by Molly Dillon / Keizer Campus Principal
The start of each new year begins the usual practice and renewed focus on getting control of our lives, downsizing, organizing, and dropping those extra pounds. Although I would like to drop a few bad habits, this year my plan is one of rebellion against the norm: to gain, go big, get more, and lose control! I want to gain momentum in my spiritual life, and get more quality time with my family and friends. I also want to go big, all in, and learn to truly lose control of my life to the One who is all powerful, all knowing, and ever present.
Taking a note from God’s economy, to get more we must give more, and that is achieved by becoming more like HIm in the area of generosity. Generosity is about investment, which God lovingly, creatively, and consistently expresses through His creation, and specifically in our personal relationship with Him. There have been more times than I can count where I have experienced divine proof that He “is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Eph. 3:20). Out of His generous character He has taught me through trials, encouraged me into victories, and lavished His loved on me despite the times I have disappointed Him.
Looking to the Bible for God’s example on how to be “all in” and more generous, shining brightly are the believers documented in the book of Acts (2:42-47). These believers were wholeheartedly devoted to the teachings of the Apostles, and made the act of worship and fellowship with other believers a daily priority. When anyone among them was in need, they sold their property or possessions to provide. Their attitude and actions showed they understood completely that everything is God’s and to be used for His purposes, people, and ultimately His glory. The result of such generosity was amazing unity, prosperity, and an incredible number of new believers. The lost couldn’t help but be attracted to the indescribable, unexplainable joy experienced by a people living for God above all else.
With the knowledge that biblical examples apply and are relevant to our present time and circumstances, if we resolve to make even a few changes towards becoming more like those in the Acts church, we will witness unbelievable possibilities! Forgiving and loving generously will lead to reconciliation and unity. Giving a greater measure of ourselves and our resources in ministry to others and our relationship with God will create life-altering results. I cannot help but wonder… what will we experience if we truly go all in?
May we use whatever gifts we have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms (I Peter 4:10),
– Molly Dillon / Keizer Campus Principal