“Don’t withhold good
from someone who deserves it, when it is in your power to do so.” ‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭3:27‬ ‭CEB‬‬

Do what you can, when you can, for those you can. 

“Don’t I have the right to do what I want with what belongs to me? Or are you resentful because I’m generous?’”‭‭Matthew‬ ‭20:15‬ ‭CEB‬‬

We resent God’s generosity to others when it doesn’t seem fair to us.  When we focus on ourselves we see others as a conflict to getting what we want. 

The reality is: I resent God’s blessing on others when Im not grateful for His generosity towards me. 

“The Lord said to Abram, “Leave your land, your family, and your father’s household for the land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation and will bless you. I will make your name respected, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, those who curse you I will curse; all the families of the earth will be blessed because of you.” Abram left just as the Lord told him, and Lot went with him. Now Abram was 75 years old when he left Haran.”‭‭Genesis‬ ‭12:1-4‬ ‭CEB‬‬ 

There is a cost to follow God. 

There is a cost to be blessed. 

There is a cost to bless others. 

Abraham had to leave comfort, security, and family. 

It takes faith to walk in obedience and be a blessing. 

“The Lord saw that humanity had become thoroughly evil on the earth and that every idea their minds thought up was always completely evil. The Lord regretted making human beings on the earth, and he was heartbroken. So the Lord said, “I will wipe off of the land the human race that I’ve created: from human beings to livestock to the crawling things to the birds in the skies, because I regret I ever made them.” But as for Noah, the Lord approved of him.”‭‭
Genesis‬ ‭6:5-8‬ ‭CEB‬‬

We are not evil because we do evil things. 

We are evil because we think evil thoughts. 

We think evil thoughts because we have evil hearts. 

Evil hearts break God’s heart. 

That’s why He wanted to start over. 

But He started over in a different way. 

He started over by giving us a second chance and to exchange our evil heart for a new heart fueled by what Jesus did for us in living the perfect life we should have lived; dying the death we deserved to die; and allowing us to share in His resurrected life. 

““so now I have determined to do good again to Jerusalem and Judah. Do not be afraid. These are the things you are to do: Speak the truth to each other, and render true and sound judgment in your courts; do not plot evil against each other, and do not love to swear falsely. I hate all this,” declares the Lord.” ‭‭
Zechariah‬ ‭8:15-17‬ ‭NIV‬‬

We will not sin against God and each other if we:

  • Are honest with each other. 
  • Are fair with each other. 
  • Are good to each other. 
  • Keep your commitments with each other. 

Seems like a good set of new year resolutions. 

“Hear my prayer, O LORD; listen to my plea! Answer me because you are faithful and righteous.”‭‭Psalms‬ ‭143:1‬ ‭NLT‬‬

God doesn’t answe our prayers because we deserve it. 

He doesn’t answer because we have earned his ear and help. 

He hears and answers us because He is faithful and He always does the right thing. 

Now the right thing according to God doesn’t mean right for us. 

But we can trust that His right is right for us because He is faithful. 

When I called, you answered me; you greatly emboldened me.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭138:3‬ ‭NIV‬‬

When the Psalmist is answered, is it with deliverance? Not at first. God answers with boldness.

May we call to Jesus for answers. Let’s cry. Let’s pursue answers. Let’s pray for deliverance.

But may we be willing to receive the reply to our prayer when the answer is boldness. Boldness to go through or face the current situation. Boldness to still trust our God even though our circumstance is unchanged.

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭4:8-10‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Lead with love. 

Unbegrudgingly be hospitable. 

Steward the grace and gifts you’ve been given. 

“Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.”‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭13:15-16‬ ‭NIV‬‬

A sacrifice of praise is one that makes Jesus famous. 
We make Jesus famous by doing what Jesus did: Doing good. Serving those in need. Those things done in Jesus name are the sacrifices God is most pleased. 

“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.””‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭13:5‬ ‭NIV‬‬

You live for what you love. 

Don’t love money or you will live for money. 

Be satisfied with what you have because what you have is Jesus.