Giving Back

‘All things come from You, and of Your own we have given You.’ 1 Chronicles 29:14 NKJV

Generous people are always comfortable talking about money, and they are even more comfortable giving it. Self-centred people obsess over keeping what they have, and how to get even more. That’s possibly why Jesus, who was the most generous person in history, spoke so much about money. He understood its source, its use, and who owns it all. 16 of his 38 parables deal with how to handle money and possessions. In the four Gospels, one out of every ten verses deals with the subject. The Bible has 500 verses on prayer, roughly the same amount on faith, but over 2000 on money or possessions. Is God trying to tell us something? Of course!

And it’s this: everything you have comes from God! So you’re not an owner, but an administrator of His estate. That means when He taps you on the shoulder and says, ‘Give to this person or to that cause,’ you don’t argue or rationalise but say, ‘Yes, Lord!’

After raising the money to build the Temple, David prayed: ‘Both riches and honour come from You, and You reign over all. In Your hand is power and might; in Your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. Now therefore, our God, we thank You and praise Your glorious name. But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly as this? For all things come from You, and of Your own we have given You.’ (1 Chronicles 29:12–14 NKJV) When you give to God, you are just giving back to your supplier.

SoulFood: Esther 4:9–5:3, Heb 4:7–16

word4today an adaptation of The Word For Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright © 2021

Today’s Readings

Esther 4:9–5:3

And Hathach went and told Esther what Mordecai had said. 10 Then Esther spoke to Hathach and commanded him to go to Mordecai and say, 11 “All the king’s servants and the people of the king’s provinces know that if any man or woman goes to the king inside the inner court without being called, there is but one law—to be put to death, except the one to whom the king holds out the golden scepter so that he may live. But as for me, I have not been called to come in to the king these thirty days.”

12 And they told Mordecai what Esther had said. 13 Then Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, “Do not think to yourself that in the king’s palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. 14 For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” 15 Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai, 16 “Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.” 17 Mordecai then went away and did everything as Esther had ordered him.

5:1 On the third day Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the king’s palace, in front of the king’s quarters, while the king was sitting on his royal throne inside the throne room opposite the entrance to the palace. And when the king saw Queen Esther standing in the court, she won favor in his sight, and he held out to Esther the golden scepter that was in his hand. Then Esther approached and touched the tip of the scepter. And the king said to her, “What is it, Queen Esther? What is your request? It shall be given you, even to the half of my kingdom.”

Hebrews 4:7–16

again he appoints a certain day, “Today,” saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted,

  “Today, if you hear his voice,
  do not harden your hearts.”

For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on. So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, 10 for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.

11 Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. 12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Sun 17 October, 2021


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