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Week in Proverbs: Giving and Receiving

Give freely and become more wealthy; be stingy and lose everything.

The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.

Proverbs 11:24-25 New Living Translation (NLT)

We live in a world of "haves" and "have nots" where some have more than they need and many others live without much of what they need. Some people have several places to live while some people live in homeless shelters or worse, sleep under bridges. Some people spend lots of money attempting to maintain youthful and impressive appearances while some people need health care to stay alive and coats to keep warm in cold weather. We see wealthy people in church and we see poor people in church. God sees it too.

The principle explained in this Proverb is that those who are wealthy and do not share or even care about those who lack the basic necessities to simply live will one day exchange places with them. It may not happen on this side of Heaven, but holding tightly to an overabundance of stuff will mean losing everything because hands filled with too many possessions are too full to receive God's grace. We must empty our hands to receive. We are to give to others in order to receive. Those who are blessed with much are to be a blessing to those who are not. As Jesus told the rich young ruler: If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” Matthew 19:21 NIV

They share freely and give generously to those in need. Their good deeds will be remembered forever. They will have influence and honor. Psalm 112:9 NLT

For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? 1 Corinthians 4:7 NIV

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