New Year…Fresh Start – Be Generous

Give, and it will be given to you. A good portion—packed down, firmly shaken, and overflowing—will fall into your lap. The portion you give will determine the portion you receive in return (Luke 6:38, Common English Bible.”

When I think of someone who lacks any generosity, these days my mind goes to Ebeneezer Scrooge. The reason might be that we celebrated Christmas only a couple of weeks ago. It also might have something to do with a Bible study titled, The Redemption of Scrooge we began at church the first of December and weren’t able to finish before Christmas so we are finishing it now.

When I think about Scrooge, I quickly think about how miserable he was despite all he had. It serves to remind me that there is real joy in giving.

I like to think I am a pretty generous guy. I like to share what I have with others around me. At the same time, however, I also can lack generosity at times. While I would share my resources with people I know, I often fail to have that generosity where it is needed most. I can easily look past the need. I have a real hunch I am not alone.

I mentioned this in a post earlier in the month. John Wesley said, “Earn all you can, save all you can and give all you can.” I really want to talk about that “…give all you can” part.

We often get upset when we see some of the world’s richest people making even more. We are sometimes bothered when we hear a professional athlete sign a new contract for millions of dollars per year. I have often asked the question, “how much is enough.” It is a difficult question to answer.

For many years I seriously questioned Bill Gates, some of his business practices and that he was continuing to rake in lots of money. Years later, I can no longer question his motives as he spends much of his time giving his money away.

Let there be no mistake. Bill Gates still makes lots of money. He may not be managing the day to day operations of Microsoft any longer, but he still makes money from the company. It is just that today, I see him more in John Wesley’s words. Yes, he may make all he can but he is also giving a lot of money away to some very worthy causes.

It becomes difficult to be critical of that athlete and his or her millions when we see them giving away tens of thousands of dollars in Christmas gifts to needy kids or buying the things a family needs when they are burned out of their home. The list could go on.

When I read the verse above my mind also goes with the giving that is in that verse. This verse reminds me to be generous. And, even when I feel like I am scraping the bottom, I find it amazing, I still have at least enough to get by.

And, giving always makes me feel good. I feel good because I know I am helping people who are in need.

For some, the idea of being generous, may be a bit foreign. At the same time, lots of people make the idea of being generous a New Year’s Resolution. Perhaps they know, or at least they have heard, being generous makes a difference not only for the person receiving. It can make a huge difference in you!

How do you express your generosity?

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Joy and Peace,
Keith

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved.

Author:

"The Pastor Ponders" is my attempt to share some of my thoughts. I often share what I am thinking with my dog "Bishop," but he keeps his thoughts to himself. He will even go to sleep sometimes while I am sharing my thoughts with him. The truth is, if it doesn't involve getting his ears scratched, his belly rubbed or some kind of treat, he really doesn't care. I will say this for him, he never argues with me or tells me I am wrong. So, I decided to share some of my thoughts with whoever might come across this blog in their ramblings around the Internet. Bishop and I live in Sweeny, Texas where I am the pastor of First United Methodist Church. I have served here for the past two years. For the past 27 years I have served United Methodist congregations throughout East Texas including rural Madison County (Elwood UMC), Lovelady (First UMC) and Kennard (Center Hill UMC), Canton (First UMC), rural Smith County (Mt. Sylvan UMC and Union Chapel UMC), Grapeland (First UMC), Tyler (Pleasant Retreat UMC), Santa Fe (Aldersgate UMC), Freeport (First UMC) and Oyster Creek (Oyster Creek UMC), Diboll (First UMC), and now Sweeny (First UMC). My wife Cindy and I have been married for over 40 years. We have two grown sons. Wayne and his wife Nikki and all our grandsons (Kaleb, Noah, and Jaxon) live in Southern California. Christopher and his wife Morgan and both our granddaughters (Jenna and Natalie) live in Tyler Texas. I enjoy preaching and all aspects of preaching from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading, playing the guitar as well as a bit of drawing. I have spent quite a bit of time over the past two years working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I sing bass with a local barbershop chorus called The Coastalaires. I have also recently begun doing a little wood carving. I also enjoy playing with Bishop, something he likes a great deal better than listening to my thoughts. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, specializing in Microcomputers from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. When I was a student at Carolina, the school was in Iron Station North Carolina. They have since relocated to Manassas Virginia (Yeah, go figure, a school named Carolina geographically in Virginia). This blog is mostly devotional writing, but there are other things here too. Just about every week I will either post my sermon manuscript or a video of the worship service. On occasion, I will post something I see in society. Occasionally I write a short story, a poem, or a song and will post it here too. I will say this, my motivations for writing this blog are really selfish. I write it to get what I am thinking out of my head and onto something a bit more permanent. They say, after all, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. And, should you desire, you can one-up Bishop and actually tell me what you think. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. With Joy and Thankfulness, Keith Sweeny, Texas May 2018

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