A Digital Refresh – April 26, 2020: Unspeakable Gift

Mini-Yo-We

Today’s reflection is from Peter Berg. Peter is our facility manager and on any given day can be found diligently caring for our site. 

Today’s Reading: 2 Corinthians 9:6-15

This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.
2 Corinthians 9:12

Have you ever received a gift that rendered you speechless? I remember a time I got to give one.

I’m a woodworker, which probably doesn’t surprise you given my job at camp. I love to build things. But where Ted and Mike like to work on buildings, I actually enjoy building smaller things more. I like to work on furniture. I’m particularly fond of the Craftsman-style furniture of a designer named Gustav Stickley. (I’ll leave brother Google to show you photos of his work) My sister also likes his furniture. One year near Christmas time I decided to build a rocking chair out of some oak boards I had in storage. I built the chair, and gave it to my sister for Christmas.

It’s the first time I’ve ever seen a gift leave her speechless. She already had a couple of pieces from the Stickley factory, which still produces furniture in the style of its founder after around 100 years of production, and my rocker fits right in with the piece from the factory that sits beside it in her living room.

I actually made two of the rocking chairs from the story above and kept one for myself. It’s a favourite of mine, that gets a fair bit of use with me at home more.

In Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians, he reminds them of a collection he is taking up for poor believers in another part of the world.

He gives them instructions for deliberate planning for generosity (8:10-12). And in our passage today, he forges the link between God’s faithfulness to us and our faithfulness to him, expressed in meeting the needs of others. Don’t miss the quote from Ps. 112, a psalm affirming God’s goodness to those who follow his ways.

We’re reminded in this passage to give generously, deliberately, and joyfully as we go through this life. Paul describes a feedback loop in which we give to others, out of recognition that everything we have is a blessing from God. When this passage is preached, pastors often say that the indescribable gift of v. 15 is our salvation through Jesus Christ, and that is indeed the greatest gift of all. Don’t let that deflect you from the core of this passage: God graciously blesses us with what we need, and we do the same for others, so that we will abound in every good work. Our ability to follow Jesus and serve him fully is tied up with the generosity of our hearts. The grace Paul is talking about in this passage is the work God does in the believer’s heart to allow a posture of giving and helping in everyday life, so that we bless others as he has blessed us.

Paul understood that we need to listen to the Lord as he prompts us to be generous.

He will want you to trust him to maintain your planned giving in this time of difficult economic realities. He will also prompt you to give to those around you in need. In faith, we need to listen to and act on those prompts.

Spend some time today laying out before him your ongoing plan to give, and offering yourself to him to give to others as he directs in this time. Your service will result in praise to God by others for his blessing, and in their ability to bless those around them as well. God was in to “pay it forward” long before it was a movie. And the discipline of giving will allow him to shape you into Christlikeness in the way you bless others. Maybe your gift that fills a need today will be the one that renders someone speechless as they see the grace of God in it!

Peter

Subscribe to get the Digital Refresh directly to your Email every day.

A Digital Refresh is a regular series for the staff at Mini-Yo-We.
When we gather together for worship and learn from God’s word we call it “Refresh.” Even though we aren’t at camp we can still gather together to share God’s word through a Digital Refresh.

For more resources check out our summer staff resource page.

If you would like to contribute reach out to pat@miniyowe.com.