TOO MANY BOXES

Don’t you just LOVE it when you’re moving and you have to take your entire life and fit it into boxes small enough for a person to carry?
(SPOILER ALERT – Nobody is going to say “Yup, sure do!” in the comments.)

And yet, there is a GREAT lesson to be learned from the piles of boxes.

Boxes, boxes, boxes. When you’re moving, it’s amazing how many boxes you end up needing. I’m an expert in this arena, by the way, I’ve actually moved as many as three times in a single calendar year; and about twenty times in the last forty years. And let me tell you something – that’s a LOT of boxes. It’s one thing to “count your blessings” – and another thing entirely to try and pack them all in easy-to-carry boxes.

Speaking of blessings, today’s verse says GOD IS ABLE TO BLESS YOU ABUNDANTLY.

And He is !!!! God has declared, “The silver is mine, and the gold is mine,” and it’s true. But His blessing goes beyond mere financial provision. Honor also comes from Him, because He rules over all. In His hand are power and might, and the ability to lift someone up and make them great. Even the capacity to give strength is His.

There’s a phrase that you may have heard that tells us to count our blessings. It’s not actually a direct quote from the bible, even though being deliberate about remembering all the good things that God has done for you is an instruction often repeated in His word. In the psalms, King David shares one of his prayers, where he reminds himself to remember. He says, “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.” He then goes on to recount several things that the Lord has done.

Remembering to be grateful requires a shift in perspective, one where we are deliberate about considering the many ways that God has directed, protected, provided and shown us His amazing love. News, social media, marketing messages — all these cry out for your attention. But most of the time their focus is on bad news and problems you can’t directly impact or drawing your attention to things you don’t have. But when it’s time to move, and therefore time to put all your possessions into boxes, well then the magnitude of God’s blessings becomes pretty clear. Counting your blessings is fairly easy when they are all in boxes stacked against the wall.

Well, not all of them. Many of the blessings God gives us are loving relationships. Spouses, parents, children and close friends. These can be among our most treasured relationships. Bo Lanier, a poet from Chattanooga Tennessee, hit the nail on the head when he wrote “When I count my blessings, I count you TWICE.”

GOD IS ABLE TO BLESS YOU ABUNDANTLY

As He does, we should remember that we have been blessed to be a blessing. Those of us committed to following Jesus should remember how he himself said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

Giving is an expression of gratitude. Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be poured into your lap. Generosity is rewarded, and the measure you use to give your gifts is the one that will be used to measure the blessings He returns back to you. One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what they should give, and only suffers want.

My advice is to give the way you want to receive, because God is faithful in all things. I don’t want His blessings to come in small, sporadic bursts; so I don’t give that way. But don’t be concerned if you don’t have a lot to give, because it is not HOW MUCH you give but THAT you give that is important. One day when Jesus was sitting in the temple grounds, He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box. Then He saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. He told His disciples, “This poor widow has put in more than all of them. For the wealthy all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”

Each one must give as they have decided in their heart, but each one should give. And we should give with joy, not reluctantly or under compulsion, because God loves it when we give cheerfully; it reflects His character in us. The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.

So, don’t be afraid to give. Give generously and regularly; give where God leads you to give. Sow like you want to reap. And remember that He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply what you have in your hands; and as you are faithful to give He will increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way to be generous on every occasion, and your giving will produce thanksgiving to God.

GOD IS ABLE TO BLESS YOU ABUNDANTLY

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