How GENEROUS should or can I be?

Marty Duren in his little book “The Generous Soul” put it like this:

“The war between materialism and the kingdom of God is all the more difficult because it is a war between the seen and the unseen. Money is tangible, possessions usable, bank and stock accounts reviewable, debit and credit cards holdable. All of these things can war against faith, which strives to see that which is invisible, lives in the hope of eternity, holds to a God who is transcendent, and emphasizes the existence of the reality of which what we see are mere shadows and smoke.”

Generosity to the cause of Christ can be measured in many ways…but let’s face it. Generosity almost always requires us to give more than we thnk we should or can. I don’t believe that generosity can become a reality in our experience unless three things happen to us. # 1 – We must learn to hold everything “seen” with a loose grip so that we can release it to God anytime. After all according to Paul’s view of stewardship in the book of Corinthians we are not owners but managers [II Cor. 4:1-2]. # 2 – We must live with an outright confidence in God to provide for all our needs as we follow him. After the Philippians had given generously to Paul and his team, Paul spoke with great assurance that His God which was their God would provide for all their need according to his riches found in Christ Jesus. If we are to give generously, then we must exercise that kind of faith. # 3 – We must live with “eyes on the prize.” We must in the words of Paul to the Colossians “set our affections on things above” [Col. 3:1-2] & look for the “unseen not the seen” [II Cor. 4:18].

The bottom line for practicing generosity for the cause of Christ flows out of what we believe about today and tomorrow. It reflects what we value and what we are willing to see! THINK IT THRU! – Tom Wright

Do you have a PRAYING LIFE?

More often than not we pray as an aside to our devotional life. We try hard to be disciplined in prayer. We wrestle with our prayer lists, we wring our hands in frustration when we miss our appointed time and carry a guilt burden throughout the day as we reflect on our failure. We know prayer is hard work and it is a battle, for the enemy would torpedo every effort we make to pray. I am reading a book by Paul Miller called A Praying Life in which he makes the very candid and simple comment that perhaps we have missed what prayer really is. He likens it to sitting at a dinner table and conversing with your best friend. There is speaking and listening. There is honor and laughter with your friend, as well as tears and reflective moments. But in the end, the whole conversation has been enjoyable, even when you have had to discuss the tough things. Should not prayer be  an intimate interaction with your heavenly Father, something we anticipate and long for?  Should we pray as if we are at the dinner table with our Father? We can be reverent, honorable, and yet enjoy the conversation…enjoy spending time with our Father.  So…the next time you pray….THINK IT THRU!  – tom wright