Oh for an authentically generous heart! …And you don’t have to be rich to have one!

Giving in the offering

Authentic generosity is such a beautiful thing!  And very often it is most vividly demonstrated, not by the person with a wad of bills in their billfold or by the person whose estimated worth is impressive, but rather by the simple “saint,” moved by a need, who reaches deep, and out of love and concern for others gives to help out in a crisis or do their part achieve a great and honorable goal.  Their giving actually is a worshipful response – given more to the Lord, then to a person or project!  These are the people who don’t care about whether their name is on a donor plaque or whether a building bears their name.

This morning during “coffee with the Lord” I read about two acts of giving like that…

The first took place in “the wilderness” far from “the Promised Land” and was given by a group of harassed refugees who had been driven from Egypt…

“Moses said to all the congregation of the people of Israel, ‘This is the thing that the Lord has commanded.  Take from among you a contribution to the Lord.  Whoever is of a generous heart, let him bring the Lord’s contribution’… Then all the congregation of the people of Israel departed from the presence of Moses.  And they came, everyone whose heart stirred him, and everyone whose spirit moved him, and brought the Lord’s contribution to be used for the tent of meeting, and for all its service, and for the holy garments.  So they came, both men and women.  All who were of a willing heart… All whose heart moved them, to bring anything… brought it as a freewill offering to the Lord.” (from Exodus 35:4-29)

The second act of generosity I read about this morning involved a simple woman who slipped up behind Jesus at dinner, “With an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on His head as He reclined at table.  When the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying ‘Why this waste?  For this could have been sold for a large sum and given to the poor!’  But Jesus, aware of this, said to the, ‘Why do you trouble the woman?  She has done a beautiful thing to me… She has done it to prepare me for my burial!  Truly, I say to you whenever this gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her!’” (from Matthew 26:6-13)

Listen, how much money we have in our billfold, in the bank, or our estimated worth is not the issue … our heart is the issue!  Oh Lord, I want a generous, tender heart that moves me to do what I can – even sometimes more than I feel I can – to meet needs and honor you with sacrificial, worshipful giving!  After all, You gave Your all to provide for our salvation!  “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by His poverty might become rich.” (2 Corinthians 8:9)

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