The Upper Room Devotion for Monday, November 13, 2023, was written by Ada Iris Santiago Vargas of Puerto Rico.
6 The point is this: the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work. 9 As it is written,
“He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.”
2 Corinthians 9:6-9 NRSV
I am the youngest of four children. In the rural part of Puerto Rico where we grew up, all types of fruit abounded in the fields of the country estates. We were poor, but we were viewed by others as rich because my father was the overseer of one of the country estates. He was responsible for the well-being of a dozen families who worked there. I remember how my mother shared our food with the families of the estate community. And my father advanced money to the workers so their children would not go hungry, even though our family was also in need.
As I reflect on the loving, generous spirit of my parents and how they led by example, I remain grateful. If my parents, foregoing their own needs, shared what they had, how much more does God, the loving parent, do for us by showing mercy and loving-kindness? Thanks be to God!
Pastor Anthony's Thoughts
We find ourselves firmly in the middle of our 2024 Stewardship Campaign: Thankful Hearts & Generous Hands. Our campaign underscores the central point of Ada's reflection: "How much more does God, the loving parent, do for us by showing mercy and loving-kindness." We are called to steward (manage) the resources God has entrusted to us, so that we will be positioned to be a blessing to others. May we all strive to be as generous as God has been to us.
Generous God, who "upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry," (ps. 146:7), thank you for your eternal compassion. We pray as Jesus taught us, "Our Father in heaven, hallowed by your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one". (Matt. 6:9-13, NIV) Amen.