Tag Archives: Christians

Be Generous


Every time I read a story about someone going above and beyond to help someone, I always read the comments. Without fail someone will write something like this, “People like this restore my faith in humanity.” It’s upsetting to me that we have gotten to the point that being selfless and generous is a rare thing in today’s world. It’s so rare that people have lost faith in humanity over it, and when it does happen, the story goes viral. That bothers me.

You and I, as Christians should be the most generous people the world has. If we truly believe that God is our source and everything we have has been given to us by Him, then we should be generous with what we have. In Matthew 10:8, Jesus said, “Freely you have received; freely give” (NIV). Our generosity of love, time, money, kindness, selflessness, and goodness should be evident to all around. In a world where it’s the exception and not the rule, our generosity will help show the love of Jesus to the world and point them to Him.

Here are some verses in the Bible on generosity.

1. Be generous, and you will be prosperous. Help others, and you will be helped.

Proverbs 11:25 GNT

2. The smooth tricks of scoundrels are evil. They plot crooked schemes. They lie to convict the poor, even when the cause of the poor is just. But generous people plan to do what is generous, and they stand firm in their generosity.

Isaiah 32:7-8 NLT

3. Generous hands are blessed hands because they give bread to the poor.

Proverbs 22:9 MSG

4. [Charge them] to do good, to be rich in good works, to be liberal and generous of heart, ready to share [with others], In this way laying up for themselves [the riches that endure forever as] a good foundation for the future, so that they may grasp that which is life indeed.

1 Timothy 6:18-19 AMP

5. He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.

2 Corinthians 9:10-11 ESV

6. Give generously to the poor, not grudgingly, for the LORD your God will bless you in everything you do.

Deuteronomy 15:10 NLT

7. Be generous: Invest in acts of charity. Charity yields high returns.

Ecclesiastes 11:1 MSG

8. Do not forget or neglect or refuse to extend hospitality to strangers [in the brotherhood–being friendly, cordial, and gracious, sharing the comforts of your home and doing your part generously], for through it some have entertained angels without knowing it.

Hebrews 13:2 AMP

9. Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.

Proverbs 19:17 ESV

10. Give to others, and God will give to you. Indeed, you will receive a full measure, a generous helping, poured into your hands—all that you can hold. The measure you use for others is the one that God will use for you.

Luke 6:38 GNT

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10 Scriptures On “Good”

  
1.   Do good, O Lord, to those who are good, and to those who are right [with You and all people] in their hearts. (Psalm 125:4 AMP)

2.   Remember, the sins of some people are obvious, leading them to certain judgment. But there are others whose sins will not be revealed until later. In the same way, the good deeds of some people are obvious. And the good deeds done in secret will someday come to light. (1 Timothy 5:24-25 NLT)

3.   Humans are satisfied with whatever looks good; GOD probes for what is good. (Proverbs 16:2 MSG)

4.   Do not be fooled. “Bad companions ruin good character.” (1 Corinthians 15:33 GNT)

5.   Turn your back on evil, work for the good and don’t quit. GOD loves this kind of thing, never turns away from his friends. Live this way and you’ve got it made, but bad eggs will be tossed out. The good get planted on good land and put down healthy roots. (Psalm 37:27-28 MSG)

6.   Do not let evil defeat you; instead, conquer evil with good. (Romans 12:21 GNT)

7.   As for the rest of you, dear brothers and sisters, never get tired of doing good. (2 Thessalonians 3:13 NLT)

8.   Beloved, do not imitate evil, but imitate good. He who does good is of God; he who does evil has not seen (discerned or experienced) God [has enjoyed no vision of Him and does not know Him at all]. (3 John 1:11 AMP)

9.   Find a good spouse, you find a good life— and even more: the favor of GOD! (Proverbs 18:22 MSG)

10.   So—join the company of good men and women, keep your feet on the tried-and-true paths. It’s the men who walk straight who will settle this land, the women with integrity who will last here. The corrupt will lose their lives; the dishonest will be gone for good. (Proverbs 2:20-22 MSG)

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A Revival Of Love

I’m sure that Robin Williams’ death came as a shock to you as much as it did to me. How could someone so funny and entertaining lose a fight with depression? How could someone who brought so much happiness to others not be able to find happiness himself? These are the questions I asked when I heard the news. The truth is that he, like so many people, fought an unseen enemy in an arena that no one else can enter. He tried to deal with it the best ways he knew how. Most of which probably weren’t healthy or productive. We can sit and judge or we can watch and learn.

When I saw others post their favorite movie quotes of his, the one that came to my mind was fitting for the way he died. In the movie “Patch Adams”, his character, who was a doctor, said, “You treat a disease, you win, you lose. You treat a person, I guarantee you, you’ll win, no matter what the outcome.” So many times we look past the person and only see their disease, their sin or their faults. We spend so much time attacking the defect that we forget we are dealing with a person. We like to say, “Love the sinner. Hate the sin,” but too often we can’t see the sinner for the sin.

