Truly Grateful; Abundantly Generous

Today's devotion is taken from The 21 Day Challenge by Scott McKenzie.  We read this devotional guide as a congregation a few years ago.


2 Corinthians 8:1-2
Brothers and sisters, we want to let you know about the grace of God that was given to the churches of Macedonia.  While they were being tested by many problems, their extra amount of happiness and their extreme poverty resulted in a surplus of rich generosity.

Sasha is a ten-year-old Russian orphan.  When the church group I was with visited, Sasha, for some reason, latched onto me. He took me by the arm and led me through the orphanage showing off his room and the place he ate meals.  All the while Sasha's eyes were filled with joy and laughter.  In spite of the fact I spoke little Russian and Sasha spoke no English, we connected.  As we prepared to depart, Sasha sat beside me, pulled a silver ring from his finger and held it out for me to take.  My eyes filled with tears and I spoke the only Russian word I knew – “Nyet, nyet.” (No, no.)  This child, who had nothing in the world to call his own except this ring, desperately wanted to give the ring to me.  When asked why he wanted to give his only possession away, Sasha responded, because I am so thankful you came. For Sasha, abundant joy, extreme poverty, and a heart filled with gratitude, overflowed in a wealth of generosity.

For many of us who have so much, we want more. We are not thankful for what we have and always look for the “something more”.  And truth be told, it’s never enough.  What would happen if, by God’s grace, our desire to gain more and have more could be transformed by gratitude into a heart-felt desire to give more?  What would happen if in a spirit of gratitude, we spent as much time figuring out ways to give as we spend figuring out how to earn, have and keep?

What are you most deeply grateful for? Can you recall a time when someone who could least afford it gave you a generous gift?  What was it like?  How did you respond?  Did it affect you in any way?  Does what I give in money, time, talent and service, reflect the depth of my gratitude?

Oh God, thank you for the examples of gratitude and generosity you have sent into our lives.  Forgive us Lord for being more concerned with how much we can earn, have and keep, instead of being thankful for all we have.  Forgive me for worrying about _____<fill in the blank>_____.  Help me God to be truly grateful and abundantly generous.   Amen.

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