Much is made of the radical generosity of those first followers of Jesus. Acts 2:44-45 tells us that “All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.” Not everyone did this (as other stories show), but many of them did. It was … Continue reading Radical generosity
“Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward them for what they have done” (Proverbs 19:17). There are times when we talk ourselves out of helping others because we think they’re not deserving of our help. Or maybe we simply assume they’ll squander our generosity on something they shouldn’t. … Continue reading Your intentions, not theirs
It’s Christmas Eve! Millions of children from all around the world are anticipating a visit from Santa Claus—who is probably going to be wearing a mask and washing his hands a few billion times, but that’s a discussion for another day. A quick look at his origins is kind of fun. But more importantly, it … Continue reading The origins of Santa
People make money. Older people and younger people. Some make a lot and some make a little. Some run companies and some deliver newspapers. And many do a whole bunch of other things. But WHY do we make money? Well, sure, we make money to provide for our needs. It’s nice to have food, clothes, … Continue reading The gift you give and get at the same time
#Blessed is a really popular hashtag, especially at this time of year. When posting pics many people—including myself—will say we’re somehow #blessed and that God has been good to us. To be honest, I love seeing it. It's an awareness of God as a loving provider. But get this. In Luke 11:27-28 a woman in … Continue reading #Blessed?
I was recently talking with someone about how we live in a “consumer culture,” and about how deeply that kind of thinking has burrowed its way into our hearts and minds. It’s hard to escape. We consume. Products, plastics, food, ideas, even people sometimes. We spend our days being battered by advertisements and promotions which … Continue reading The gold is in the giving
Would you rather praise God or be praised by others? Let’s be honest. Getting a pat on the back feels good. I’m not knocking that. But we shouldn’t be so obsessed by the praise and approval of others that it eclipses the priority of putting God first. So here’s something you and I can do … Continue reading For the praise of God, or the praise of others?
I love simplicity. And I love things that go along with the idea of simplicity—things like sincerity and practicality. Maybe I really like simplicity because I know that (a) life can get complicated, and (b) I find it very hard to achieve! Writing to the Corinthians Paul says that “we behaved in the world with … Continue reading One habit to live more simply
Theologian Kosuke Koyama once said in a speech that “every Christian must decide whether we serve a stingy God or a generous God.” I wasn’t in the audience when he said that. But my guess is that he was talking about how our understanding of God impacts how we treat other people. If we think … Continue reading In the shadow of a stingy God?
Elisabeth Elliot tells us a story about a beggar and a King. A beggar was sitting at the side of the street with his hat outstretched asking for money. Then he noticed that the King himself was coming, complete with his whole entourage. This was his lucky day! How could the King refuse to give … Continue reading The beggar and the King