Flourish: Defining the Church's Role in Creation

Day 2 of 6 • This day’s reading

Devotional

Living Generously


The way you treat your possessions and money is a window into your worldview. Jesus said, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” This is an area of our lives that is worth examining. 


Is your home full of clutter? Do you tithe and give to those in need? Struggle to throw things away? When shopping, do you buy inexpensive items and toss them out after a few uses? Do you have a hard time parting with money? 


What tugs at your heart?


We maintain our spiritual life through studying God’s Word and attending church, our physical selves through exercise and eating right, but how do we take responsibility for our accumulation of “treasures”? 


Despite what our culture says, God never intended us to chase earthly possessions. Fortunately, Scripture has given us a map so we don’t get lost trying to keep up with the Jones’. 


In 1 Peter 4:10, Peter writes, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” As Christians, we are called to be stewards rather than owners. Probably because the danger with ownership is that our things can start to own us. We worry about what we have, how to get more of it, how to keep it. These distractions cloud our vision, taking our focus off of God and the purposes He has called us to. 


Our security is eternal


We ought to find our security is in the Lord, not in possessions or in money. You can pursue earthly treasures today and they'll be gone tomorrow. Real treasure cannot be earned by us anyhow, they come in the form as gifts from our Heavenly Father ― salvation, redemption, restoration, healing, the fruits of the Spirit. 


We are called to “seek first the kingdom”. In choosing to follow Jesus, we are grafted into the kingdom of God. The way of our Lord is counter-cultural. He gives more than we could ever deserve. His blessings chase after us, therefore we don’t need to chase after mere possessions. 


His way is the only one worth following.


STORY:


Rangeen is a Yazidi woman who works for Tearfund in Iraq. For Yazidis, the people around you are to be valued more highly than you value yourself.


Rangeen goes shopping for snacks like chocolate and drinks. She comes back to work with a bag full of goodies. Then she goes around the office and asks if anyone wants anything she's bought. She makes sure everyone is looked after before her own needs, often returning to her desk without any of the items she bought. What an incredible act of generosity! 


-Contributed by Marika Pietsch, Program Manager for Tearfund 


ACTION:


Many people already tithe their income, but we believe that ultimately we should aspire to a higher standard, even giving away all income above the level that we actually need. Jesus said, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded.”