Monday, 17 October 2016

Be generous

"When you happen on someone who’s in trouble or needs help among your people with whom you live in this land that God, your God, is giving you, don’t look the other way pretending you don’t see him. Don’t keep a tight grip on your purse. No. Look at him, open your purse, lend whatever and as much as he needs. Don’t count the cost.....Give freely and spontaneously. Don’t have a stingy heart. The way you handle matters like this triggers God, your God’s, blessing in everything you do, all your work and ventures. There are always going to be poor and needy people among you. So I command you: Always be generous, open purse and hands, give to your neighbors in trouble, your poor and hurting neighbors." (vv 7 - 11, Deuteronomy 15)

Be kind. Be generous. Be as loving as Jesus who gave his life beyond generosity. Thinking of yesterday's thought and how Jesus took time to slow his life down and notice the moment, I too need to live slowly enough to notice and be aware of others' needs, opening my ears to listen and eyes to see.

Such living is rewarded, not least in inspiring devotion:"But if your servant says to you, ‘I do not want to leave you,’ because he loves you and your family and is well off with you,  then take an awl and push it through his ear lobe into the door, and he will become your servant for life." (vv 16 - 17)

I am reminded of the song:

"Pierce my ear, O Lord my God,
Take me to Your throne this day
I will serve no other god
Lord, I’m here to stay
For You have paid the price for me
With Your blood You ransomed me.
I will serve You eternally,
A free man I'll never be."

Such a beautiful song which has remained in my heart for thirty years be devoted, committed to God such that all else - even freedom - is worthless. Just yesterday, there were Walk For Freedom marches in cities in the UK, organised by A21 in its fight against modern day slavery. I can't imagine that any slave today is so well treated that they would wish to remain with their master....

...even then, though slavery was openly common, it wasn't in God's plan but arose out of sin and selfishness. 'Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."  (Galatians 6:9)

Keep loving. Keep going.

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