Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written:
“They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor;
their righteousness endures forever.”
Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.
- 2 Corinthians 9:6-12
The 11th Grade Girls Resemble Group (shout-out to the 1 or 2 students who read these emails) that I get to be a part of is currently studying The Fruit of the Spirit. We recently finished up a section focused on Joy. Kara Holmes, one of the authors of the study we are using, says, “At the root of joy is a heart of gratitude founded in the humility of our place in life: we are only sons and daughters of God because of His great love.” One of the juniors (I think it was Kyla, apologies if it was someone else) talked about how happiness is a reaction to something in your life, but joy, being a portion of the fruit of the Spirit, is an unchanging foundation in God.
I’ve been thinking a lot about those two thoughts and about the section of 2 Corinthians above and how they tie together in my life. Am I grateful and humble about my very existence in life, simply because God chose me out of His love? How does my life reflect the foundation of generous joy that God has sowed for me? I want to be joyously generous on every occasion, in order to supply the needs of others and to express my thanks to God.
My purpose for writing the blog this week was to point you all to our Child Protective Services (CPS) Giving Tree. I didn’t want to do that without giving you a reason and a foundation for why we are called to give and serve, both as individuals and as the Church. So, now that you have some, let me tell you a little about a simple way to be joyful. Every year we partner with CPS to help make sure that kids in the foster system get a sliver of normalcy in a season that is extra hard for those with non-standard families. We do this by purchasing gifts for a kid that they have gotten to choose. This year we are providing gifts for 600 kids, ranging from 1 year old to 19 years old, in foster care. That will be 600 kids that will get to open presents. About 600 kids that will go to school and get to talk with their peers about gifts they got over the holiday break. Gifts they chose. They’ll have some ownership, normalcy, and control over their chaotic lives.
Would you sow generously with me?