Monday, July 9, 2012

Generosity is Food for the Spirit

Today's Reading:
  • Numbers 36:1 - 36:13
  • Proverbs 11:24 - 26
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Numbers 36:1 - 36:13
The book of Numbers ended abruptly today.  I did not realize that only 13 verses remained in this book until I sat down for today's reading.  The book of Numbers ends by saying that any woman who inherits property (because of a lack of males in the family) must marry within her own tribe.  This way all the ancestral land stays within its original tribe. 

Just like that the book of Numbers was finished. I expected to see the death of Moses before Numbers ended.  I guess that is because we saw the death of Aaron earlier in the book and because the Israel people were poised to enter the promised land.  I just assumed that Numbers ended with the death of Moses, but looks like I'll get to read another book whose authorship is credited to him.

Since I had so few verses for my readings, I re-read the introduction to Numbers and then read the introduction to Deuteronomy.  I also just flipped through the bible a bit and marveled at the wonder of it.  I feel like there's an entire world's worth of secrets waiting to be exposed to me in this greatest book of all time.

In this study that started on January 1st of this year, I have read the books of: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Matthew and Mark.  Additionally I have read a lot in the books of Proverbs, Psalms and Luke.  So I have read six full books and 3 partial books, yet I feel like I've learned an indescribable amount already.  There are 66 books in the bible -- a vast amount of information lies before me, waiting to be revealed.  The thought is astounding, overwhelming, and wondrous all at the same time. 

The bible is such a glorious book.  Many of us have multiple copies lying around our homes.  You can buy the New Testament for a dollar or less.  The bible is the greatest selling book of all time.  It might be hard to get a hold of a bible in some countries, but the bible will always be available and will never be eradicated.  Yet how many of us, myself included, have never read this entire book?

I am so thankful for the Lord putting this project in my heart.  By the time I am finished I will have scrutinized every single page of this bible.  I will have written about the entire book.  All of this knowledge that has been available to me at my fingertips for my entire life will finally be realized.  And then, when I'm done reading it, I will read it again and learn even more!  The bible never ceases to me amazing.

Proverbs 11:24 - 26
24  Give freely and become more wealthy; be stingy and lose everything.
25  The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.
26  People curse those who hoard their grain, but they bless the one who sells in time of need.
 These verses seem very straightforward to me -- generosity leads to prosperity.  Not everyone who is generous will prosper financially, but these verses have implications that surpass just the monetary aspect of generosity.

Generosity is good for one's spirit.  Being generous to others, sharing with others, blessing others has a profound impact on one's own life.  Who is the most generous person you know?  What do you feel when you think of that person?  Do you feel jealousy or hatred?  Most likely not.  That's what you think about when you think of the greedy person who hoards his or her wealth.  But the generous person, they are dear to your heart, no matter how well you know them or don't know them. 

We all tend to love people who are generous.  Being generous is synonymous with being a good person.  What would it feel like to be that most generous person, I wonder.  I have a feeling that generosity and happiness go hand in hand.  I try to be a generous person but I have much work left to do.  I started with donating to charities and seeing my hard earned cash help others.  The more I help others, the more I want to do more!  It feels so good.  Generosity feels good. 

I could certainly be a more generous person though.  And I aim to become one! 

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