It’s hard to love someone when we are so focused on the thing we hate. When I read the way Jesus was in the New Testament, I see someone who had compassion for the individual person. He saw their sickness, their defect and their sin and He had compassion. Instead of pointing out the sin or disease, He looked at the person and showed love. He knew that when it comes to sin, you treat the person, not the sin. He knew that showing hate for the sin did more harm than good in most instances. Yes, He overthrew some tables a couple of times. Those were when He was upset at the very ones acting in His name. You never read where He got angry at a sinner.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t call sin “sin”. I’m saying we should be quicker to show compassion and love for others than we are to point out their sin. We don’t know what they have been through or what they are facing. What we do know is that we serve a God who forgives no matter what we or they have done. The only way they will see that is if we learn to show love to the sinner and treat the person not the sin. What would happen if we acted out the Golden Rule as if we believed it? You and I can’t forgive sin, so why do we try to treat it? We can however love the sinner, so why not do that instead?

So many people in this world need hope. So many are fighting unseen battles. Too many lose those battles without knowing there is someone who loves them and there is a God who can forgive and heal them. They’re afraid to come out because of what others might say or how they might be treated. If they knew that they would be shown love as a person and not treated as the disease or sin they have, they would be more willing to be open about it. They would get to see God through our actions of love and find forgiveness and healing from their sin. We could in essence start a revival through love. It has to start sometime, why not now? It has to start somewhere, why not with you and me?

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Are We Goats Thinking We’re Sheep?

I’ve got Haiti on my heart this morning. Partly because I’m headed back in a few months and partly because we watched a video from Richard Stearns from World Vision last night. He reminded us of the scripture in Matthew 25:35-40 where Jesus told of the day where God will separate the sheep from the goats. Jesus said that He will turn to the sheep and say, “I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me a drink, I was homeless and you gave me a room, I was shivering and you gave me clothes, I was sick and you stopped to visit, I was in prison and you came to me.’ (MSG)”

What stood out to me last night as he read that scripture was the response of the sheep. They said, “Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?’ Then the King will say, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.’ (MSG)”. They didn’t even realize it was Jesus they were doing it to. They were doing those things because God’s love compelled them to.

That’s a stark contrast from where the Church is today. The Barna Group released the results of a study yesterday. They interviewed over 700 self-professed Christians and asked a series of 20 questions about attitudes and actions. In the end, only 14% of self-professed Christians were found to have the attitudes and actions of Jesus. Another 14% had the actions of Jesus, but not His attitude. The results show a lot more and if you like, you can see it here.

If we add those numbers together, barely a quarter of Christians act like Jesus. He spent His time in ministry to the poor, the hurting, the outcasts, the leppers and the unwanted. He spent very little time with those who were looking for power and prestige. He made it clear that He wanted us to do the same. You can see that in what He said in Matthew 25. The ones who made it to Heaven were those who fed the hungry, gave drinks to the thirsty, sheltered the homeless, gave clothes to the poor and visited those who were sick or in prison. When is the last time we’ve done any of those things?

We’ve spent millions building bigger, more stylish churches and only thousands on taking care of the poor. I look at those results of the Barna group and ask myself, “What area do I fall in? Do I have both the attitudes and actions of Jesus? Am I in the 28% or in the other 72%?” Those are tough questions that God and I are going to work through. I encourage you to ask the same questions. If you’re not in the 28%, what can you start doing today to move in that direction? How can you be one of the sheep instead of a goat?

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Fighting God for Freedom

Last weekend we took my son’s crib and converted it into a bed for him. He was happy and jumped up and down on it. When we went Into his room the next morning, he was asleep on the floor. We put up a bumper for him, but he still ended up on the floor. As the week went on, taking him to bed became a chore. He didn’t want to sleep in his bed. He cried when we put him in there. So last night, we turned it back into a crib. He wasn’t 100% happy, but bed time was easier.

I think that’s how we are with God sometimes. We ask for more freedom or for walls in our lives to be removed. When He gives us what we want, we jump for joy. We’re excited about the newly found freedom and want to celebrate. It’s not long though before we find ourselves face down on the floor. With freedom comes more responsibility and a greater need for self control.

It isn’t always what we thought it’d be. God has walls up and boundaries in our lives for a reason. They’re for our protection and our own good. We fight against them and try to push the boundaries back. We think we can handle more responsibility and more freedom, but God knows better where the boundaries in our lives need to be. He knows us better than we know ourselves and how we’ll react to changes in our lives. He knows what is best for us, but is still willing to give us what we ask for at times.

It reminds me of the lyrics to an old Rich Mullins’ song “Hold Me, Jesus”. He says, “I’d rather fight you for something I don’t really want than to take what you give that I need.” We spend so much time asking for things rather than taking what He gives us. We think we know what we need better than He does. There is a purpose for the walls He has up in our lives. There is a reason for the boundaries that He sets for us. There is also freedom and protection in them as well.

If we get caught up looking at the boundaries God has set up in our lives, we miss the opportunities of freedom within them. Instead of trying to push them further out, why not do what we can for others within the limits He has set for us? We should spend less time worrying about where the lines are and more time wondering how we can serve Him better with in them. There is freedom, security and peace within the borders God has set up.

What walls and boundaries have you been trying to get God to move? What things has He given you to help others with where you are? How can you use the freedoms you already enjoy to be a blessing to others? We as Christians miss so many opportunities to be blessings to others because we’re fighting over where the lines are. Why not turn around and operate within the ones you know about? Like my son, you’ll find the rest you’re looking for there.

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