The Blessing of Giving: Devotional giving

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He and his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly. One day at about three in the afternoon he had a vision. He distinctly saw an angel of God, who came to him and said, ‘Cornelius!’ Cornelius stared at him in fear. ‘What is it, Lord?’ he asked. The angel answered, ‘Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God. – Acts 10:2-4
In the Old Testament, the sacred gifts expressed devotion to God – an aroma pleasing to the Lord. Generous and God-fearing people obey God by generously giving to those in need and ask to be in a daily relationship with God.
We need to be more aware of what we give — not only in money, but also in our time and talents. Our attitude should be to trust and obey out of gratitude to God for the gift of Jesus Christ. The self-serving manner in which many of us in the United Kingdom live isn’t glorifying to God. At our church, we need to refocus on what God would have us do rather than ‘buying’ what our society is doing.
A practical application of this passage would be to allow our comfort zones to be pushed to the uncomfortable. Seek God through prayer and His Word. Ask yourself, what can I do to be more effective in our church community? Participate. Commit to more than just walking in and out of the church doors like a consumer does in the world. What is on this earth will pass away. What God has given us in Jesus is eternal.
Being a generous people involves more than lip service; it involves action. Action motivated not by worldly standards, but by what we profess will last eternally—transferring our trust to Christ alone. And when we respond as Cornelius did, our gift, too, will be a ‘memorial offering before God’.

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