As I was beginning to write today I had a passage I wanted to share…it’s amazing it’s great. I began to think about why I loved it so much. I was just sitting and sort of asking the Lord why it was such a great verse. I then began to think about generosity. First, let me tell you the story of how I got to this great Bible verse.
I was in the prayer room the other night and there was this cute little Bible on the table…I recognized that it was a small Message Bible. I knew this because I had purchased many in the last few years. As my friend Jonathan picked it up to open it up I said, “Oh man how many of those Bibles I have had, they are so great. It’s really funny though because literally every time I got one I felt like the Lord asked me to give it away.” It’s true. I have probably purchased four of five of them in the last couple of years. I am so glad to bless another with them…don’t get me wrong.
This conversation and exchange begins:
Jonathan: handing me the Bible says, “Here have it.”
Lu: as I move away from him denying the gift, “No, no, no that’s not what I meant. I was merely having a flashback.”
Jonathan: looking around, “Where’s your bag?”
Lu: laughing, “I didn’t bring one.”
Jonathan: adamantly handing me the Bible, “Here just take it.”
Lu: removing my hands from the area.
The next thing I know the Bible is sitting on my shoulder and Jonathan has walked away. I then know that I can’t give it back so I’m super excited. I was like a little kid in the candy store. I just love the message Bible because sometimes it just says things that were confusing and they no longer are. I don’t love it all the time as sometimes I feel it decreases the intensity and the words don’t penetrate as maybe a NIV might. Ok, sorry about that little rabbit trail…let’s just leave it at the fact that I was very excited.
As I opened it up to the bookmark it was on Psalm 18. As I looked I immediately found my eyes on verse 16 and I read through 30. Since then I think I have literally read this 20 times!!! I have shared it with probably entirely too many people…I LOVE IT. Here it is….
16-19 But me he caught—reached all the way
from sky to sea; he pulled me out
Of that ocean of hate, that enemy chaos,
the void in which I was drowning.
They hit me when I was down,
but God stuck by me.
He stood me up on a wide-open field;
I stood there saved—surprised to be loved!
20-24 God made my life complete
when I placed all the pieces before him.
When I got my act together,
he gave me a fresh start.
Now I’m alert to God’s ways;
I don’t take God for granted.
Every day I review the ways he works;
I try not to miss a trick.
I feel put back together,
and I’m watching my step.
God rewrote the text of my life
when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes.
25-27 The good people taste your goodness,
The whole people taste your health,
The true people taste your truth,
The bad ones can’t figure you out.
You take the side of the down-and-out,
But the stuck-up you take down a peg.
28-29 Suddenly, God, you floodlight my life;
I’m blazing with glory, God’s glory!
I smash the bands of marauders,
I vault the highest fences.
30 What a God! His road
stretches straight and smooth.
Every God-direction is road-tested.
Everyone who runs toward him
I was wanted to actually blog about the passage but maybe that’s for another day. Or how about you tell me which part stands out to you the most. Leave your thoughts in the comments. I’m still running in the direction of generosity….
So as I have stepped into missions I have felt myself being less and less generous because money is not something I have much of these days. I used to give and be very generous with my finances, but now that there isn’t as much and I have found myself living by faith I find myself doing something not so great. I have literally been less generous with what I have been given. This is so not correct. The Lord’s kingdom runs on generosity. We are in a recession or even some call a depression but what if we actually started to give out of our need. The spirit of generosity breeds something so amazing. It says in the Bible that it’s better to give than to receive. I know I would much rather give than to receive.
Here’s the thing…I am realizing more and more it doesn’t always have to be financial, it could be a handbag, a watch, a word of encouragement. I have been saving the money I have, holding on so tightly to it which is basically saying to the Lord I don’t trust you. I will take care of MY money. But I was realizing goodness me, it’s not mine anyways and no matter how hard I hold on to it.
So the generosity of one man offered me great encouragement from the word which I got to pass to others and then to write about it. In my need of encouragement the generous spirit opened and I was encouraged. We often are not generous with our words. We tend to be entirely to critical but what would happen if we began to be generous with encouragement and words that lifted others up? It changes things, in you, in others, in the space, in the community. Generosity is giving without expecting anything in return. So I’m choosing to give of what I have…my love, my grace, my words, my money, my joy and anything else God would call me to give. Does anyone need anything?