I wait for the LORD, my soul does wait,
And in His word do I hope.
My soul [waits] for the Lord
More than the watchmen for the morning;
[Indeed, more than] the watchmen for the morning.
O Israel, hope in the LORD;
For with the LORD there is lovingkindness,
And with Him is abundant redemption.
And He will redeem Israel
From all his iniquities.
Psalm 130:5-8 (NASB)
Hymn: "Jesus Shall Reign" Isaac Watts, John Hatton
It has been addressed a few times here, directly or indirectly, that a heart that lacks generosity does not adequately reflect the heart of God. This is repeated a number of times throughout scripture and was a major part of my reading for today.
If I had a dollar for every time I was told that I am functionally rich simply by living in the United States I could probably afford the life these speakers seemed to think I was living. But this is the avenue generally used to point out why we should be generous. God has given us so much! Put us in this land where we have a relatively comfortable go of it, He gives us wealth and health and status and all these other great things, how can we not give it away again? And everyone in the audience who has not been receiving wealth and health and status, while possibly eager to give what they can, find it hard to believe they are doing so out of some kind of abundance.
The universal of the Christian life is not the experience of this earthly life, but the greatest gift God gives. The passage at the top of this post claims God gives "abundant redemption." And so He does! Christ, in going to the cross, paid a steep price for our redemption, and has removed a great deal more sin from each of us than we may even realize. It is not just a bit of redemption that we must supplement, it is not just enough redemption to get us back to square one. God has provided an abundant redemption, one that covers over all our sin and brings us into communion with Him. We are called to be generous not because we have much by this world's standards, which we may, but because God has given us more than we could ever repay or fully grasp and has asked nothing in return but that we lean on Him in all our ways. Surely we cannot afford to be less generous than that.
Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. Copyright by The Lockman Foundation