The Better Blessing – A Devotion

The Better Blessing

Deuteronomy 15:10 (NLT)

Give generously to the poor, not grudgingly, for the Lord your God will bless you in everything you do.

 

It is not my intention to step on anyone’s toes today, but simply feel the pressure of the Holy Spirit treading upon my own. See the Lord has invited me to give to others and I have been hesitating. Please don’t be judgmental! You know you do the same thing, too. The Holy Spirit (in your gut) tells you to be kind, gracious and generous in your dealings and you choose to ignore it when logic reminds you that you do not have it to give. Each time the Lord impresses on our heart to give and we shy away in reluctance we miss the better blessing. In fact, we miss the mark entirely when it comes to holiness and righteousness that encourages us to be like Jesus Christ who gave His All for us. This is not a giant guilt trip but rather a great door of opportunity that stands before each one of us today as we venture out to live our life as “temporary residents” on the earth. Our time here is limited yet we choose to live for today instead of thriving in the confident hope we have for an excellent future. We do not give our greatest gifts in our abundance but the highest heavenly reward comes when we give by faith even if it make us uncomfortable or uncertain in the moment. Such an abandonment of this life to purse His Kingdom will make us “wealthy” in so many ways beyond today. It is definitely the better blessing.

Philippians 2:1-5 (NLT)

Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose. Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.

For those of you who do not think that the Old Testament holds relevance after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, let us move into the New Testament to find the purpose of generosity to those who are fully covered by His Grace. We owe no man anything except love unless we choose to go into the bondage of indebtedness to them. The encouragement found in belonging to Christ is total freedom. Freedom from the “things” of this world. The comfort of His Love is that He will meet our every need according to His Plan and Purpose for our life. The Holy Spirit leads us step by step to walk in the Shadow of Jesus Christ who only goes where the Father tells Him to go and does only what the Father tells Him to do. So being led by the Spirit, following Christ means that we live in the Presence of God which leads us right back to Deuteronomy 15:10 because God does not lie or change His Mind. We are to be generous to the poor. This includes every person who we come in contact with who lacks any good thing. When we choose to identify the needs of others and generously meet their needs, we have followed the example of Jesus Christ. We must live with the same attitude as Jesus to have the better blessing.

Selfishness is not characteristic of God. He is generous giving His All for mankind to come back into right standing with Him once again. The God of the Universe withheld no good thing from us giving us full access to His Throne to come boldly in our time of need. Anyone else who does not have such a privilege requires our immediate attention including our generosity and compassion which are qualities of righteousness. We have no lack. We have all that we need. It is from this knowledge that we give not necessarily our bank account. To be generous means liberal in giving and/or sharing and unselfish. It is to be free of meanness or smallness of character so obviously this goes much deeper than our wallet. Generosity produces fertility in our life for it is another thing that defines one as generous. To those given much, much is required. But in the Kingdom of God, we must use it or lose it. “To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away.” (Matthew 25:29)

 

Luke 6:28-31 (NLT)

Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. As the Scriptures say, “They share freely and give generously to the poor. Their good deeds will be remembered forever.”  For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you. Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God.

God gives seed to the sower. Those who plant generously will get a generous crop. We decide in our hearts what to give. Giving is a heart condition. It begins within us and moves to the outside of us. To give under pressure is to respond to a demand, but generosity is a seed that begins in our heart. When we act on it, it is planted in the Kingdom of God and subject to His Prosperity. Such deeds are remembered forever. It motivates God to give us everything we need and more because He want to bless our obedience. Our tithe is obedience to God. It should not even be something that we discuss as it is clearly outlined in His Word that ten percent belongs to the Lord outright. Where is the struggle? It is faith struggle. It is a trust issue. It is an attachment to this world that must be severed. What breaks on bondage in this world? When we stop looking to the world to satisfy our soul and begin to live a righteous life it will result in giving. “And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?” (Matthew 16:26)

Those who are generous will overflow in resources which is not always money. You have exactly what is needed to meet the needs of another person but it is up to you to decide if you will give it in faith and confident hope that God will supply your every need. I believe yet I still struggle when God encourages me to give and I feel I need that which is required. This giving thing that He is talking to us about to day is material and spiritual. It encompasses all of our natural life. If you can see it, feel it, touch it then it is something that can be given away for the Glory of God allowing His Goodness to flow to you and through you in every good work. This produces a reward in Heaven that is always the better blessing.

Luke 6:28-31 (NLT)

Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also. Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back. Do to others as you would like them to do to you.

