I like to give gifts at random times, for no apparent reason. I think it’s fun to surprise someone with something they’ve wanted or needed, and I enjoy doing it. But I don’t like being expected to give a gift.
Have you ever felt pressured to give a gift? I’m not talking about the compulsion of the Holy Spirit. I’m talking about that time when social expectations or high-pressure tactics practically forced you to make a donation or give a gift. Call me coldhearted, but I strongly resist emotional pleas and guilt-ridden appeals.
If you’re bullied into giving, that’s not generosity. Continue reading
Generosity begins and ends with the gospel.
It commenced when God gave physical life to Adam by breathing into his nostrils.
Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. –Genesis 2:7
It culminated when God gave us eternal life through His Son. Continue reading
About twenty-five years after Jesus’ ascension, the small band of believers in Jerusalem faced big trouble. They were persecuted and oppressed in every way, and they were completely out of money. Things were desperate.
2 Corinthians 8:1-7.
When the apostle Paul heard about their situation, he responded out of the depth of his relationships. He called upon fledgling churches throughout the region to help their brothers and sisters in Jerusalem. The Corinthian church—one that excelled in everything (2 Cor 8:7)—was among the first to raise their hands. Paul wasn’t surprised.
But something else did surprise him: Continue reading
Today (2/2) is my birthday. Yes, it’s Groundhog’s Day. No, I don’t like the movie.
As a child, I didn’t like the location of my birthday on the calendar. I never had a birthday party because snow was always a possibility. But as an adult, I like my close-to-the-new-year birthday. A birthday is a far more significant, more personal event than the arbitrary new year determined by Julius Caesar in bc45. IMO, it should be the first day of spring, a time of new life, green growth, Easter, etc. But alas, I don’t run the planet.
Resigned to leaving New Year’s Day in January, I use that month to reflect on the previous and coming years. Then I mark my personal new year on my birthday and work from there. Continue reading