You and I can recognize that we have received everything in abundance from God, so you we can give liberally, gladly, and freely. We can freely give
* ... and whatever else God gives us to give.
Give what you have, give it generously, give in love and wisdom, just as God gives you what He has, freely and generously, in love and wisdom.
It will be costly, there will be sacrifices, but God's supply is inexhaustible, so don't worry about running out -- God Who supplied you with everything in the first place will supply more; you and I don't have to hoard what God gives.
This is a matter of the heart, a matter of love and wisdom.
Let’s say you have someone in your life who is an alcoholic and they’re begging you for a drink. Jesus is not telling you to give them a drink. That would not be the loving or wise thing to do for them.
What you can say, like Peter said to a beggar who put his hand out to the apostle, “I’m not going to give you what you’re asking of me. I am going to help you, though. I have something much better than what you’re asking for that can transform your life if you’re willing to receive it.”
God requires our hearts to be right, not just our actions--> It’s not enough not to hurt somebody. Can you say you’ve never even wanted to hurt somebody, ever?
--> It’s not enough to have never had sex with anyone except your spouse. Can you say you have never even imagined sexy thoughts with anyone but your spouse?
--> Can you say that your “yes” is always yes, and your “no” is always no, that you never have to say “I swear,” or “I mean it,” because sometimes you don’t mean it, and sometimes you don’t tell the truth?
--> Have you never wanted to get back at someone? And it’s not even enough to run away from a mean person!
--> Can you say that you always stick it out, turn the other cheek, give your cloak too, go the extra mile, give generously, even to people who don’t deserve it, who have done evil to you?
Where do you recognize yourself in these examples?
This is the kind of righteousness that exceeds the righteousness of the Pharisees.
Jesus says that anything besides what comes from God's perfection comes from evil. You might be feeling a little overwhelmed at this point. By the time I got to the part about turning the other cheek I thought, “this is ridiculous! Who does this?!”
Hang in there, this part is the bad news, but there is good news.....
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