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Standard of living, standard of giving

by | May 12, 2020 | Romans 12 | 0 comments

Read: Romans 12:13

Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

Reflect:

Outside of the current moment, our culture consistently tells us success is found in the next rung on the corporate ladder. When we earn just a little more, we’ll have enough. We need the newest piece of technology, car, home – what’s on your list?

The message of the Gospel consistently undermines how we look at the world around us. In his book, The Treasure Principle, Randy Alcorn reminds us that “God prospers me not to raise my standard of living, but to raise my standard of giving.” In the verse above, Paul points our that generosity and hospitality are closely related because both speak to a lack of selfishness.

Earlier in the chapter, Paul spoke to the idea that those who are able to give, should give generously (Romans 12:8). Generosity is a learned behavior. We should learn to give out of more than obligation, but out of a desire to be generous toward God and others. So, we will then be grateful for the opportunities to give to other ministries and give of our both our time and resources.

According to my dictionary app, hospitality speaks to the “generous reception of guests, visitors, or strangers.” I am reminded of Jesus’ parable of the sheep and the goats in Matthew 25 –

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me”(Matthew 25: 34-36).

Respond:

Some of us may be more generous or hospitable than others, but I am convinced that no one has achieved perfection in this area of life. No matter how generous or hospitable we are, surely there is room to grow. So, how will we practice these essential characteristics of the Christian life today? A small step?

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