts.” It is more productive to give until it stops hurting.

Generosity has gratitude as its source. Be grateful to God and others for all you have been given. When you struggle to be generous, the source is inadequate gratitude. There is an undeniable relationship between your amazed gratefulness to God and your consistent expression of generosity to others.

Generosity is rarely natural. Each of us is more naturally inclined to want to receive, rather than to give. Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive. Acts 20:35 NIV. A growing, giving heart comes as you choose who you should be, not what is natural to be.

Generosity requires practice. Giving is an acquired skill that you develop by consistently choosing to be generous. “They should be rich in good works and should give generously to those in need, always being ready to share with others whatever God has given them.” 1 Tim 6:18 NLT.

Generosity recognizes everything comes from God and belongs to Him. At the heart of generosity is the truth that, “God gives us richly all things to enjoy.” 1 Timothy 6:17. You and I are not possessors, just stewards of what belongs to and comes from God. One day you and I will account for how we have served Him and others with the things and opportunities He provided us. Generosity is just a good and Godly practice.

Generosity is its own reward, to be practiced with grace and humility. “One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.” Proverbs 11:24-25 NIV.

Today, I pray for you to practice generosity at every opportunity.

Christian Communications 2016

www.facebook.com/everydaylife.allenrandolph

Generosity

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The Generous Life

May 5th, 2015

“Good people will be generous to others and will be blessed for all they do.” Isaiah 32:8 NLT.

Give with the quality and quantity you would welcome in return.

My thoughts and comments today are about “the generous life.”

The Bible establishes an inexplicable occurrence: the more genuinely you give, the more extravagantly you are given. Read Jesus’ words thoughtfully. “Stop judging others, and you will not be judged. Stop criticizing others, or it will all come back on you. If you forgive others, you will be forgiven. If you give, you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use in giving – large or small – it will be used to measure what is given back to you.” Luke 6:37-38 NLT. Both good and ill will are reciprocal.

By your benevolence, or lack thereof, you choose the measure of generosity with which God gives back to you through others. That being true, when you knowingly withhold what you are capable of supplying, your soul is a bit more impoverished. Solomon wrote, “The world of the generous gets larger and larger; the world of the stingy gets smaller and smaller. The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped.” Proverbs 11:24-25 MSG.

The Scriptural and spiritual principle is simple. Give with the quality and quantity you desire to be receive; similarly, do not give a lesser quality or quantity than you would welcome in return. The principles of multiplication and reciprocation are inevitable and unvarying. Generosity rewards generosity; miserliness repays miserliness.

Reading Jesus’ words, you might first assume His reference to be only about money. In reality, Jesus’ words addressed the widest range of mutual interactions, much broader than financial giving or receiving. “A generous man devises generous things, and by generosity he shall stand.” Isaiah 32:8. Among the assortment of charitable expressions, money may be the lesser gift. When I think of people who have shown me generosity, I think of less tangible gifts like affirmation, appreciation, assistance, gratitude, kindness, encouragement, support, companionship, and so much more.

(1) Choose to give liberally because of how much you have been given. “He who did not spare His Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not, with Him, also freely give us all things . . Give as freely as you have received.” Romans 8:32 NIV/Matthew 10:8 NLT.

(2) Give without regard for return because it is the right thing to do. “Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely, who conducts his affairs with justice.” Psalm 112:5 NIV. I remember my Dad saying, God will be no man’s debtor. “You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.” 2 Corinthians 9:11 NIV.

Today, I pray that your life will be blessed and you will be a blessing to others.

EDL pix graphic 2 generosity

 

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The Joy of Generosity

February 17th, 2015

”He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.” Proverbs 11:25 NIV.

Generosity blesses the recipient and enriches the giver.

My thoughts and comments today are about “the joy of generosity.”

EDL pix generositySome years ago my friend, Harold, piqued my interest with these words, “What you make happen for others, God will make happen for you.” That is a Biblical principle affirmed in both Old and New Testaments. If you need encouragement, find others to encourage. If you need friendship, be a friend to those who need a friend. There is always someone whose need is greater than yours. Give out of your own need until you can give out of your surplus. “Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does.” Ephesian 6:8 NIV. Be the one who meets the needs of others, and God will be the One who meets yours.

