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Giving thanks (and giving) cheerfully

November 24, 2022
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Daily Scripture

2 Corinthians 9:6-11

6 What I mean is this: the one who sows a small number of seeds will also reap a small crop, and the one who sows a generous amount of seeds will also reap a generous crop.
7 Everyone should give whatever they have decided in their heart. They shouldn’t give with hesitation or because of pressure. God loves a cheerful giver. 8 God has the power to provide you with more than enough of every kind of grace. That way, you will have everything you need always and in everything to provide more than enough for every kind of good work. 9 As it is written, He scattered everywhere; he gave to the needy; his righteousness remains forever [Psalm 112:9].
10 The one who supplies seed for planting and bread for eating will supply and multiply your seed and will increase your crop, which is righteousness. 11 You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous in every way. Such generosity produces thanksgiving to God through us.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

“God has the power to provide you with more than enough of every kind of grace” (verse 8). “You will be made rich in every way” (verse 11). Paul, a traveling Christian preacher who owned, as far as we know, no real estate, no life insurance, and no retirement plan, wrote those words! That does not mean it’s wrong for us to have any of those things. But, on this Thanksgiving Day, it does challenge us to rethink how we define “rich” and “more than enough.”

  • As you give thanks for good things in your life, reflect on what ways you can find or create an opportunity to show a generous spirit that gives someone else a reason for giving thanks. What is one thing you can identify that shows God’s great generosity toward you? How can focusing on God’s generosity toward you help you be more cheerfully generous toward others?
  • A few verses after today’s reading, Paul exclaimed, “Thank God for his gift that words can’t describe!” (2 Corinthians 9:15). What reality or realities was he talking about when he used that phrase? When (if ever) have you received a gift from someone that “left you speechless,” that words couldn’t fully describe? How would you compare that kind of experience with God’s gift(s) of which Paul spoke?
Prayer

Lord Jesus, open my eyes to the abundance you provide around me. May my heart sing as, out of your abundance, I seek to be your physical presence to the people in my world. Amen.

GPS Insights

Picture of Janelle Gregory

Janelle Gregory

Janelle Gregory serves on the Resurrection staff as Human Resources Lead Director. Janelle finds that her heart is constantly wrestling with the truth that she needs a Savior, and the times when she's at her very best are when she's just too tired to put up a fight.

I have the week off, and I decided to attack a few house projects. One of those was to clean out the master closet, a project long overdue. It’s where objects without a home have just been stashed. One by one, I’ve been pulling item after item out. I have no idea how all of that stuff fit in there. Our closet must have the magic of Mary Poppins’s bag. I found things in there I had long forgotten that we ever owned. This week they have been sorted into keep and get rid of, and the “get rid of” pile is absurd. No really, it’s absurd. It makes me wonder why we ever purchased so much stuff to begin with. I’m sure it all seemed important at the time, but now the vast majority of that “important” stuff is in bags that will find their way to a thrift store or a dumpster.

This project has actually been a bit cathartic. I’ve found that as I’ve been cleaning out the closet, I’ve also been cleaning out my soul. It’s given me a perspective into what I do and do not need and even what I do and do not want. This physical stuff isn’t doing me any good. It hasn’t been bringing me joy or happiness. It’s not enriching my life or enriching the world. If anything, it’s only made my life more miserable. It’s gotten in the way and created chaos. It’s certainly made me step back and think twice about how we’re spending our money and what we’re bringing into the home. What good are things if they are only stored and never to be seen or used? Is that what we would want for us? Is that what God would want for us? I think the answer to both of those questions is, “No. Absolutely not.”

Financial resources are a gift. God knows that and understands that. He also realizes that if we don’t use our financial resources well, they become a burden. I’m not saying we have to be minimalists, but I think we need to realize and be grateful when we have more than enough. The goal at that point isn’t to get more, it’s to give more. It’s to use our finances wisely in ways that lift up, heal others, and bring about God’s goodness in this world.

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Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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