Posted in GIVING

Give Generously

“But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand. We are foreigners and strangers in your sight, as were all our ancestors. Our days on earth are like a shadow, without hope. Lord our God, all this abundance that we have provided for building you a temple for your Holy Name comes from your hand, and all of it belongs to you.” (1 Chronicles 29:14–16, NIV)

We can take to heart the remarks King David made as he neared the end of his life. David summarizes exactly what our situation is, and the perspective we should have.

He acknowledges that God is the source of all wealth. Everything comes from God, and any giving we do is returning what has come from his hand. 

But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.” (Deuteronomy 8:18, NIV) 

If we have monetary wealth, we must remember that God gave us the ability to produce it. There is nothing for us to be “proud” about.

In God’s sight we are strangers and foreigners in this world. David reminds us of this truth, telling us our citizenship is in heaven. Furthermore, he reminds us that our earthly life is like a shadow. Our time bubble can pop at any time, landing us in eternity, a totally different paradigm with values foreign to the world we now inhabit.

David reiterates the truth that everything comes from God and belongs to God. This is a difficult concept; many people believe that everything they have belongs to them, and they can do anything they want with it. 

Wise people conclude that King David’s words in today’s scripture passage are still true today. We come to the King with a willing mind, generously helping to build the body of Christ by extending others the opportunity to begin a personal relationship with him.

Today, ask yourself: 

In what ways does my view of giving parallel that of King David?

Posted in Christian

Choose Today Whom You Shall Serve: God? Idols?

We live in a free world as many say, but that freedom should not in any case present us with an option of having other gods besides the Most High God- Yahweh.

I wonder even more when I see youth, to be precise, making their girlfriends or boyfriends priorities and forgetting about God. It sounds even worse when others make their passions more valuable to them than their creator. They dedicate all their time, faithfulness and commitment to human beings, or even inanimate objects! It pains the more when we human beings value our money and material possessions more than the God who created us. All these are vanity, they shall pass away as the bible says, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” (Matthew 24:35, NIV)

Have we forgotten that He is a jealous God? Have we forgotten His commandments that we should not have any other gods beside Him? Or does it simply make no sense to us?

“…You shall have no other gods before me. “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.  You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God…”

-Exodus 20: 3-5

Has God not declared a great punishment and curse over those who hate Him? Those who worship gods and idols which they’ve made with their own hands?

“… punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments…”

-Exodus 20: 5-6

It is time for us to make a choice- whether to live for God and Him alone or to live for the gods we think are more powerful and important than our creator. It is high time we choose whether to go spiritual or to continue living in the carnality of this world; whether to go for His will or to live satisfying our imperfect human will- desires and envies; whether to value the eternal life He has offered to us through Faith in Jesus Christ or to continue living this temporary life and end up in hell; whether to live by commitment to him and serve Him wholeheartedly or serve him at our own convenience. We have to make this choice. But as for me, I will serve the Lord God with commitment.

 “…But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”-Joshua 24:15

Posted in LOVE AND COMMUNITY

This Word Love…

In his many books and lectures the great educator, Leo Buscaglia showed us time and again how the love of just one person can change a life and change the world. I remember especially his story about the noted psychologist, Dr. Skeels.

In the early 20th century orphaned children were often warehoused in badly understaffed institutions where they received little if any attention or love. At one time Dr. Skeels took 12 of these orphaned children and let them be cared for, a few hours each day, by mentally retarded adolescent girls at a nearby institution. He also studied 12 other children who were left in the orphanage all day long. He followed these children until adulthood and the results he found were shocking. Of the 12 children left all day in the orphanage without love and attention all were either dead, in institutions for the mentally retarded or in institutions for the mentally ill. Of the 12 children cared for and loved by the mentally retarded teenage girls all were self-supporting, most had graduated high school, and all were happily married. The only difference in the lives of these children had been the love of one person.

God loves us all so much and His greatest wish is for us to love each other as well. Let us never forget then just how vital our love can be to another. Patrick McCauley wrote “ Some of us will reach millions, most of us will reach a few, and some will reach only one person. However, given the infinite significance of each person, there is no difference in the end.”

Give your love, your kindness, and your heart to others today. You never know whom you might touch, whom you might help, and whose life you may save. As Thomas Merton said: “How can anyone tell how much he owes to the goodness of those who love him?” You may be just one person and you may touch just one person but that alone can change the world.