Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.
Deuteronomy 15:10-11 (NIV)
Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to. There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land.
Deuteronomy 15:10-11 (MSG)
Give freely and spontaneously. Don’t have a stingy heart. The way you handle matters like this triggers God, your God’s, blessing in everything you do, all your work and ventures. There are always going to be poor and needy people among you. So I command you: Always be generous, open purse and hands, give to your neighbors in trouble, your poor and hurting neighbors.
“You shall freely and generously give to him, and your heart shall not be resentful when you give to him, because for this [generous] thing the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all your undertakings. For the poor will never cease to be in the land; therefore I command you, saying, ‘You shall freely open your hand to your brother, to your needy, and to your poor in your land.’” -AMPLIFIED
Give generously and without a grudging heart. We find that God is very adamant about lending a helping hand to those who are in need. In the verses proceeding our text we find this admonition, “When you happen on someone who’s in trouble or needs help among your people with whom you live in this land that God, your God, is giving you, don’t look the other way pretending you don’t see him. Don’t keep a tight grip on your purse. No. Look at him, open your purse, lend whatever and as much as he needs. Don’t count the cost. Don’t listen to that selfish voice saying, “It’s almost the seventh year, the year of All-Debts-Are-Canceled,” and turn aside and leave your needy neighbor in the lurch, refusing to help him. He’ll call God’s attention to you and your blatant sin.” -Deuteronomy 15:7-9 (MSG)
God did not want His people to be selfish and stingy. He wanted them to be charitable and kind; treating others the way that they would want to be treated if they were in the other persons shoes.
Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived taught his students the following proverbs. “The world of the generous gets larger and larger; the world of the stingy gets smaller and smaller. The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped.” -Proverbs 11:24-25 (MSG)
Jesus told His disciples, “Freely you have received, freely give.” -Matthew 10:8 (AMP)He also taught them this guideline, “Listen carefully to what I am saying—and be wary of the shrewd advice that tells you how to get ahead in the world on your own. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity. Stinginess impoverishes.” -Mark 4:24-25 (MSG)
Now God gives us good reason to follow His instructions. He tells us, “When you do this, the Lord your God will bless you in everything you work for and set out to do.” (GW) He warns us that there will always be the poor among us; none the less, we are to generously lend a helping hand.
Jesus taught His disciples in this way, “Here is a simple rule of thumb for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you; then grab the initiative and do it for them! If you only love the lovable, do you expect a pat on the back? Run-of-the-mill sinners do that. If you only help those who help you, do you expect a medal? Garden-variety sinners do that. If you only give for what you hope to get out of it, do you think that’s charity? The stingiest of pawnbrokers does that.” -Luke 6:31-34 (MSG)
If you have experienced the generosity, mercy and love of God the Father; do you not have the responsibility to be generous and charitable with others? Remember how things were with each of us before God’s great mercy rescued us? “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” -Ephesians 2:4-5 (NIV)
James the brother of Jesus gives us some pretty pointed criticism. James said, “Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, “Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!” and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you? Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?” -James 2:15-17 (MSG)
Let us be sure that we are being generous with what God has given us. For God expects us to be His light to the World, in order that others may see Him in us and find Him in the process.
Lord, help me to be generous and giving with all that you have given me. You were generous and giving when you sent your one and only Son to pay the price for my sin; paying the price that I could not pay. Help me to follow the example of Jesus; giving and expecting nothing in return. Help me to have a help always willing to help, looking for ways that I can be a blessing to others. Use everything that I have to bring glory and honor to your Name, Lord Jesus.