Monday, March 05, 2018

Taking Pains to Do What Is Right

Today's Reading:
2 Kings 10:32-12:21
2 Corinthians 8:16-24
Psalm 102:18-28
Click on Text Link to Read Online

Focus Verses:
2 Corinthians 8:19-21
19 What is more, he was chosen by the churches to accompany us as we   carry the offering, which we administer in order to honor the Lord himself and to show our eagerness to help. 20 We want to avoid any criticism of the way we administer this liberal gift. 21 For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of man.

Paul took seriously the administration of the financial gifts he had received from fellow Christians. Their generosity toward the needs of others was sacred, and he considered the handling of those funds to be a sacred charge. He made every effort to act with integrity before God. He took pains to ensure that the people working with the money were well-respected. He followed protocol that would stand up to the scrutiny of anyone who might question their honesty. He clearly felt accountable to God, to those who had given the gifts, and to those who were to benefit from the gifts. 

Response and Action:
I want to be generous toward the needs of others. When I give, it is good to expect that those handling those funds will do so with integrity. When I contribute to charitable and missional initiatives, I will expect those who administer those contributions to do so in ways that are transparent and honest. Those entrusted with gifts given to honor God should have checks and balances, protocol, and standards that ensure the gifts are treated with the reverence and respect they deserve.

O Lord, help me to excel in the grace of giving. Give me a generous heart that is ready to meet needs and willing to share. Help me to be wise about who I trust and where I give. Grant those who manage and distribute the funds that have been given to their charge. Give them the wisdom, integrity, creativity, and transparency they need to be faithful stewards. Through Christ, I pray. Amen.

Spiritual Formation Verses:  
Proverbs 11:1-3
1 The LORD detests dishonest scales, but accurate weights find favor with him. 2 When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. 3 The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.

Courage and Calling: Embracing Your God-Given Potential
by Gordon T. Smith

No comments: