August 03, 2018

Selfless Generosity

Luke 14:1-14

When you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed.

—  Luke 14:13-14

Do you know what a quid pro quo mindset is? It means “I will do something for you that equals the value of what you do for me.” Jesus has a dramatically different picture in mind when he talks about hospitality.

When we think of throwing a party, we tend to include people we like and who are like us. But Jesus presses us to reach out toward the fringes of community life. This kind of outreaching love and care is what distinguished the early church from its surrounding environment.

Two attitudes that are vital to Christian character are generosity and humility. Nurturing both in your life helps guard against a destructive and blinding mindset that ignores the needs and circumstances of others around us. Something as ordinary as sharing a meal is an expression of respect and equality. It includes sharing not just our resources but also ourselves, and it speaks loudly to our values and commitments.

We are all recipients of God’s grace and provision. We are all guests at his table, and God, our Host, is abundantly generous. Look for opportunities to be outrageously generous to people who least expect it and who are least able to reciprocate. A sign of humility involves wanting to help others when you would gain nothing from it.

How can you go out of your way to bless someone today?

Jesus, as we have generously received your good gifts, help us to pursue opportunities to be generous to others in our gratitude to you. Amen.

About the author — Lloyd Wicker

Lloyd Wicker has been a pastor for more than eighteen years and has served churches in Illinois, Washington, and California. He currently serves as a chaplain with the United States Navy in Sicily. Lloyd and his wife, Heidi, have three children.

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