Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the "harvest" of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in "thanksgiving" to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of "thanks" to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. "Thanks" be to God for his indescribable gift! 2 Corinthians 9:10-15
Today's thoughts from today's verses:
The Divine expectation for us as followers of Christ is for us to have God's mission for the world as our central purpose in life. Fulfilling this expectation necessitates our overcoming self-absorption and developing an outward orientation to the world around us and the people in it. The chief factor in all this is having the proper relationship with the material wealth with which God supplies us. Our passage for today has a "Thanksgiving" thread running through it. Could it be that the core issue in all of this, is whether or not we have a "grateful" heart? Grateful people know that material wealth is ultimately a matter of God supplying it. Grateful people know that material wealth does not really belong to them. Grateful people know that they are blessed by the material wealth that God supplies so that can be used by God to bless others with their material wealth.
If the fulfillment of the Divine expectation we have been talking about is something that eludes us, it is because we have a gratitude problem. God's Word tells us that we should give thanks in everything. On this Thanksgiving Day, think through the ingredients of your life (good and not so good), and come before God with expressions of thanks for each of them. Coming before God in this way with complete openness and honesty could very well become the moment that secures for you a life that is truly lived for the purpose of God's mission for the world.
What we are really talking about is being a servant and invariably the grateful person is a serving person. This is what happens as we grow in Christ in the context of a group of Christians who in response to God’s marching orders are truly becoming the “church” of Jesus Christ. To the marching orders of “reach the lost,” “disciple the saved,” and “plant churches,” we add “provide ways to serve.” When Sunday’s speaker, Brian Weed, missionary to Nicaragua, shared with us the marching order “provide ways to serve,” we saw how the missionary movement in Nicaragua is giving God’s people there, opportunities to serve in “medical stations,’ “feeding stations,” “sports complexes,” etc.
What a beautiful thing it is to touch our world by serving people in the practical and helpful ways God is using our church, while at the same time partnering with this missionary movement in Nicaragua and other similar missionary efforts around the world and here at home who are seeking to do the same thing. Please use the component “provide ways to serve” as a prayer request. After you make your own prayer response to God, please pray, specifically and expectantly, that the work to “provide ways to serve” in Nicaragua would flourish.
Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:
This would be an appropriate day to write your own prayer response to God.
Posted on Thu, November 24, 2016
by Alan Porter