Thursday, May 08, 2008

A call to generosity

Gas prices are high - I know.
Food costs are through the roof - I know (our monthly food budget is close to gone and we just started May).
Times are tight and uncertain - I know.
But I am writing to urge us to be generous, especially my readers who are Christians. This is a time where we can play it safe, get conservative, cut back on giving to maintain our standard of living. Or we can be generous, give freely, and reveal the love of Christ in our giving.

100,000 people are estimated dead from the cyclone in Burma, with much of the country flooded. You can give right now through World Vision to provide relief.
People in your town and mine are experiencing the same price increases without the resources or cushion that many of us have.
Men and women are still hearing the call to the mission field, serving all over the world to make Christ known in many unique ways.

It's during times of trial, struggle, that we have an opportunity to declare that God is our provider and our source of life, not our job and not our stuff. I pray that at this time, the Church would be known as a place where people are generous with all that they have, reflecting the Macedonian church written about in 2 Corinthians 8:

2 Corinthians 8:2 Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. 3 For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, 4 they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints. 5 And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God's will. 6 So we urged Titus, since he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. 7 But just as you excel in everything--in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us--see that you also excel in this grace of giving.

2CO 8:8 I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.

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