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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Monday, January 25, 2016
Today’s scripture reading:
Our attitude is more important than the amount we give. We don’t have to be embarrassed if we can give only a small gift. God is concerned about how we give from the resources we have. According to that standard, the giving of the Macedonian churches would be difficult to match.
God gives us resources to use and invest for him. Paul uses the illustration of seed to explain that the resources God gives us are not to be hidden, foolishly devoured, or thrown away. Instead, they should be cultivated in order to produce more crops. When we invest what God has given us in his work, he will provide us with even more to give in his service.
Paul emphasizes the spiritual rewards for those who give generously to God’s work. We should not expect to become wealthy through giving. Those who receive your gifts will be helped, will praise God, and will pray to you. As you bless others, you will be blessed. (NLT)
2 Corinthians 9:7-15 – You must each make up your own mind as to how much you should give. Don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. For God loves the person who gives cheerfully. And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. As the Scriptures say, “Godly people give generously to the poor. Their good deeds will never be forgotten.”
For God is the one who gives seed to the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will give you many opportunities to do good, and he will produce a great harvest of generosity in you.
Yes, you will be enriched so that you can give even more generously. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will break out in thanksgiving to God. So two good things will happen–the needs of the Christians in Jerusalem will be met, and they will joyfully express their thanksgiving to God. You will be glorifying God through your generous gifts. For your generosity to them will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ. And they will pray for you with deep affection because of the wonderful grace of God shown through you.
Thank God for his Son—a gift too wonderful for words!
Whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith. – Galatians 6:10 (NRSV)
Reinaldo Santana-Rabell’s (Puerto Rico) story is titled “THE LITTLE THINGS;” here is Reinaldo’s story:
“We were leisurely playing a game when the phone rang and one of my daughters ran to answer it. We have taught her to answer the phone with ‘good morning’ or ‘good evening’ followed by ‘God bless you.’ After saying this, my daughter called me to the phone, telling me that the caller had made no response but sobbing. I discovered that the caller was a good friend of ours. When she regained her composure, she said: ‘I apologize. It’s just that it’s been a while since I’ve heard the words, ‘God bless you.’ When I heard your daughter’s voice, I truly felt God saying those words to me.’
We can do so much to share God’s love through the little things. People need to feel and experience God’s love. They need someone to show concern, to listen, or perhaps to share a gentle embrace. Today, tomorrow, or on any given day, God can use each of us to bless someone.”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – Even little things bear witness to the love of God.
Prayer: Creator God, help us to be caring, useful people who are blessings to others. In the name of Jesus. Amen.
Prayer Focus: SOMEONE WHO FEELS FORGOTTEN
To read other stories in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
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