Friday, June 6, 2014

Lessons They Taught Me On Generous Liberal Giving_Part 2

In my last blog post, I shared the first part of the Lessons I learnt from generous liberal givers in the Bible. The comments and feedback I got from families and friends were overwhelming. In today’s post, I will start with the lessons I learnt from the Ultimate generous and liberal Giver—the Lord God Almighty, the Giver of life, hope and all good things.

There are many reasons for doing so. Let me share two here:

-          On Monday, June 2, I celebrated one year of my brand new life. Life without external support for breathing, life without compressed oxygen blasting into my nostrils and its hissing sound in my ears, and life without the encumbrances of oxygen bottles, concentrators and reservoirs. This is because God gave me a second chance at living life to the full and to the overflowing. I simply can never thank God enough for this, even if I spend every breath I breathe praising God.
-          For seven years, my siblings and I, and our spouses prayed and interceded over an intractable family issue. At some stage, things went from bad to worse and we could not see light at the end of tunnel, save with the eyes of faith. We knew without a doubt that it would take God’s direct intervention to turn the situation around. The answer to our prayers began to unfold in March. To the glory of God, we saw the full manifestation of the answered prayers last night. It is a dream come true and far beyond our wildest imagination.

God, the Ultimate Generous Giver:
God delights in blessing His children. He does it with unmatched excellence. He is the Giver of good gifts. Every good and perfect gift, and all generous acts come from God, the Father of heavenly lights, in whom there is no variableness or shadow of turning. He is unchanging and there are no alterations in Him or His ways of doing things.

He gives us all good things to enjoy. There is nothing too small or too big to ask of God. My mother read Bedtime Stories to us when I was a little child. I learnt from these stories how to pray about everything and to ask God for whatever my heart desires. The story of a little girl who lost her penny and prayed to God until she found it left an indelible mark in my memory. It taught me that God cares so much about everything that concerns us and there is no minute detail of our lives that does not concern Him or any sphere of our lives where we cannot experience His liberal generosity.

Having such a generous liberal God as my Father, tells me that I also have generosity and liberal giving as components of my DNA. I cannot but be a generous liberal in the image of my Father. We derive the grace and ability to give from the Ultimate Giver. His giving are as diverse as the expanse of His creation. He gives without holding back (see Give Without Holding Back). He is the epitome of giving. It behoves me, who has been given so much, to give back as generously as He gives me the grace.

I learnt from my Father that giving must be with delight and joy. It must be done with a high standard of excellence. I learnt that there is no need too small or insignificant, or too big for us to respond to. God responds with delight to all our needs.

The Women Who Supported Jesus Ministry:
Jesus went from town to town, from village to village, preaching God’s Kingdom and spreading the Message. The twelve disciples were with Him. There were also some women in their company who had been healed of various afflictions and illnesses. Mary Magdalene, from whom seven demons were casted out; Joanna, wife of Chuza, Herod’s manager; and Susanna—along with many others (Luke 8:1-3).

These women used their personal resources to minister Jesus and His disciples, and to provide for their needs. They helped to support the ministry with their personal belongings and out of their own means. These women had been forgiven much, they have been delivered from much and they have received much blessing from Jesus. Their response was positive. They were eager to be of service for the Kingdom and to use their resources for the glory of God.

They showed their gratitude to God for what has been done for them by giving generously. Two things struck me about these women:

        Though we know that Joanna is likely to be a woman of means, her husband being the manager of Herod’s household, but we don’t know anything about Susanna nor the financial means of Mary. I want to believe that these women worked hard to ensure that they have the means to support the ministry.
-          Whatever the source and magnitude of their resources, they did not hold back. They gave out of a grateful heart. And their names were immortalized for their generous giving.

The Bible says that God will generously provide all we need. So that we will always have everything we need and have plenty left over to share with others (2Corinthians 9:8). I have a sure promise that I will be enriched in every way so that I can always be generous. And when my gifts get to those who need them, it will result in praise and thanks being given to God.

The righteous gives without sparing or holding back (Proverbs 21:26). I know from the word of God that anyone who is stingy when it comes to the agenda of the Kingdom of God, cannot operate in the fullness of God’s grace. I also know that God loves it when the giver delights in the giving just as God delights in giving to us.

Here’s my declaration:

“I am a giver. I have the DNA of generosity and liberal giving. I am endued with grace to be a giver and a dispenser of good. I am a giver because I carry the blessings of God in my life.”

Here’s my prayer:

Thank You so much, dear God, for all You have done for me. I ask You to open my eyes to see the best ways I can be of service to You and to the body of Christ. Grant me the grace to use every gift, skills and talent You blessed me with to touch lives for good and for Your glory.

Dear Friends, are you a recipient of God’s rich blessing? Is your giving with delightful joy? What is your declaration? Share with us and let us encourage one another.

In the concluding part coming next blog post, I will share lessons I learnt from David, Queen of Sheba, Barzallai and the little boy who gave his lunch.

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