Be Generous

Here is something to remember. The one who plants only a little will gather only a little. And the one who plants a lot will gather a lot. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give. You shouldn’t give if you don’t want to. You shouldn’t give because you are forced to. God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to shower all kinds of blessings on you. So in all things and at all times you will have everything you need. You will do more and more good works.”

2 Corinthians 9:6-8 NIRV

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“Then the King will speak to those on his right. He will say, ‘My Father has blessed you. Come and take what is yours. It is the kingdom prepared for you since the world was created. 35 I was hungry. And you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty. And you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger. And you invited me in. 36 I needed clothes. And you gave them to me. I was sick. And you took care of me. I was in prison. And you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the people who have done what is right will answer him. ‘Lord,’ they will ask, ‘when did we see you hungry and feed you? When did we see you thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you as a stranger and invite you in? When did we see you needing clothes and give them to you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘What I’m about to tell you is true. Anything you did for one of the least important of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

Matthew 25:34-40 NIRV

(This photo was taken in June of 2016 in a neighborhood near Plymouth, Minnesota)

How We Treat Each Other

“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”

Matthew 7:12

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

John 15:12-13

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

Ephesians 4:29-32

(This photo was taken in March of 2021 at St. Croix State Park in northern Minnesota)

Generosity

“Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.”

– John Wesley

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Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

2 Corinthians 9:6-7

(This photo was taken in March of 2013 at the Botanical Garden at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, Nevada)

A Season Of Giving

Remember that giving is about much more than money.  Too much time spent focused on self only leads to sorrow and trouble.  What has God blessed you with that you can give?  Who does God want you to give to?  Think about these things and act in faith.  Amen.

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”

2 Corinthians 9:6-8

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Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”

Galatians 6:9-10

(This photo was taken in October of 2018 at a lake near Plymouth, Minnesota)

Help Others

Do whatever you can, whenever you can, as often as you can, wherever you are to help others who are in need.  Amen.

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

Matthew 25:31-36

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“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

Matthew 25:37-40

(This photo was taken in October of 2018 at a lake near Plymouth, Minnesota)

Generosity And Contentment

Give of yourself and be content when your needs are fulfilled.  The brokenness of this world will tell you to want more and to get more.  God has provided more than enough for everyone.  Generosity and contentment are topics that are about much more than money in life.  They are about all aspects of life…our time, our talents, our emotions, our faith.  The more we are able to be content the more we can share when we have received an abundance.  Take time to assess where you stand…where do you have more than enough on your hands and how can you share to help those who are in need?  May the grace and peace of the Lord be with you.  Amen.

For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people. And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us.”

2 Corinthians 8:3-5

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But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.

1 Timothy 6:6-9

(This photo was taken in April of 2016 at a lake in central Minnesota)

Give Forgiveness

We are forgiven…Jesus Christ died on the Cross to save us from our sins.  He has paved the Way for us to be forgiven.  It is up to us to respond with the thoughts, words and actions of our daily lives.  Who do you need to forgive?  Yourself?  Someone who has hurt you?  Forgiveness is not a free pass…it is a willingness to let go of the anger and bitterness that eats at our souls.  Make a choice to give forgiveness and you will find peace.  Amen.

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Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

Ephesians 4:31-32

(This photo was taken in August of 2016 at a park near Dillon, Colorado)

Righteousness

Honesty…integrity…honor…purity…goodness.  Seek to do good and good will come back to you.  This is about who we are as a person in all aspects of life.  When you seek to do good, there is no telling how long it can last in the world, especially when you do good to others.  There is a quote from John Wesley who was an English evangelical clergyman, preacher, and writer in the 1700’s that still sums up what our goals for goodness should be:

“Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.”

― John Wesley

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Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”

Matthew 5:6

(This photo was taken in July of 2018 on the shore of Lake Superior near Ashland, Wisconsin)

 

A Giving Mindset

The holiday season is a time to remind us to be grateful and to share with others where and when we are able.  The challenge is to maintain a level of a giving mindset throughout the whole year.  It is easy to slip into a self-oriented mindset for numerous reasons…the ability to stand firm and to change your perspective is possible by building and growing your relationship with Jesus Christ, every day.  He knows what it means to sacrifice for others, He knows how to have compassion and to be humble even when, especially when we don’t deserve it.  Ask God to help you find and maintain a giving mindset throughout the holiday season and beyond.  May we all find moments of peace and joy and opportunities to help those in need.  Amen.

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“Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”

Romans 12:13

(This photo was taken in August of 2016 while driving through Mount Rainier National Park in Washington)

Give Your Best

Trusting in God means trusting in Him for the outcome of circumstances and events.  If we can offer the best of what we can give, whether it is our time, our ideas, our attention or our money and we trust in God, He can take what we offer and do so much more than we can do on our own.  In Matthew 14:13-21, the disciples gave Him all they had, five loaves of bread and two fish and with that over five thousand people were fed with plenty of leftovers.  When we give our best and trust God for the outcome, amazing things can happen.  May the peace of the Lord be with you.  Amen.

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Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?  When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?  When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’  “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”

Matthew 25:37-40

(This photo was taken in June of 2013 at Garden of the Gods park near Colorado Springs, Colorado)