Daily Devotional, January 20th
Shaina attends a service for 20-somethings at her church. The group is small but growing, and they're starting to reach out in innovative ways to their community.
In the past year, nearly 30 people in the church have lost their jobs. So her group decided to get donations of food from individuals and businesses. They were amazed at the generosity. Soon they had a room jam-packed with groceries, and they began to set up appointments for the out-of-work families to "shop" for free. But many people didn't want to come, despite being in financial trouble.
"We felt bad," said Shaina. "I was doing something to help people who really needed it, and it was a great feeling. People took something away from me because they were too proud to accept help."
When Paul the apostle prepared to go to Jerusalem for the last time, he stopped to encourage the believers in Ephesus. He noted that he had never coveted anyone's wealth and had always worked hard. But when he quoted Jesus as saying, "It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35), his statement implied that it is indeed blessed to receive. If no one receives, no one gets the blessing of giving. God uses our needy times to humble us, and to enable others to enjoy the blessing of giving.
We're all desperately needy for spiritual rescue. Without Jesus, we're powerless to save ourselves. In a letter to the Ephesians, Paul wrote, "Even though we were dead because of our sins, He gave us life when He raised Christ from the dead" (2:5). "God saved you by His grace when you believed [in His Son]. . . . It is a gift from God" (v.8).
Yet most people are too proud to receive the most generous gift of all time. Imagine how Jesus must feel about that. , Tim Gustafson, Our Daily Journey
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