Give It All You’ve Got

By |2020-09-16T09:05:02-04:00September 16th, 2020|

Scaling. It’s a term used in the world of fitness that allows room for anyone to participate. If the specific exercise is a push-up, for example, then maybe you can do ten in a row but I can only do four. The instructor’s encouragement to me would be to scale back the push-up according to my fitness level at the time. We’re not all at the same level but we can all move in the same direction. In other words, she would say, “Do your four push-ups with all the strength you have. Don’t compare yourself with anyone else. Scale the movement for now, keep doing what you can do, and you may be amazed in time you’re doing seven, and even one day, ten.”

When it comes to giving, the apostle Paul was clear: “God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7). But his encouragement to the believers in Corinth, and to us, is a variation of scaling. “Each of you should give what you decide in your heart” (v.7). We each find ourselves at differing giving levels, and sometimes those levels change over time. Comparison is not beneficial, but attitude is. Based on where you are, give “generously” (v. 6). Our God has promised that the disciplined practice of such cheerful giving brings enrichment in every way with a blessed life that results in “thanksgiving to God” (v. 11).

The Man in Seat 2D

By |2020-06-16T10:24:40-04:00June 21st, 2020|

Kelsey navigated the narrow airplane aisle with her eleven-month-old daughter, Lucy, and Lucy’s oxygen machine. They were traveling to seek treatment for her baby’s chronic lung disease. Shortly after settling into their shared seat, a flight attendant approached Kelsey, saying a passenger in first class wanted to switch seats with her...

Good Measure

By |2020-05-21T13:19:14-04:00May 28th, 2020|

At a gas station one day, Staci encountered a woman who had left home without her bank card. Stranded with her baby, she was asking passersby for help. Although unemployed at the time, Staci spent $15 to put gas in the stranger’s tank. Days later, Staci came home to find a gift basket of children’s toys and other presents waiting on her porch...

Cheerful Givers

By |2020-04-01T16:42:19-04:00April 2nd, 2020|

Years ago, my wife received a small rebate from something she’d purchased. It wasn’t something she’d expected, it just showed up in the mail. About the same time, a good friend shared with her the immense needs of women in another country, entrepreneurial-minded women trying to better themselves by way of education and business. As is often the case, however, their first barrier was financial...

The Bill Is Paid

By |2020-03-12T12:20:16-04:00March 15th, 2020|

“What happened to you?” asked Zeal, a Nigerian businessman, as he bent over a hospital bed in Lagos. “Someone shot me,” replied the young man, his thigh bandaged. Although the injured man was well enough to return home, he wouldn’t be released until he settled his bill—a policy that many government hospitals in the region follow...

Bring What You Have

By |2020-01-14T12:30:02-05:00January 16th, 2020|

“Stone Soup,” an old tale with many versions, tells of a starving man who comes to a village, but no one there can spare a crumb of food for him. He puts a stone and water in a pot over a fire. Intrigued, the villagers watch him as he begins to stir his “soup.” Eventually, one brings a couple of potatoes to add to the mix; another has a few carrots. One person adds an onion, another a handful of barley...

Secret Delivery

By |2020-01-04T15:54:19-05:00January 7th, 2020|

A clear, glass vase with bell-shaped lilies of the valley, pink tulips, and yellow daffodils greeted Kim at her front door. For seven months, an anonymous believer in Jesus sent Kim beautiful bouquets from a local flower shop. Each monthly gift arrived with a note filled with scriptural encouragement and signed: “Love, Jesus...”

Growing into Giving

By |2019-12-19T15:57:24-05:00December 25th, 2019|

I got you a present!” my two-year-old grandson shouted excitedly as he pressed a box into my hands. “He picked it out all by himself,” my wife smiled. I opened the box to find a Christmas ornament of his favorite cartoon character. “Can I see it?” he asked anxiously. Then he played with “my” present for the rest of the evening, and as I watched him, I smiled...

Gifts from Above

By |2019-12-05T17:07:56-05:00December 6th, 2019|

According to an old story, a man named Nicholas (born in ad 270) heard about a father who was so poor that he couldn’t feed his three daughters, much less provide for their future marriages. Wanting to assist the father, but hoping to keep his help a secret, Nicholas threw a bag of gold through an open window, which landed in a sock or shoe drying on the hearth...

Sharing Slices

By |2019-06-14T10:05:41-04:00June 10th, 2019|

Steve, a sixty-two-year-old homeless military veteran, made his way to a warm climate where sleeping outdoors was tolerable year-round. One evening, as he displayed his hand-drawn art—his attempt to earn some money—a young woman approached and offered him several slices of pizza. Steve gratefully accepted. Moments later, Steve shared his bounty with another hungry, homeless person. Almost immediately, the same young woman resurfaced with another plate of food, acknowledging that he had been generous with what he’d been given...

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