Read Mark 12:41-44 —2 Corinthians 9:7 (CEB)

Everyone should give whatever they have decided in their heart. They shouldn’t give with hesitation or because of pressure. God loves a cheerful giver.

Our pastor recently challenged us to discover the depths of generosity and the blessings of giving. For each of 15 days, we were given a new task designed to help us discover the gift of generosity.

During this experience, I remembered that in the early years of my parents’ marriage, they struggled financially due to a meager income, seminary expenses, family illness and a broken-down vehicle. At a prayer meeting, a man stood and told of a family in the community who was experiencing great difficulties and needed help. My father had only two dollars to his name, but with a loving and generous heart, he contributed all of it to the needy family. The following day, he was shocked to learn that the money had been collected for us, his own family.

I am thankful for my father’s example of sacrificial giving. Greater still is the ultimate example of generosity demonstrated by our Lord Jesus Christ. When opportunities arise to contribute time or resources, I reflect on these examples of selflessness and strive to give with a joyful and grateful heart.

Prayer—Generous God, help us to never take for granted all that comes from you. Give us generous hearts as we serve others in your name. Amen.

Thought for the Day—When I acknowledge God’s blessings, I can be more generous.

Joy Freeman Buff (North Carolina)