“Give generously to the poor, not grudgingly, for the Lord your God will bless you in everything you do. There will always be some in the land who are poor. That is why I am commanding you to share freely with the poor and with other Israelites in need. When you release a male servant, do not send him away empty-handed. Give him a generous farewell gift from your flock, your threshing floor, and your winepress. Share with him some of the bounty with which the Lord your God has blessed you. Remember you were once slaves in the land of Egypt and the Lord your God redeemed you! That is why I am giving you this command.” Deuteronomy 15:10-15 NLT
Remember. But, oh, how many times I forget. I think on God’s faithfulness. His provision. His constant care in my life. How can I not be generous? And share what he has given me. Sometimes it seems easier to hold on to it. Not only money, but my time, talents…all the ways he has been good to me. Sharing is to trust that God will fill the need. Many times, above and beyond what I could ask or imagine.
Paul was sailing to Rome. He was a prisoner, under the custody of a Roman officer. He didn’t have a choice, but to rely on friends to take care of him. How humbling that must have been. I am thankful for the times that God has used other people to provide for me and my family. My prayer is that I would do the same for others who have a need.
“The next day we docked at Sidon, Julius was very kind to Paul to let him go ashore to visit with friends so they could provide for his needs. The next day, as gale-force winds continued to batter the ship, the crew began throwing the cargo overboard. The terrible storm raged for many days, blotting out the sun and the stars, until at last all hope was gone. No one had eaten in a long time. Finally, Paul called the crew together and said, “But take courage! None of you will lose your lives, even though the ship will go down. What’s more, God in his goodness has granted safety to everyone sailing with you.’ So take courage! For I believe God. It will be just as he said. But we will be shipwrecked on an island.” Acts 27 NLT
Paul never gave up hope. He kept encouraging the people, even after they didn’t listen to him. His faith and courage had to be contagious. When I feel alone, I want to be like Paul. Remembering that God is with me. And reach out to those around me, while proclaiming my belief. Knowing that the God who got me through the trial before, will be faithful again.
Dear Father, thank you for your goodness. Help me to remember that everything I have comes from you. Help me to live with open hands. Thank you that you rescue me. Amen.
“O Lord, God of my salvation, I cry out to you by day. I come to you at night. Now hear my prayer; listen to my cry.” Psalms 88 NLT