Journal Entry by Geoff Allen

S – Scripture 2 Corinthians 8:2-4 (NLT)
They are being tested by many troubles, and they are very poor, but they are also filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed in rich generosity.  For I can testify that they gave not only what they could afford, but far more.  And they did it of their own free will.  They begged us again and again for the privilege of sharing in the gift for the believers in Jerusalem. 

O – Observation
I prepared for this journal entry by looking at the dates around today and reading through them, waiting on some sort of revelation, surely something other than giving would appear .. but everywhere I looked whether it was Psalms, Proverbs, New or Old Testament I found myself reading about giving and the heart behind it.  It restored families, brought blessings on Kings, kingdoms, and all manner of people no matter their station in life.  Interesting that Paul says their first action was to give themselves to the Lord.  

David Guzik in his commentary said  “Once you see the matter of giving is centred in this lovely word grace, it lifts the whole act away from mechanics, from pressure and duty, from obligation and mere legalism.   It lifts us up into the most lovely atmosphere of an activity which seeks by giving to convey to others all that is lovely, all that is beautiful, all that is good, and all that is glorious.” 

A – Application  
Mother Teresa said, “It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” All I know is that over and above my usual giving I find that God leads me down tracks to help certain people and I know when I do this and am obedient, everything seems to come together. The giving makes a difference in the life of the individual, family or some other circumstance and I walk away filled with the joy and exhilaration of being in on Gods Plan and knowing that I made a difference. It doesn’t mean that I am always at these times flush with the funds sometimes it’s a struggle but oh so rewarding and I think I’m richer for the experience.

P – Prayer
Father, I pray that I continually hear your voice and direction for my life. Help me to be wise in the stewardship of what you have given me. Help me be a generous person overflowing with your grace.