Growing Contentment and Generosity – Day 1, April 18
Today we are starting a 4-week topical study on growing contentment and generosity in our hearts (click on the Reading Plan tab on the website for a list of the scriptures by day). The word “content” means not needing more, and the word “generous” means open-handed giving. As we look at what the Bible has to say about wealth and riches, it is my prayer that we would open our hands’ grip just a little bit more on the stuff of this world and grow generosity in its place. During this study, I hope you will share your stories of how God provides in our comments section on the website, as a testimony and encouragement to our readers to take these baby steps in the direction of God and just see what happens.
Read today’s scripture, journal on it using SOAP, then please share as we encourage one another in this one thing. Below is the NIV version of today’s reading, then below that is a SOAP from one of our study leaders. The Comments section on our website is an open forum for sharing, requesting prayer, and asking questions.
Revelation 3:14-22 – The Message to the Church in Laodicea
14 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:
These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. 15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.
19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.
21 To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
To the Rich Christians | Becky Newman
This scripture is from the letter to the church in Laodicea, which my Bible notes as the wealthiest city in Phrygia during Roman times. In the book of Revelation, John receives a revelation from God in which Jesus tells him to write letters to the seven churches. These churches have the same struggles our churches face, and this one faces an abundance of wealth which has made them comfortable and, thus, lukewarm in their Christianity. But in being comfortable, Jesus points out that they are missing so much–that they are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked (vs. 17). Then, Jesus counsels them to instead “buy” or seek out the riches Jesus has to offer: wisdom, forgiveness, and compassion.
We spend a lot of energy seeking earthly riches to pay the bills and keep up with the Jones’, but in so doing, we sacrifice the growth and good works that God intended for us. It is difficult to balance this out in our culture and churches which are so much like Laodicea. If I keep seeking wisdom, forgiveness, and compassion from You, You will help me.
Lord, help me to seek refined gold from You, to seek forgiveness for my lukewarm-ness, and please open my eyes to what’s around me, to be more compassionate, and use me for Your glory. Through this study in growing contentment and generosity, I pray that You would help everyone who is on this journey open up our hands just a little bit more every day and release control to You. I don’t want us to miss out on one bit of Your plan for us!
The Discover One Thing main website continues to follow the Life Journal Reading Plan which covers the whole Bible in one year. Click HERE to check out today’s Discover One Thing post.
Posted on April 18, 2016, in Uncategorized and tagged Bible, Bible Study, contentment, generosity, Jesus, Laodicea, lukewarm, Revelation, riches, SOAP, wealth. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.