DayBreaks for 11/20/12 – Sharing the Bone

DayBreaks for 11/20/12 – Sharing the Bone

From the DayBreaks archive for 11/20/02:

Luke 6:38 – “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.

2 Cor. 8:2-5 – “2 Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. 3 For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, 4 they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints.   5 And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God’s will.

Scripture is abundant with God’s promises to meet our needs.  It is also abundant in its exhortations to us to be givers – just like our Father.  It even tells us that if we are generous, we will receive generously, too.  (That doesn’t necessarily mean that we’ll get money in return – but we will be blessed!)

In the passage above from 2 Corinthians, a beautiful example is given to us by the Macedonian churches.  These people in Macedonia were not rich.  They weren’t even of average income, it would appear.  Paul says that “Out of the most severe trial…their extreme poverty” these people GAVE.  They didn’t just give what they could…they gave “even beyond their ability”.

How could they do that?  How could parents give when their own children may have been hungry?  The key is in verse 5: “They gave themselves first to the Lord…”.  They had entrusted themselves, their livelihoods, their next meal and the next meal of their children perhaps, to the Lord.  They had faith.  They trusted God to be as good as His word.

Generosity.  Giving charitably.  In America we may consider it a sacrifice to give up an extra $100 while we take our big paychecks to the bank.  And for some, that $100 is a sacrifice, no doubt.  God knows and God sees whatever sacrifice His children make for one another – and for His kingdom.  But we can also fool ourselves about our charity, too.  I believe it was Jack London who put it something like this: “Charity isn’t giving a bone to the dog.  It is sharing the bone with the dog when you’re just as hungry as he is.”  Do you get it?  The Macedonians were as hungry, or perhaps even more hungry, than those they gave to.

An incredible story, and incredible example.  How is your giving?  Join me in searching our hearts – knowing that God searches them knows the truth about each of us – and He also knows the name of every hungry, starving family across the world that will go to bed hungry tonight, and tomorrow, and the day after that.  God asks us to give ourselves first to Him, and then to get busy following the example of the Macedonians.

Copyright 2002 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

PRAYER: When we look into our pantries, closets, homes and bank accounts, help us to see how rich we are…and to share the “bone”! Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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Want to help the poor children of the world?  Here’s a couple links to projects at I Am 2 Partners, Inc.:

To help feed and protect the 37 orphans at Bright Future Children’s Home in Migori, Kenya, click here: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=RKR8ZNZX4UVPA

To help put in a purified water system for the Good Shepherd Pediatric Hospital in Kigali, Rwanda, click here: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=B7U2JA5QSYCRC

Thanks!

 

 

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DayBreaks 3/04/11 – How Jesus Didn’t See the World

DayBreaks for 3/04/11 – How Jesus Doesn’t See the World

Matthew 5:16 – Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

 

To see the world as Jesus does...

 

A parable by Henri Nouwen: Once there was a people who surveyed the resources of the world and said to each other: ‘How can we be sure that we will have enough in hard times?  We want to survive whatever happens.  Let us start collecting food, materials, and knowledge so that we are safe and secure when a crisis occurs.’  So they started hoarding, so much and so eagerly that other peoples protested and said, ‘You have much more than you need, while we don’t have enough to survive.  Give us part of your wealth!’  But the fearful hoarders said: ‘No, no, we need to keep this in case things go bad for us, too, in case our lives are threatened.’  But the others said, ‘We are dying now, please give us food and materials and knowledge to survive.  We can’t wait…we need it now!”

Then the fearful hoarders became ever more fearful since they became afraid that the poor and hungry would attack them.  So they said to one another: ‘Let us build walls around our wealth so that no stranger can take it from us.’  They started erecting walls so high that they could not even see anymore whether there were enemies outside the walls or not!  As their fear increased they told each other: “Our enemies have become so numerous that they may be able to tear down our walls.  Our walls are not strong enough to keep them away.  We need to put bombs on top of the walls so that nobody will dare to even come close to us.’  But instead of feeling safe and secure behind their armed walls they found themselves trapped in the prison they had built with their own fear.  They even became afraid of their own bombs, wondering if they might harm themselves more than their enemy.  And gradually they realized their fear of death had brought them closer to it.”

Tom Davis, author of Red Letters, had this to say about our attitudes about our possessions and the needs of so many in the world: “Building walls around our possessions and our lives leads to selfishness and hardened heart.  When we live with a ‘never enough’ mentality , life is so overwhelming we couldn’t possibly help someone else.  Jesus didn’t have a ‘never enough’ mentality.  He lived and breathed a ‘what can I offer?’ mentality…He always took time to help someone in need.”

Our attitudes about what and who comes first in our lives largely shapes our attitudes about possessions.  When our attitude is that we can’t help others because we don’t know what crises may come our way (thereby justifying our hoarding), we are not demonstrating faith that in God to provide if the crisis should come.  Nor are we demonstrating the heart of compassion that Jesus had – a heart that never said “No, this is mine!” to anyone who was in need.  Jesus didn’t see the world that way in his time, and he doesn’t see it that way today.

PRAYER: We have a hard time believing that we don’t have to rely on ourselves in either good times or bad, Lord.  Help us trust you for all that we need and to have hearts of compassion like yours!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

COPYRIGHT 2011, Galen C. Dalrymple  ><}}}”>

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