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“The point is this:  whoever sows sparingly will reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.  Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.  And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.

He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of our our righteousness.

You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.”

2 Corinthians 9:6-11

* * * * *

Ellen DeGeneres is generous.

Every day on her show someone in need benefits from her generosity.

And it is usually because Ellen has learned of their generosity or selfless acts.

Recently a school boy who bakes and sells cookies to help support his mom and himself received a car from Ellen.

The audience cheered.

The mom and the boy and Ellen shared a group hug.

Each time that I see this kind of generosity I’m reminded of the greatest act of generosity ever given–that of our Heavenly Father giving His only Son to die for our sins and to give us a brand new life–and we didn’t even do a thing to deserve such a great gift!

God continues to lavish on us His gifts of grace and love and mercy–so much so that it spills over out of our lives to touch the lives of others.

The Corinthian Christians had experienced God’s healing touch and lavish grace within their troubled congregation.  Their outward response was pledging to help the needy saints in Jerusalem.  St. Paul told them God would supply them with all they would need to fulfill that pledge.  Thanksgiving would abound.

How can we be generous with God’s gifts to us this week?

Lord God, your great love for us overflows in all that you do for us.  We thank and praise you for forgiving our sins and making us whole.  May we freely share these good gifts with those around us whether with a good word, a smile, a five dollar bill or a bottle of water.  Let us love and care for others even as we are loved and cared for by you.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

“I will praise your  great compassion

Faithful Father, God of grace,

That with all our fallen race

In our depth of degredation

You had mercy so that we

Might be saved eternally.”

~ Johannes Olearius

A personal note:  For the last three years I’ve had the privilege of writing daily devotions on my blog “What’s the Good Word?”  Through this wonderful blogging community I’ve learned much, grown much and cherished the interactions with you. Tomorrow I begin full time studies as a graduate student at Concordia Seminary.  My time for blogging may be at a premium, and I just wanted to let you know that I will still be checking in, but perhaps not as regularly as I have in the past.  May you continue to be in God’s Word daily and let it richly dwell in you.  Let’s stay in touch!   Blessings ~ Laura


October 21 Deathless

Marcelo Micedo


Jeremiah 37:1-38:28;  1 Timothy 6:1-21;  Psalm 89:38-52;  Proverbs 25:28

“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us everything for our enjoyment.  Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.  In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.”  1 Timothy 6:17-19

I ask myself at the end of the day, “How did I live my life today?”

Did I end my day ‘breathless’ as a result of umteen tasks and check off completions?  Running in high gear to earn that extra dollar?  To slave for that which holds no lasting value?   Or—

Did my day end ‘deathless?’  Aware of the immortality afforded me by the life of Christ in me by faith?  A day in which I was ‘selfless’?  My focus was on serving others in my home, at school, at work, in the neighborhood, at the gym, at practice, wherever?

In St. Paul’s letter to Timothy and to all believers, including us, he encourages us to remain true to our faith in Christ, to live lives that end each day ‘deathless’ rather than ‘breathless!’

Lord God, forgive me for the many times I have run myself ‘breathless’ because of misplaced priorities, misplaced faith.  Forgive my lack of trust in You who so graciously provides me with all that I need in this life.  Thank you for making me rich through your Son, Jesus Christ in whom forgiveness of sins, endless love and mercy and peace are found.  Let me live this day ‘deathless’–and selfless–for you.  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

“Come follow me, said Christ the Lord.

All in my way abiding;

Your selfishness throw overboard,

Obey my call and guiding.

Oh, bear your crosses, and confide

In my example as your guide.


My heart is rich in lowliness;

My soul with love is glowing;

My lips the words of grace express,

Their tones all gently flowing.

My heart, my mind, my strength, my all

To God I yield on Him I call.

~Johann Scheffler, 1624-77


July 23 Soul Source


Photo by Kelly Sikkema

2 Chronicles 8:11-10:19; Romans 8:9-21;  Psalm 18:16-36;  Proverbs 19:26

“You O Lord, keep my lamp burning, my God turns my darkness into light. With your help I can advance against a troop;  with my God I can scale a wall.”  Psalm 18:28-29

With my God I can be patient with a co-worker…

   teach my teenager…

       serve the homeless…

           forgive the one who hurt me…

               speak kindly to my spouse…

                     give of my time, talent, and treasure…

“As for God, his way is perfect, the word of the Lord is flawless.  He is a shield for all who take refuge in him.  For who is God besides the Lord?  And who is the Rock except our God?  It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect.”  Psalm 18:30-32

It is God who gives me patience…

    enables me to forgive…

       opens my heart to generosity…

           fills me with compassion and moves me to serve those in need.

“He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;  he enables me to stand on the heights.”  Psalm 18:33

He prepares me for the work He wants me to do…

    He gives me lips to speak His word…

       gives me eyes to see the needs of those around me…

            equips me with skills and abilities…

               gives me motivation and determination…

                    equips me for every good work.

Lord God Heavenly Father, you are the source of all that is truly good and perfect.  You give us light that never ends.  You equip us with all that we need to serve you and do good in this world.  Thank you!!  Forgive us when we fail to look to you as our soul/sole provider;  when we seek our own way and not yours;  when we take credit for our successes rather than humbly acknowledging your goodness and grace in our lives.  May we look to you today–our Rock–our God–our Source and give you our thanks and praise.  In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen.