Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – May 6, 2016
A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. Proverbs 11:25
My friend Scott was one of most generous and prosperous people I have ever known—he freely gave his time, his wisdom, his prayers, his finances, his relationships and his hospitality. He was quick to take my calls, listen to my concerns, offer comfort and elevate my eyes of faith to the bigger picture of God at work. Not surprisingly, Scott was one of the most refreshing men I was ever around: full of energy and ready to engage life as the Lord’s ambassador of love. Over 1,000 of us attended Scott’s funeral—grieving, but refreshed by our friend’s boundless generosity. Following Jesus is often counter cultural and counter intuitive. To find your life is to lose your life. To be victorious is to surrender. To be successful is to submit. To bear fruit is to die. To suffer for Christ’s sake is a blessing. The way up is down—when you decrease, Christ increases. Prosperity—materially, relationally, emotionally, spiritually—comes from giving not getting. Being refreshed comes by refreshing others. See yourself as a gallon water pot brimming with cool liquid looking for a thirsty life, like a budding garden, is always in need of refreshment!
“Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people” (Philemon 1:7).
We are prosperous when we sow seeds of love in other lives.We regularly nurture our investment with prayerful patience and by God’s grace we experience a refreshing harvest. How can we grow in our generosity? We start with a renewed mindset: the Lord owns all our stuff, but He expects us to manage His assets with a generous spirit. Once we have a proper perspective on prosperity we can wisely choose which opportunities to share God’s stuff. Greed is a desire to keep more than we need, while generosity is passionate to give away above what we need.
The wicked may prosper in the world’s wealth, but they miss experiencing the true riches found in Jesus Christ. Prosperity from our heavenly Father’s vantage point is the joy of seeing a lost soul come to Jesus, the blessing of a godly life and the refreshment of childlike humility. Like the widow who gave all she had or the impoverished, but generous Macedonian church—prosperity may offer little materially—but it assures abundant rewards with an eternal shelf life. True prosperity is the outcome of selfless generosity, while ever refreshing and being refreshed!
“One person gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty” (Proverbs 11:24).
PrayerHeavenly Father, grow my heart of generosity, so I might prosper in refreshing others.
ApplicationWho needs my prayers and my regular refreshment in their life?
Related ReadingDeuteronomy 5:33; Job 22:21; Jeremiah 29:11; Acts 13:17; Galatians 6:9
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