All of us look around and wonder, “What happened to America?” We are so far removed from the country that our forefathers established back in the 1700’s. Disunity would describe our churches, our countries and sadly, our homes.
I Thessalonians 3:12 says, “And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you.”
I have two thoughts to share in today’s devotion. The first thought is: We must be gracious toward others. Over 30 times in the New Testament, Paul, Peter, or John used the expression grace to you. Grace speaks of God’s unmerited favor. These godly men desired God’s very best for every person with whom they were connected. If they could be conduits to deliver that grace, they were glad to be used.
Paul even instructed the Galatians to bear one another’s burden and to look for opportunities to serve their fellow believers.
Galatians 6:10 says, “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.”
This gracious behavior stands in stark contrast to our world where the tendency is to “look out for number one.” Jesus even illustrates gracious behavior in the story of the Good Samaritan.
Luke 10:33-34 says, “But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.”
Our position and actions should be that when we are gracious, we are making a difference.
The second thought is: We must be generous toward others. We should learn from those early Christians in the book of Acts how to emulate a generous spirit. We are unequivocally commanded to meet the needs of those around us when we are able to do so.
Proverbs 3:27 says, “Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.”
Those who have been blessed are cautioned to consider those around them. Since God is the originator of my blessings, I must be careful not to misappropriate blessings He has sent my way.
Paul wrote to Timothy, “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate.”
Our actions of generosity will always make a difference. We cannot change the entire world; however, we can make a difference in the lives of those who cross our pathway today. Be gracious and be generous today! If we do not practice and model these two principles, Christianity may never make it to the next generation.