- The Table is Prepared
Make time to read Psalm 23 OUT LOUD today. Then, handwrite Psalm 23 into your journal. Every day this week, make time to read Psalm 23 OUT LOUD from your journal, so you can read your own handwriting and hear your own voice proclaiming God’s truth.
- Nothing to Earn
We often mistake what we feel we need to do to earn God’s favor with how God wants us to respond to Him, after having freely given us His favor. Initially, Hebrews 6:4-6 can make us feel like we are falling short of earning God’s generosity. Read (or re-read) Hebrews 6:4-6, and paraphrase it in your journal from the perspective of not having to do anything to earn God’s generosity. List other times where it was difficult to accept a gift from someone you felt like you had not earned.
- Fresh Perspective
The Apostle Paul would often use examples from the Old Testament in his writings. However, when he did so, he would recast the story in the light of Christ’s eternal impact on all stories, past, present and future. (A great example of this is Romans 5:12-15) Read Romans 5:12-15 and write an anecdote in your journal about a time you felt like you needed to earn God’s grace. Then, re-write that same anecdote in the light of Christ’s generous and redeeming grace.
Forgiveness is a commodity that does not diminish with increased giving. Take time to be generous with forgiveness today. Start with yourself, and let the Holy Spirit guide you in whom to focus on next. Write some notes in your journal about how that experience changed your relationship with God, yourself, and others. Be really bold, and share that experience via social media and include the hashtag #BeGenerous
- Does and Doesn’t
The theologian Brennan Manning summed up Matthew 20:1-15 when he wrote, “Jesus reveals a God Who does not demand but gives; Who does not oppress but raises up; Who does not wound but heals; Who does not condemn but forgives.” Do you believe God is generous and embodies the qualities Manning writes about? How do your thoughts on these generous qualities about God explain how you live your life? If you fell more deeply in love with God as He is described by Manning, how would it change your behavior?
Read 1 John 4:10-11 and re-ask yourself yesterday’s question: If you fell more deeply in love with God, how would it change your behavior? Answer this honestly in your journal, and give us some examples online with the hashtag #BeGenerous.
- Your Cup Overflows
You may very well have Psalm 23 memorized by now. How does it feel to hear yourself preach OUT LOUD to your own heart? How does it feel to see God use your own hand to re-convict you about His own generosity? Rejoice in the knowledge that “goodness and mercy will you all the days of your life.”
Written by Erik Henson, Worship Arts Director at Cypress United Methodist Church