Morning Musing: 2 Samuel 9:1

“And David said, “Is there still anyone left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?””  (ESV – Read the chapter) ‬‬

It is episodes like this one that garnered David the title “man after God’s own heart.” What David does here is perfectly in line with the way God operates toward us. We would do well to follow in his footsteps, if not in detail, then at least in intent. Read the rest…

Breaking Free

In this final part of our series, Gravity: Overcoming the Weight of Our Stuff, we talk about one last, powerful way to break free from the pull our stuff otherwise naturally has on our lives.  Along the way, I offer a three step process for how to begin building the practice of sacrificial generosity into our lives, an example of what generosity can do, and a chance to respond.  Thanks for reading and blessings as you make your plan to break free from the gravity of your stuff.

Breaking Free

Have you noticed that one of Disney’s goals lately seems to be to make live-action remakes of all their classic animated films?  We’ve so far seen Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, The Jungle Book, Maleficent, Pete’s Dragon, and Christopher Robin, with films like Dumbo, Mulan, the Lion King, and Aladdin on the near horizon.  A bit of research allowed me to discover that there are also tentative plans to redo other classic films such as Snow White, Robinhood, The Sword in the Stone, and Pinocchio. Read the rest…

Morning Musings: Proverbs 3:9-10

“Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.”  (ESV)

As much as many would like and have even tried to argue this is the case, one of the things the Bible does not teach is a kind of tit-for-tat giving arrangement whereby every time we give something, God gives back to us in equal amounts.  Any preacher or teacher who has said otherwise is a snake oil salesman in disguise.  But… Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: Proverbs 30:7-9

“Two things I ask of you; deny them not to me before I die: Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God.”  (ESV)

If you could ask anything of God, what would it be?  Agur here asks for two things.  He firsts asks for God to make him honest, to take all falsehood and lying away from him.  We can understand that.  Now, that may not be the first thing we would think of if we had a blank check from God, but it’s a pretty good thing if you think about it.  He’s basically asking for God to help him live a life that is consistent with reality all the time.  Most of us could probably use a little more reality in our lives.  Living with fantasy may feel nice for a while, but eventually it runs out and usually leaves you lower than you were before you sought the fantasy high in the first place.  This is a good thing.  We get this one.  The other thing…after the beginning…not so much. Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: 2 Corinthians 9:7

“Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

What is it that makes a cheerful giver so much better than otherwise?  Well, who wants a begrudging gift?  I sure don’t.  When someone gives something under compulsion, it tends to take all the joy out of receiving for the recipient.

What’s more, when someone is giving to God under compulsion, that person is treating giving like a religious exercise.  You do a religious exercise not because you want to or because it’s the right thing to do, but because if you don’t, you will incur the wrath of the deity you are trying to appease.  No one wants to do that.  God makes abundantly clear in the Scriptures that He has absolutely no interest in that kind of thing.  He’d rather people not even bothering trying if all they’re going to give Him is a half-hearted religiosity.  He wants our hearts, not our wallets. Read the rest…