Thursday, January 31, 2013

January 31, 2013 … “How Can I Help You?”

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2013 - Day 31

Passage of the Day: 2nd Samuel 24: 24-25 [NLT] …  
24 But the king replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on buying it, for I cannot present burnt offerings to the LORD my God that have cost me nothing.” So David paid him fifty pieces of silver for the threshing floor and the oxen. 25 David built an altar there to the LORD and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. And the LORD answered his prayer, and the plague was stopped.  

Contextual Study of today’s passage: 2nd Samuel, Chapter 24 [NLT] … Go to this link … 

Reference Passage #1: 2nd Corinthians 9: 6-7 : [NLT] … {Do we give with a rightly-tuned heart?} …  6 Remember this — a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. 7 You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.”
Reference Passage #2: Proverbs 3: 9-10 : [NLT] … {When we’re willing to give JOYFULLY with no expectation of return; God will provide in return for such a heart of giving.} …  
9 Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce. 10 Then he will fill your barns with grain, and your vats will overflow with good wine. 

My Journal for Today: The offering plate at church just was passed and you dropped your tithe into the plate; but what were you thinking when you gave that check? Isn’t it true that often we give; but we don’t give with the right attitude? God only wants our gift to Him in return for His providence when our heart is filled with joy in the giving [see the reference passages above].

David understood that principle, which is called “God’s Law of Reciprocity,” when he was offered a freebie way of honoring God by building an altar to God during a plague on God’s people. But David knew that God would only honor his gift if it was offered out of a heart of sacrifice – and with a heart of cheerful sacrifice at that. And when we read this story in 2nd Samuel 24, we see that God honored David’s gift at his altar of sacrifice with the generosity of the Lord’s providence.

That’s the principle behind the Scriptures I’ve lain out this AM in this, my journal entry. And Os Hillman, my devotional editor, related a story for me (and his readers) of a man who lived by this “reap what you sow” principle. When this man met Hillman, his genuine first words to Hillman were, “How can I help you?”. And that’s what I’ve titled this devotional entry for today.

My friends and any readers here, … If we have hearts to help others before helping ourselves, God is going to pour out His providence for that heart of sacrifice. But I’m afraid that we now live in a time plagued by an entitlement mentality. Wouldn’t you agree that most today think “I deserve better for myself” … rather than “how can I give more of myself for others.” And because of that, I believe God cannot pour His providence of love and generosity into a people who first think “what’s in it for me!”

And I firmly believe that God will withhold His providence from any nation which does not understand and live by what David knew and exercised in today’s highlight passage of scripture. I’m afraid this nation is going to feel the stinging plague of its own selfishness until we – as a country and a people – can develop a heart which honors God’s love by a heart of “How Can I Help You?”

My Prayer for Today … Lord, help me to have and model a giving heart of Your love. … Amen

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