Devotions for November 19, 2014

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2 Corinthians 9:6-15

6 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. 7 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.” 8 And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. 9 As the Scriptures say,

“They share freely and give generously to the poor.
Their good deeds will be remembered forever.”
10 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.

11 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. 12 So two good things will result from this ministry of giving—the needs of the believers in Jerusalem will be met, and they will joyfully express their thanks to God.

13 As a result of your ministry, they will give glory to God. For your generosity to them and to all believers will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ. 14 And they will pray for you with deep affection because of the overflowing grace God has given to you. 15 Thank God for this gift too wonderful for words!

Luke 6:38

38 Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.

DEVOTIONAL QUESTIONS

Q:Paul advises that we should give cheerfully, not grudgingly or out of obligation. When you’re giving monetarily or giving your time (through acts of service, prayer, devotion, worship) to God, what is the disposition of your heart? What is your attitude toward giving? Would you describe it as cheerful, reluctant, smug, indifferent, or overjoyed? If giving triggers a negative emotion, how can your heart be transformed into a heart that reflects Christ’s character?

Q:The passages list several positive outcomes of generous giving including the abundant release of blessings to the givers and receivers. What are some of the other results of generous giving? How does God ensure the cycle of giving is perpetuated? How would you describe your participation in this cycle?

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