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March 15 – Jesus gave abundantly; let’s do the same

“Though he [Jesus] was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.” – 2 Corinthians 8:9

Scripture reading: Ecclesiastes 11:1-6

Recall that we are in the last section of Ecclesiastes (ch.9-12). Ch. 1-8 tells us of the awesome sovereign ways of God. God is in control of life, therefore we fear God and trust him. Ch.9-12 give us, “this-is-what-it-is-to-live-by-faith” points.

In chapter 9, we read that life is better than death because the living can live by faith in God, have hope and comfort from God, and enjoy God. In ch.10, we discover that wisdom is superior to foolishness, but no one is perfectly wise all the time so Christians must keep living by faith.

Today, we start uncovering chapter 11:1-6. To help us grasp its main message, recollect the virtuous woman of Proverbs 31. She was a risk-taking, entrepreneurial person. She saw possibilities in property, crops, in her husband, her children and she didn’t let the fear of winter or too many children stop her from giving generously. She gave because she feared the Lord! She lived by faith in the awe of God, and this caused her to see possibilities. She cast her bread on the water and was a blessing.

Our text teaches God’s children to go ahead, cast your bread on the water, taking the risk to live by faith in God and giving generously to people around you. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and being boldly generous and copiously good to our neighbors is a basic part of living by faith in Jesus! Yes, it’s risky to follow Jesus, forgive and love people, but it is Christ-like. The forever-cautious, the forever-burying-gold-coins-in-the-ground so as not to lose anything are anxious, selfish people. Jesus Christ was not selfish. He left heaven and gave generously so we could be saved.

Suggestion for prayer

Help me Lord to count the cost of serving You and help me to be willing to give all for You.

Rev. Henry Bartsch has been serving as pastor of the Trinity Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church (Chatham, Ontario) since 2003. He and his wife Tammy have seven children and two grandchildren. This daily devotional is also available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional.

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