“They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” Acts 2:45-46
Some years ago, I had the privilege of going with a small group on a short-term mission trip to Amman, Jordan where most of the group taught Iraqi refugee adults English and I taught 25-30 beautiful Iraqi children for two weeks. It was an unforgettable experience but one of my best memories of those weeks, came one night when a few of us were invited to the home of a family after class. Their home had two rooms for the five members of their family, and they had almost nothing, yet were so excited to have us come! They served hot tea and cookies and never have I felt so welcome and cherished as an almost stranger in someone’s home as I did that night. It was humbling and put a whole new perspective on generous hospitality for me.
We often only think of generosity in monetary terms yet if we look at Jesus, we see his generosity everywhere he went. He always seemed to touch people, change them and make them better. A kind word, a touch of healing, a rebuke, a prayer, everywhere he went he changed people. The world has never been the same since Jesus, and he intends that our world should not be the same as the result of our path through it. It starts with our relationship with God first and out of that flows our other relationships. Proverbs 11:25 tells us that “a generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” We can ask God to bring someone across our path that we can refresh with encouragement, prayer, or hospitality. Winston Churchill said “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” We may think we have little to give but God finds great joy in our gifts. You may think you don’t have much time, money, or talent but God always starts with what you do have when you freely offer yourself to him. He sees your generous heart, will give you an opportunity to use talents you didn’t know you have and will multiply your time and resources. He already has a plan and you are part of it. Here is assurance for us this week from 2nd Corinthians: “You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion.”