"Think of giving not as a duty but as a privilege." —John D. Rockefeller Jr.
The very basics of Christianity really are backwards from what we would expect. We die to live. When we are weak, we are strong. In most cases, we can look at what the world says and then do the exact opposite and pretty much be spot on. Consider this one: "He who dies with the most toys wins." The more we get, the more blessed we are, right? Nope. The opposite is true.
"Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified. I have not coveted anyone's silver or gold or clothing. You yourselves know that these hands of mine have supplied my own needs and the needs of my companions. In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'" —Acts 20:32-35
Paul quotes Jesus here. They both agree that it's in giving that we are more blessed. We hear that so much that it's pretty much cliché. But do we believe it? Honestly, do we really believe there is more blessing in giving than there is in receiving? I'm not so sure. Paul doesn't say there's no blessing in receiving. There is. Who doesn't love opening presents on Christmas morning? We love getting. No problem with that. In fact, a big part of the Christian life is learning to receive from the Father the most intense blessings possible. But it is the wise person who recognizes that the real blessings in life come when we give what we have away.
It sounds backwards, I know. But the key truth is clear: If we want to be blessed more than we already are, it will come through giving God's way, not getting the world's way.
Jesus, by faith, I want to explore Your truth about giving. I know this may require breaking fleshly patterns and worldly expectations. Guard my heart from legalism and religiosity as I pursue Your grace and leading. Break me where necessary and make me a conduit of Your generosity that I might receive true blessing. Amen.
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A Countercultural Life: Living Well in a Broken World
It’s a challenge for most followers of Jesus Christ to live in a culture
driven by values and views that run counter to our faith and to the truth of Scripture. And we wonder how best to relate.
Should we isolate ourselves from such a world, trying to keep ourselves “unstained”? Should we be intimidated by what our secular counterparts believe because we feel “out of step”? Then again, maybe we should identify more closely with the values of our world in order to win more people to Christ.
Stuart Briscoe takes you on a journey to discover how to live as a Christ follower in our fallen culture in his new small book, A Countercultural Life: Living Well in a Broken World.
By looking at the life of Joseph (Genesis 37-50), Stuart shows you an excellent model for how we should indeed live in our world!
A Countercultural Life
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