Morning, January 12
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Bible League: Living His Word
Remember this: The one who plants few seeds will have a small harvest. But the one who plants a lot will have a big harvest. Each one of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give. You should not give if it makes you unhappy or if you feel forced to give. God loves those who are happy to give. And God can give you more blessings than you need, and you will always have plenty of everything. You will have enough to give to every good work.

The Christian church cannot sustain, maintain, and expand the Kingdom of Jesus Christ without the donations of its members and supporters. Unlike families, whose parents earn its sustenance; unlike businesses, which sell for a profit; and unlike nations, which tax its citizens; the church is dependent upon the good will of its members and supporters. This simple fact needs to be emphasized because there can be a lot of resentment about giving.

Perhaps the resentment that surrounds giving is the reason why God promises in our verses for today that those who support the efforts of the church will receive "more blessings than you need" and thus will have "plenty left over to share with others." It's hard to be a blessing when you're broke.

Furthermore, God promises here that there is proportionality at work in our giving. Like the farmer, if you plant a lot, you will have a big harvest. It could be said that God incentivizes support for the church. One does not have to fear for their financial wellbeing when giving.

As with most everything else in the Christian life, motivation and attitude are everything when it comes to giving. We shouldn't give if it makes us unhappy or if we feel forced to give. God doesn't just want our money; He wants our hearts as well.

The Prophet Malachi quotes God as saying that "Good things will come to you like rain falling from the sky" when we give (Malachi 3:10). Maybe today should be the day you find this out for yourself.

Bible in a Year
Old Testament Reading
Genesis 29, 30


Genesis 29 -- Jacob Meets Rachel, Serves Laban, Marries Rachel and Leah

  NIV   NLT   ESV   NAS   GWT   KJV   ASV   ERV   DRB


Genesis 30 -- Jacob and His Sons Prosper

  NIV   NLT   ESV   NAS   GWT   KJV   ASV   ERV   DRB


New Testament Reading
Matthew 10:1-23


Matthew 10 -- Christ Sends out His Twelve Apostles, enabling them with power to do miracles

  NIV   NLT   ESV   NAS   GWT   KJV   ASV   ERV   DRB


Reading Plan Courtesy of Christian Classics Etherial Library.
Tyndale Life Application Daily Devotion
I lavish unfailing love to a thousand generations.
        I forgive iniquity, rebellion, and sin.
But I do not excuse the guilty.
        I lay the sins of the parents upon their children and grandchildren;
the entire family is affected—
even children in the third and fourth generations.
Insight
Why would sins affect children and grandchildren? This is no arbitrary punishment. Children still suffer for the sins of their parents. Consider child abuse or alcoholism, for example. While these sins are obvious, sins like selfishness and greed can be passed along as well.
Challenge
Be careful not to treat sin casually, but repent and turn from it. The sin may cause you little pain now, but it could later sting in a most tender area of your life—your children and grandchildren.
Morning and Evening by Spurgeon
1 Corinthians 3:23  Ye are Christ's.

"Ye are Christ's." You are his by donation, for the Father gave you to the Son; his by his bloody purchase, for he counted down the price for your redemption; his by dedication, for you have consecrated yourself to him; his by relation, for you are named by his name, and made one of his brethren and joint-heirs. Labour practically to show the world that you are the servant, the friend, the bride of Jesus. When tempted to sin, reply, "I cannot do this great wickedness, for I am Christ's." Immortal principles forbid the friend of Christ to sin. When wealth is before you to be won by sin, say that you are Christ's, and touch it not. Are you exposed to difficulties and dangers? Stand fast in the evil day, remembering that you are Christ's. Are you placed where others are sitting down idly, doing nothing? Rise to the work with all your powers; and when the sweat stands upon your brow, and you are tempted to loiter, cry, "No, I cannot stop, for I am Christ's. If I were not purchased by blood, I might be like Issachar, crouching between two burdens; but I am Christ's, and cannot loiter." When the siren song of pleasure would tempt you from the path of right, reply, "Thy music cannot charm me; I am Christ's." When the cause of God invites thee, give thy goods and thyself away, for thou art Christ's. Never belie thy profession. Be thou ever one of those whose manners are Christian, whose speech is like the Nazarene, whose conduct and conversation are so redolent of heaven, that all who see you may know that you are the Saviour's, recognizing in you his features of love and his countenance of holiness. "I am a Roman!" was of old a reason for integrity; far more, then, let it be your argument for holiness, "I am Christ's!"

Daily Light on the Daily Path
Jude 1:25  to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

1 Corinthians 1:30  But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption,

Job 11:7,8  "Can you discover the depths of God? Can you discover the limits of the Almighty? • "They are high as the heavens, what can you do? Deeper than Sheol, what can you know?

1 Corinthians 2:7  but we speak God's wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory;

Ephesians 3:9,10  and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things; • so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.

James 1:5  But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

James 3:17  But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.

New American Standard Bible Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, Calif. All rights reserved. For Permission to Quote Information visit http://www.lockman.org.

Evening January 11
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