Thursday, January 21, 2010

living intentionally ch. 2

i wanted to dive deeper into my commitments for 2010 & i wanted to bring you along for the ride. please feel free to share any thoughts, suggestions, comments, encouragements or questions as we go along. 

2. give freely in all circumstances
why in the world am i so stingy?  i have contemplated this question many times over.  i don't know if it is because i am overly thrifty, that i was taught sound & responsible practices, that i'm selfish or that i don't trust the Lord enough - more than likely it is a wretched mix of all of the above.  when i speak of 'giving' i don't solely mean giving in terms of money, being tight with time or resources can be just as detrimental to your heart towards others but the way we use our funds is often the most obvious, external way to check what is really going on inside.  

we were created to share with one another.  we were made to depend on the Lord for our every need & bless others with what we have been entrusted with.  why is that such a struggle?  do i think that if i spread my resources too thin for the cause of Christ that He wouldn't come in and bless the situation?  i know that He would, but i live, i give, like he wouldn't. 

it reminds me of the parable of the talents from matthew 25.  the master gave each servant talents (or money), they were entrusted with to do 'good' with the funds until the master returned.  when the master returned two of the servants had taken risks with their funds, they were bold & had earned for their master double what he had left them with.  the third servant was fearful and timid & had just buried the money until his master returned.  the master was so thrilled  by the confidence & boldness of the two that their "master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!' 

i don't know about you but i want God to be able to look at me, see what i did with what he had entrusted to me & be proud of the way i used it, the way i gave it.

my second 2010 commitment is to give freely in all circumstances.  this is going to be a huge struggle for me but i know that having this plastered on my heart will help me to serve others rather than store up treasures here on earth for myself.  i know that if i don't take risks, if i am not obedient in this, i am not living up to my "#1" 2010 commitment either; i would not be living out the gospel.

i'm going to take my cue from acts 2:42-47:
"they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles.   all the believers were together and had everything in common. selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. they broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. and the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved."

i know there is joy in giving.  i know that there is freedom in understanding that "things" & possessions don't make you happy & don't make you secure.  i know that i am called to give.

here is a whole bundle of scripture that has encouraged me in my commitment.   i hope it encourages you as well.

jeremiah 17:17
“...blessed are those who trust in the Lord

and have made the Lord their hope and confidence."

luke 14:12-13
"then Jesus said to his host, "when you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. but when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."

2 corinthians 8:1-7
"we want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. for they gave according to their means, as i can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints— and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us. accordingly, we urged titus that as he had started, so he should complete among you this act of grace. But as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you— see that you excel in the grace of giving also."

matt 25:34-45
"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. 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, 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.'
"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, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'

"They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'

"He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'

2 corinthians 9:6-8
"remember this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. and God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

{links to things you may have missed} 2010 commitments:
1.  live out the gospel daily
2.  give freely in all circumstances


  1. Great post! I just love that picture you posted. Amazing. Thanks for sharing

  2. jen bear, i love that you posted this because i think this is definitely something that God has been burdening me with lately. we get so caught up in our own schedule sometimes that we don't even realize that we're giving God the crumbs of our time and resources. we all need some reminders to look at what are actions say about our relationship with Christ. i think Francis Chan said something like "it's not about what you're giving but what you're keeping to yourself that shows how you think of God" ain't that the truth?! your 2010 commitments rock. they're such an encouragement to me jen. i love you like no other!

  3. Jen, I like this post a lot. This is something I struggle with as well. I am usually happy to give, but alot of times I feel like I could have done more. And I feel like we can always do more, but I have a really hard time fguring all that out.

  4. This is an excellent post, Jen. God's Word really carries some weight when it comes to giving, and I think this is something that we need to be reminded of constantly as we live in a world of me, me, me. Thanks so much for sharing!!


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