“Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back.” Luke 6:30
Looking back on my upbringing, I will have to admit that I was raised in a very selfish family. It is true that in regard to his patients, my father, a doctor, was quite unselfish. He was on call 24/7, made hospital visits each day, and called on his patients at their homes. (So desperate was I to be with him, I would ride with him to those appointments and sit in the car while he made his visits!)
Other than this, I did not see generosity or selflessness in action. The handsome income my father earned during the 1950’s-60’s and onward was used, as far as I know, solely upon our family. Without attending church, there wasn't even tithing.
My mom, in truth, was a status-conscious social climber who had to have the very best of everything—clothes, furniture, homes, etc. If a neighbor purchased something, my mom had to one –up-them. If a home in a different location seemed more desirable than where they presently lived, my parents moved, with my mother upgrading everything in the new home, needed or not. Please don’t get me wrong—I do love my mom. After some very difficult years during my teens, 20’s, and early 30’s, I finally read a book, Irregular People, that helped me to understand her, and I can readily say today that my love for her is sincere, and my hope is that she is with Jesus in heaven (I believe that after she developed dementia, she accepted the Lord).
Contrast this upbringing, however, with the examples I have been given throughout the years after I became a Christian. My Christian brothers and sisters demonstrated to me true selflessness and generosity, and not out of their wealth, but out of whatever little they had. There were financial donations, such as giving to overseas missions, local Gospel Missions, Crisis Pregnancy Centers, Samaritan’s Purse, Compassion International, their churches, etc. When they saw a brother or sister in need, they were quick to offer help. This might be manual labor, helping with construction, plumbing, landscaping, etc.; bringing meals to those unable to cook; transporting others to appointments; helping in the moving process, etc.. There also was great emotional and/or prayer support . . . sometimes daily for months and/or years. This is selflessness; this is generosity; this is the loving hands and feet of Jesus in action!
Luke says to give to anyone who asks, but how much better is it to give without a request when we see a need. I’ve the best example of someone just like this, a woman who when she feels God calling her to give, though there be no request, does so most generously with great joy. Again—GENEROUS, SELFLESS LOVE—JESUS IN ACTION!
Let us all pray to look to the needs and cares of others and give generously with joy! This giving need not be monetary, but rather, possibly even a greater giving is that of ourselves—our time, listening ears, emotional support and/or prayers. Let’s open our ears and hearts to listen to God when He asks us to give and be quick to obey!
Matthew 22:37-40 “Jesus replied, ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.’
2 Corinthians 9:6-8 “ Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. ‘For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.’ And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.”
2 Corinthians 9:11 “Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God.”
Psalm 51:10 “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.”
PRAYER: Dear Father, I ask You to create in me not only a clean heart, but a loving and generous heart and a right spirit—one not focused upon myself and my felt needs, but upon the needs of others. Especially, NEVER let me give thinking that if I give, I will get, because You are not like a gumball machine: put in a coin and get what I want! You have promised You will provide for my every need, and I choose to trust in that promise. Let my focus be, therefore, today and always, unselfishly on others, and help me to be a generous giver, such as my friend!
DISCLAIMER: I am just an ordinary woman who loves Jesus, accepting Him as Savior at the age of thirty-two and digging into the Bible ever since. How could I possibly hope to develop a heart relationship with God and trust Him with my life if I didn't know who He is?!
These devotionals are written to help you journey with Christ and grow in your heart relationship with Him. However, it is essential that you examine my words, and those of all other "teachers," with God's Holy Word. Therein lies the source of all truth!
Candice Mary Thomas writes about loving God and loving people! Coming to Christ at age 32 and now in her 70's, Candice knows what a difference it makes living with or without Christ as one's personal Savior.