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Day 20: Respond in Giving

2 Corinthians 9:6-8 - “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”

Devotional · · · God desires that one of the ways we respond to Him in worship is by giving. The Bible has a lot to say about money, wealth, greed and generosity. Scripture talks about giving a tithe (the first 10% of our income), about giving a sacrifice, about giving to those in need. The intentional habit of giving reminds us that our only master is God. It reminds us that our security, provision and fulfillment is not in the wealth of this world, but in God alone. He inherently does not require our money. But we have the opportunity, as an act of worship and obedience, to trust Him with our finances by giving a portion back to Him.

In Mark 12:41-44 we encounter a crowd sowing their offerings into the temple treasury. While there were many rich people that contributed larger amounts, a widow of poor wealth gave the only two coins she had. And Jesus said to the crowd that it was in fact the widow who had given the most, because out of a cheerful heart and a spirit that desired to offer her best, she gave literally everything she had. May this challenge us as we give our offerings to the Lord, whether it be our finances, our time, or anything else that the Lord has been so gracious to provide us with.

Prayer · · · Almighty God, we acknowledge that every good thing comes from You. You have promised to meet all our needs from Your glorious riches. We are not worthy of all the gifts You’ve chosen to bestow upon us; but out of Your extravagant love for us, You choose to bless us. As we reflect on this, may it bring us to a place of humility and generosity as we give back to You cheerfully in whatever form it may take. May we give You our best and may we give to You first. Lord, enable us by the working of Your Spirit to be generous with our resources, to be obedient to Your Word, and to be a blessing out of the blessings we have received.

 

Day 19: Respond in Hope

Romans 15:13 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Devotional · · · We worship the God of hope, allowing Him to restore and refill us with His joy and peace, by the power of the Holy Spirit. As we worship, we are reminded of who God is and what He has done, which gives us tremendous hope for today and for tomorrow. In the Psalms, we see this as David implores his soul, “Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from Him. Truly He is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will not be shaken.” (Psalm 62:5-6) And Hebrews 10:23 encourages “let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.” In the end, our hope is in Jesus Christ because of His great faithfulness. He is our Living Hope! As believers, we can respond to trials in true hope that God is with us no matter what we face. We praise our Heavenly Father for His great mercy, for His gift of new life, and for His choosing us to be part of His chosen people. We look forward that we too will rise like Christ to a glorious inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. (1 Peter 1:3-9) Finally, we respond with reverence for Christ in our heart—always ready to share the hope we have to others who ask. (1 Peter 3:15)

Prayer · · · Father God, we thank you for the great hope we have in Jesus. Continue to make us mindful of who You are and all You have done. May we allow ourselves to open our hearts to Your holy restoration and refilling of our souls with Your Spirit. May we respond through every season of life and every trial we face with a confident hope in You and You alone. Give us endurance to run the race well and give us courage to share our hope with others we encounter along the way. Help us to live each day recognizing the position and identity we have as believers in Christ, He is our hope of glory.

  

Day 18: Respond In Dependence

Psalm 73:25-26 “Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

Devotional · · · Jesus assures us as His followers, “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in Me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) Faithfully following after Jesus, dealing the sinful desires of our flesh or facing the struggles of life, is impossible on our own strength. So, we rely on His promise to carry the heavy burdens we face and accept His offer of rest for our souls (Matthew 11:28-30). We trust in God’s ability to meet our every need (Philippians 4:19). And we remain rooted in Christ as the true source of a vibrant and fruitful life (John 15:1-11). Let us join King David’s song of thanks and declare this over our lives, our families, and our church, “Let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice! Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His presence continually!” (1 Chronicles 16:10-11)

Prayer · · · Faithful God, may we adhere to the prayer of James and count it all joy when we face spiritual trials and battles. For we know we are being strengthened and grown as our faith is tested. Rather than turning to this world for comfort and fulfillment, may we instead depend on You as our comfort and our fortress. May we look to You alone as our sustenance, our strength in times of need, and our joy in times of sorrow. Help us Lord to trust in You fully, to abide in You daily, and to seek You continually.

 

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