Those times when your generosity seems not to be noticed or reciprocated, remember your reward comes from God, not man. And God keeps immaculate records. “God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them.” Hebrews 6:10 NIV. I remember my grandfather saying, “God will be no man’s debtor.” God counts every benevolence as generosity toward Him. Jesus described a day when everyone will stand before God as their generosity or lack thereof is reviewed. “Come you who are blessed by My Father . . Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” Read Matthew 25:31-41 NIV.

Know this; liberality enriches you, leaving you with more not less. Generosity blesses the recipient and enriches the giver. “One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.” Proverbs 11:24-25 NIV. You may think that you cannot afford to be generous; the truth is that you cannot afford to not be generous. “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 with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38 NIV. Generosity opens your life to the abundance of God while enriching the lives of others. I suggest that some measure of a person’s lack may even be the result of how little they give, rather than how little they have. “Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'” Acts 20:35.

Liberality is a lifestyle issue. “As you abound in everything – in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all diligence, and in your love for us – see that you abound in this grace (of giving) also.” 2 Corinthians 8:7. Generosity is not only about money and things, it is about a lifestyle of generosity – in your words to and about others, offering encouragement, being positive, and giving praise – in a lifestyle of unrestrained expression for others’ kindness – by consideration and thoughtfulness where it would not be expected – in helpfulness through giving your time or lending a helping hand – and by tolerance and forgiveness for others’ shortcomings.

“Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously . . for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work . . so that you can be generous on every occasion.” Read 2 Corinthians 9:6-11 NIV. See Galatians 6:7-10 NIV. In the time of harvest the work and weariness of sowing is never regretted.

Today, my prayer for you is that what you make happen for others, God will make happen for you.

Christian Communications, Inc.

(Bible verses are NKJV unless noted)

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Trust and Confidence

July 22nd, 2014

“He who began a good work in you will complete it.” Philippians 1:6 NKJV.

Self-confidence will fail but confidence in God is well placed.

My thoughts and comments today are about “trust and confidence.”

Confidence is essential for happiness and success. It is easy to admire those folk who seemingly go through life with calm self-assurance, having neither hesitation nor doubt. In reality, they are more like you and me than they may at first appear. They may have learned to manage emotions and measure responses, or have not yet faced serious challenges to their self-reliance. The Bible gives you wise counsel, “And we have such trust through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God.” 2 Corinthians 3:4-5 NKJV. Self-confidence will fail at inopportune times.

Some people, even the best of them, may disappoint you – some unintentionally, a few others even intentionally upon occasion. “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.” Psalm 118:8 NKJV. Trust conveys the idea: “to put your weight upon.” See Proverbs 25:19 NLT. You would not rest your weight upon a broken cane; you would not sit upon a broken chair. Your confidence is no stronger than the foundation upon which it trusts.

Be prepared; there will be times and things in life that rattle your confidence. Confidence is rightly placed on a sure and always trustworthy foundation. Your confidence can rest assured on this unfailing foundation: the Word of God and the character of God.

One of my favorite hymns confesses, “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame but wholly lean on Jesus’ name. On Christ the solid rock I stand. All other ground is sinking sand.” (The Solid Rock/Edward Mote and William B. Bradbury). “Blessed are all those who put their trust in [God] . . Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him.” Psalm 2:12 NKJV/Jeremiah 17:7 NIV. Whatever the test or circumstance of the moment, you can be confident when you place your trust in God and His Word. They are unchanging.

The Apostle Paul knew where his confidence could rest securely, “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6 NKJV. I love that Jesus is identified as, “The Author and Finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2 NKJV), and “the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End.” (Revelation 21:6 NKJV). You and I begin much more than we conclude successfully, growing weary in the process or simply finding we do not possess the resources, experience, knowledge, abilities, or determination. What God begins, He completes. On Him you can depend. See 1 John 5:14-15 NAS.

Confidence in God is well placed. Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise.” Hebrews 10:35-36 NKJV. See also Hebrews 4:16 NIV.

Today, my prayer for you is that you trust completely and rest securely in God.

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