In Eat this Book, Eugene Peterson teaches us to chew on a passage of scripture, digest it, and then put it to use in practical ways. Our early Christian fathers and mothers called this process Lectio Divina. These verses remind us of God’s abundance to us and through us.
II Cor. 9: 8, 10-11 (CEB); Rich in Every Way
“God has the power to provide you with more than enough of every kind of grace. That way, you will have everything you need always and in everything to provide more than enough for every kind of good work. . . . The one who supplies seed for planting and bread for eating will supply and multiply your seed and will increase your crop, which is righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous in every way. Such generosity produces thanksgiving to God through us.”
What would life be like if we truly believed in the abundance of God’s grace – grace of “every kind”? Grace to forgive and grace to be forgiven. Grace to give help and grace to ask for help. Grace to creatively collaborate with God in his activity on earth. Grace to make and keep friends. Grace to bless others with God-given insight. Grace to smile in the face of hardship. Grace to recognize the hand of God in creating the universe; grace to sustain and protect that creation. Grace to believe that we live in the unshakable kingdom of God – available now and coming in eternity. Can we truly believe Paul when he says that we will have everything we need? The Message tells us exactly this in Psalm 23: 1: “The Lord is my shepherd; I don’t need a thing.”
If we believe that God provides us with more than enough grace, we must also believe that God blesses us with enough for “every good work.” Paul says that we “will be made rich in every way so that [we] can be generous in every way.” The first book of the Bible reminds us that we are blessed to be a blessing (Gen. 12:3). The path out of selfishness and self-interest is the courage to give away even what we think we need because God promises that we will still have enough.
♥ Sponsor a child through Compassion International. Children all over the world need good food, clean clothes, medical attention, education – and the news that Jesus loves them. I am on a small fixed income, but God has enabled me to sponsor three children for more than seven years.They all are now in their mid to late teens and are looking forward to contributing to their family’s income and their country’s welfare. These young people faithfully answer my letters, repeatedly saying that God has blessed them through the Compassion program.
♥ Don’t listen to President Trump’s claims that hordes of people are coming to America to take what “belongs” to “us.” Don’t believe the Fox News reports that a “caravan” of mothers, fathers, and children is a national security threat to the country that is the best armed in the world. Don’t listen when people blame immigrants for all our problems. Don’t accept the fear that immigrants will take our jobs. Remember: “will be made rich in every way so that [we] can be generous in every way.” Our fears only reveal our lack of trust in the goodness of God and his promise to care for all his people – sometimes through us.
♥ Remember to share your stories of God’s grace. Look for ways to share those stories. People are desperate to know that someone cares about them, that their broken lives can be resurrected and have meaning, that the grace that you give them can be shared with someone else.
MORE FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Paul tells Corinth’s Christians: ‘In everything, you will always have enough’. Paul’s word for ‘enough’ is the same as he uses in Philippians 4:11 and 1 Timothy 6:6. In Philippians 4:11-13, Paul describes his own experience. Sometimes Paul was very poor, sometimes he had plenty. However, in every circumstance, Paul was content. In 1 Timothy 6:6-10, Paul urges Christians to respect God and to be content, even if they can only afford the basic things in life. Paul’s word for ‘content’ is the same as his word for ‘enough’ in 2 Corinthians 9:8. The meaning in all these verses is that God satisfies his people; he provides enough so that they can be content.That is his promise to rich and poor people alike. He does not only provide what they need; he also provides enough so that they can do his work: (www.usefulbible.com)