INSIDE Luke 11: 37-44

Usually writing a check is no sweat.  Popping it in the mail no big deal.  Help is on the way for some Christian charity, which we love to support.  Without others like us, there would be no money to fulfill the work God calls them and us to do.  It’s a team effort for Jesus.

But sometimes your money spring dries up.  The caboodle skedaddles.  Even then we can give with what costs nothing monetarily.  Reading Luke 11, I’m stuck at verse 41.  Regardless of your translation, Jesus says to give what’s inside.  Inside?  As in what?

The Lord squelches those who make a scene of giving.  Big shots who brag about their largesse.  Grandstanders.  Blowhard showoffs.  Better to be looked over than overlooked?  Not from Jesus’ mouth.

Better to look within for things to give away.  A pastor could use encouragement but often receives ‘suggestions’.  What does he need that I can give?  A listening ear.  A kind word.  Intercessory prayers to the Lord.  Costs nothing.  Gives something that money can’t buy.  Not only clergy.  You can think of many others.  Dig deep within and give.

Sometimes I warrant a ‘swift kick’.  I’ve received a few.  Why even from the editor of my devotional books.  But all were given to make my writing more effective.  Looking back on those earliest pieces catches me with egg on my face–no paragraph breaks, endless wordiness, way too many uses of the word ‘just’.  Just plain awful!  See?

Hints from the editor?  Spot on.  Shame on me if I don’t heed them.  I did and still do!

So, here’s an idea.  Jesus says–‘But give as alms those things that are within…’ (Luke 11:41).  Look within.  Find tenderness that exhibits grace and mercy.  And give from them.  Even that helpful idea.  Firmly yet gently put.  From your heart.  From inside.  From you.  Genuinely.

See what fits.  Sometimes shut your mouth!  Keep it to yourself, as hard as that may be.  Remember, we’re to help someone else.  Not for brownie points or a pat on the back.  But actually, as gifts for Jesus.

 

Thank you, Jesus, for gifts to share with others.  Amen.

 

 

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