 

Let’s “but God” for a minute. But God, what about those people who constantly take from us? What about those who spitefully use us? What about those individuals who just suck us dry never giving anything back in return? What about the things that are taken from us? We are to give to anyone who asks. Ouch! This is a tough one for me because just like everyone else there are times when I judge the one who is asking according to my own principles, ethics and morals for life rather than succumbing to the Gospel that says, “Give to anyone who asks.” Gut-wrenching to think of the times that someone has asked and I have denied them. The person who wants to cut in traffic. The beggar at the corner who clearly “needs a beer”. To humble myself before the Lord and accept all that He has for me requires that I give to the least of these. It is not my job to judge the life condition of others but simply meet their need. Do to others as you would like them to do to you. This is not beat them to the punch and indeed will require a few blows to our pride until we have a humble spirit willing to be generous to everyone we meet rather than playing favorites.

Proverbs 11:23-25 (NLT)

The godly can look forward to a reward, while the wicked can expect only judgment. Give freely and become more wealthy; be stingy and lose everything. The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.

 

The generous will prosper. This is totally contrary to how the world thinks or acts. Philanthropists give from their wealth and abundance but God wants us to give regardless of our current situation. Why? Righteousness should produce generosity and compassion in our life that is unconditional based on God’s Love and Gifts to us. We have no sense of entitlement any greater than the next person because God does not have one favorite. We are all His Favorites will the potential to be blessed equally and rewarded fully. This is our right and privilege as Children of God and residents of His Kingdom. However, that means that we must live as “temporary residents” in this world to have it. “For the Scriptures say, ‘You must be holy because I am holy.’ And remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favorites. He will judge or reward you according to what you do. So you must live in reverent fear of him during your time here as “temporary residents.” (I Peter 1:16-17) We decide to be holy or not. It begins in our giving of our life to have all that God has promised. Our reward is primarily in Heaven. This must be the focus of our life because to be quite frank nothing we obtain in this world can be taken with us to Heaven. Only our soul, so we must strive to prosper in our soul to be reunited with God the Father through Jesus His Son. This is the greatest blessing of all secured in our righteousness with God. Those who are righteous will give freely and become wealthy as their soul prospers so will they.

Psalm 112 (NLT)

Praise the Lord! How joyful are those who fear the Lord and delight in obeying his commands. Their children will be successful everywhere; an entire generation of godly people will be blessed. They themselves will be wealthy, and their good deeds will last forever. Light shines in the darkness for the godly. They are generous, compassionate, and righteous. Good comes to those who lend money generously and conduct their business fairly. Such people will not be overcome by evil. Those who are righteous will be long remembered. They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the Lord to care for them. They are confident and fearless and can face their foes triumphantly. They share freely and give generously to those in need. Their good deeds will be remembered forever. They will have influence and honor. The wicked will see this and be infuriated. They will grind their teeth in anger; they will slink away, their hopes thwarted.

 

Light shines in the darkness for the godly. They are generous, compassionate and righteous. God has shown me some ideas for the future. Business ideas to bless my family. I know that these things are simmering on the back burner of my mind until it is time to set out to accomplish these dreams. But for now…right now… the Lord has been laying on my heart to give some things away that I have been reluctant in doing due to fear of lack. I am being candid with you. Will you be honest with yourself today? God sees through us and even past the façade of confidence we present to the world to the scared heart that beats inside of us. He knows your confidence level today and your giving gives you away. Those who share freely and give generously to those in need do so from a satisfied heart that has found total contentment in godliness. I want to be that person. I want the better blessing. I believe that my obedience in this calling will set the precedence for my future business plan based on the Word of God I have shared with you today. The current economic struggles of the world today make it hard to give with such uncertainty of the future. But I have a hope that is secure and will never lead to disappointment if I choose to invest my faith in Christ instead of the world around me. When I trust the Lord and choose to obey His Leading and Urging to give my life away including that which is tangible and of earthly worth – I am promised a better reward. That’s the one I want.

2 Corinthians 9:6-11 (NLT)

Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. As the Scriptures say, “They share freely and give generously to the poor. Their good deeds will be remembered forever.” For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you. Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God.

Will you be the one who plants generously today? Those who decide to give with their heart today and not their head will receive from God’s Abundance in every way. I believe that with all my heart now I want my hands to follow this faith to become generous givers. Stop overthinking your gift today. If God says give it, just do it. This puts the responsibility back on the Lord to be faithful to His Word, you just need to wait for His Blessing to reach you. When you give in the right attitude, you will have a satisfied heart even when it seems that you have gained nothing in return. God loves cheerful givers. The more you give the more cheerful you become as His Peace, Love and Joy overtake you! God will remember every good deed that you do forever. The Lord promises to enrich all who give so they can continue to be generous. Giving will change your life for the better forever. It is definitely the better blessing!

Isaiah 32:8 (NLT)

But generous people plan to do what is generous, and they stand firm in their generosity.

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