John 3:16

God So Loved The World

Refined by Fire: A Journey of Grief and Grace by Mary Potter Kenyon

I Have Experienced Grief and Still Am.

I bought and read the Kindle Edition of Refined by Fire: A Journey of Grief and Grace by Mary Potter Kenyon. Having my mother pass away in December 2014, my father dies in June 2017, and cancer takes my wife of 43.5 years in April 2018, I have experienced grief and still am.

She Walks The Journey as Your Guide

The author has walked the grief highway and shares not only her experience and insights but helps the reader be aware of what they may encounter on the journey. One area I could relate to was my concern for how my children were handling grief and I felt the need to take their feeling into consideration when I made choices I knew would impact my family. Starting new traditions for Thanksgiving and Christmas was a struggle for me.

I had my middle child, then 38, graduate from seminary earning a master’s degree just three weeks after my wife’s death. One of my wife’s goals had been to live to see him walk across the stage. Five weeks before the graduation while she was in hospice she said she wouldn’t make it and my heart broke realizing death was imminent.

I drove across the country in May 2020 to attend a writer’s conference. During the drive I started talking, forgetting my wife was deceased. I drove past a Cracker Barrel Restaurant between Birmingham and Huntsville Alabama I said we had stopped there to eat on several previous trips to see her sister that lives in eastern Tennessee. I had to pull over and cry for about fifteen minutes.

Experienced Comfort

Mary sharing similar events in her book had me realizing my experience was normal for me and needed Kleenex to get through the book which I found hard to read – not because of the writing, but because of the memories reading caused me to relive. I recommend the book. Read in August 2020.

Love

Every Good Work

Your Labor Is Not In Vain

Perfect and Complete

Do What Is Good

Generosity, Giving, and God’s Way

Generosity, Giving, and God’s Way

Generosity is a fundamental Christian virtue. 

Generosity is a fundamental Christian virtue. I’ll be sharing from the Bible on what God’s Word teaches on the subject. I AM NOT advocating a philosophy of giving to get more. The Bible does not promise or teach that. It does teach that God is faithful to supply our needs, not our greeds (things we want that are not our basic needs).

Philippians 4:19 New Living Translation (NLT) – “And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.”

God’s Word teaches the Believer in Jesus Christ should be generous.

Proverbs 11:25 NLT – “The generous will prosper those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.”

Luke 6:38 NLT – “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.”

The Importance of Generosity and Giving.

1. Your Giving Encourages Others.

Philippians 4:14-16 NLT – “Even so, you have done well to share with me in my present difficulty. As you know, you Philippians were the only ones who gave me financial help when I first brought you the Good News and then traveled on from Macedonia. No other church did this. Even when I was in Thessalonica you sent help more than once.”

2. Your Giving Invests In The Future

Philippians 4:17 NLT – “I don’t say this because I want a gift from you. Rather, I want you to receive a reward for your kindness.”

1 Timothy 6:18-19 NLT – “Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others. By doing this they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they may experience true life.”

3. Your Giving Is an Offering Pleasing To God.

Philippians 4:18 NLT – “At the moment I have all I need—and more! I am generously supplied with the gifts you sent me with Epaphroditus. They are a sweet-smelling sacrifice that is acceptable and pleasing to God.”

4. God Gives You a Promise

Philippians 4:19 NLT – “And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.”

A. The Source: The promise is from God. Philippians 4:19a
B. The Scope:
This doesn’t include … Philippians 4:19b
        • The consequences of laziness.
        • All your wants (you greeds, not your needs).
It does include … Philippians 4:19b
        • All legitimate needs.
C. The Supply: which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19c

5. Conclusion

2 Corinthians 9:6-8 NLT – “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. 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.”

I believe God calls us to make a living (provide for our family) but also to make a difference (help others where they can see the love of Jesus Christ in action).

Call to Action: Who has God has placed on your heart that you can help? Why not do something about it today?

Photo Source: Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay