Thursday, November 19, 2009

II Cor 9:7,8

This is one of my favorite passages in the Bible. It was beautifully translated so I will give you first the King James wording as it appears in the Thanksgiving Bible Lesson. "Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity; for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all suficiency in all things, may abound to every good work."

That is so lovely but listen to this from the New Living Translation....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."

Here is the version given in The Message Bible. I want each of you to take plenty of time to think it over, and make up your own mind what you will give. That will protect you against sob stories and arm twisting. God loves it when the giver delights in the giving. God can pour on the blessings in astonishing ways so that you're ready for anything and everything, more that just ready to do what needs to be done.

This is such a powerful statement as we move past Thanksgiving and into Christmas. My favorite Christmas story, besides the one told in the Gospels, is Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol. What an amazing story of redemption. It is never too late to change your thinking and your life, to make amends for things you have said or done...or not said or done. We can give in so many ways besides just presents. And God will provide us with the means to do that. We can pray to see that divine Love showers us with good, more than enough to meet our own need, so that we can show compassion to others. Be a giver who delights in the giving. And recognize the source of this as God.

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