Generous Life Devotional - Apr. 1, 2014

Generous Sharing
 
VerseActs 4:32
 
All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had.
 
Devotional:
 
We are genuinely blessed to be part of a church, which in every way demonstrates, the generous mindset of this verse. Perhaps your church, too, has a large food pantry that is maintained by the practical hearts of a loving people, with items you might actually need on the shelves. You know, sort of like a mini grocery store. Maybe a fully operating commercial kitchen where various shifts of people whip up culinary amazements and serves them to the poor. Or even a missions and benevolences budget that reaches beyond 20% of the overall budget. Or perhaps these and even more service outreaches.
 
More than that?
 
We know that this can all be done with a small paid staff serving a congregation of about 200 families. Instead of paid staff, volunteers run every department with incredible efficiency.
 
It is good to be a part of a church with evidence of such a strong biblical pattern.
 
I imagine some may come in and take advantage in the pantry, come up with a story in order to get some financial relief. But, our congregation believes that it all belongs to the Lord and only the Lord knows the true intent of a man’s heart. So, we give. We give because we know we can’t out-give God.
 
With this heart, God also provides for all our other needs; salaries, the beautiful church building, all of our programs and maintenance expenses, and our congregational tithing.
 
For many years it wasn’t always like this. My wife, Kim and I participated in one church that was miserable in its giving and its approach to helping one another. Another church was presumptuous in its faith and often made a greater display of certain acts of giving while maintaining a tight-fisted approach to other, clear needs. For years, it was hard to see why each of these ministries struggled. But, now that we are seeing Acts 4:32 in action, God’s generous plan becomes clear.
 
Challenge:
 
How does your congregation compare to the one described in Acts 4:32? Is it tight-fisted? Presumptuous? Or can you see the culture of generosity throughout the ministry. How can you begin to affect change or affirm what you see? Write down your actions here at http://www.generouslife.net/day64.

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