“You can’t beat God giving, no matter how hard you try!”

Two versions of a single proverb I read this morning – Proverbs 19:17 … One from a more literal translation – the other from a rather free paraphrase:
 
“Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will repay him for his deed.” (English Standard Version – the more literal version)
 
“Mercy to the needy is a loan to God, and God pays back those loans in full!” (The Message – the free paraphrase)
 
Listen, I’m convinced one key indicator of a redeemed, transformed heart is a generous spirit! Apostle Paul testified about the generosity of the Christians in Macedonia: “I want you to know about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity… For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord… And this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord… But you, as you excel in everything – in faith, in speech, in knowledge in all earnestness, and in our love for you – see that you excel in this act of grace also… For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor so that by His poverty might become rich.” (from 2 Corinthians 8:1-9) That kind of generosity is the result of a Christ-transformed heart and reflects the very heart of God! John 3:16 says, “God SO LOVED the world THAT HE GAVE his only begotten son that whoever believes on Him should have everlasting life.”
 
It doesn’t matter, the truth remains the same! In fact, in a conversation at home this week, I told Sharon, my wife, “I’d rather be a poor man and generous, than a rich man and stingy!” How does the old gospel song say it? “You can’t beat God giving, no matter how hard you try… The more you give – the more He gives to you; so keep on giving, because it’s really true; you can’t beat God giving, no matter how hard you try!”

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