generosity

God's love is not passive.

God's love is not passive.

2 Chronicles 28

In this chapter, there is a wonderful example of God’s principle of returning good for evil, inspired by leaders of Ephraim who urged the people of Israel to release the captives from Judah they had defeated in battle: "'You must not bring those prisoners here,' they said, 'or we will be guilty before the Lord. Do you intend to add to our sin and guilt? For our guilt is already great, and his fierce anger rests on Israel.' So the soldiers gave up the prisoners and plunder in the presence of the officials and all the assembly. The men designated by name took the prisoners, and from the plunder they clothed all who were naked. They provided them with clothes and sandals, food and drink, and healing balm. All those who were weak they put on donkeys. So they took them back to their fellow Israelites at Jericho, the City of Palms, and returned to Samaria." (vs 13-15)

God has no problem with wealth.

God has no problem with wealth.

1 Kings 10

Did you notice that as you read through today’s chapter? Whoa! God certainly has no problem with wealth! I was amazed by the fact that Solomon had 1,400 chariots and 12,000 horses. Who needs 12,000 horses?! And this was just in addition to his palace and all the other things he acquired over the years as his fame spread far and wide. In the description of Solomon’s palace, the Bible says "nothing like it had ever been made for any other kingdom." (vs 20) Solomon was, by far, the richest man in the world—probably in the history of the world!

God is extravagant.

God is extravagant.

JUDGES 17

What a quirky little chapter. Out of the blue, there is a story about this guy named Micah. He was a thief—having swiped 1100 shekels of silver from his mom. (Who steals from Mom?) After he heard her pronounce a curse on whoever had stolen the money, he fessed up and returned it. In turn, she was so worried that the curse would follow her thieving child that she had some of it melted down and made into a little idol that Micah kept in his house. His "god" would hopefully protect him from the curse.

God wants all the things He cannot command.

God wants all the things He cannot command.

DEUTERONOMY 16

I direct an adult volunteer church choir. Some have mused that this is akin to herding cats. An adult volunteer choir is a special sort of group. It is made up of people who love to sing but usually, at least subconsciously, believe they really can’t sing all that well. After all, they’re not "professionals." So they assume they could never achieve a "professional" sort of sound. Consequently, the majority of rehearsal time is spent in trying to persuade them to get themselves out of the way so their voices can do what they intuitively know how to do — sing properly.

God is not an employer.

God is not an employer.

DEUTERONOMY 6

One of my favorite Bible texts is in this chapter, but it might not be the one you think. Yes, there is the famous "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one." (vs 4) And there’s also the one Jesus quoted: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength." (vs 5) And both of those are nice, but neither is the one I’m thinking of.

God is the landowner.

God is the landowner.

NUMBERS 34

I’m having an awe-filled moment with God right now. I love this little chapter. I just love the straightforwardness of it. It’s God, simply spelling out to His people the land they will inherit in Canaan. He plots out the land for them with no ceremony, no pomp, no fanfare. What I absolutely love about this is, the Canaanites were living in this land. Undoubtedly, they thought the land belonged to them. They thought they were the rightful inhabitants. They were wrong.

God provides all that is needed.

God provides all that is needed.

EXODUS 36

So the Israelites begin to build the sanctuary, God’s dwelling place. It’s a project God has specifically commissioned, and He has asked for their willingness to partner with Him in building a house for Him. And nestled in the description of all the building is this little piece of information: "And so the people were restrained from bringing more, because what they already had was more than enough to do all the work." (vs 6-7)

God is not greedy.

God is not greedy.

GENESIS 47

So, what do we do when confronted with the reality that we are "not our own"? We were created by a God who rules over the entire universe. Everything came from Him, and everything belongs to Him... even our very lives. Every breath we take is a gracious gift from His hand. Without Him, nothing would be. That can be a somewhat daunting reality, huh?