Respond Generously to God’s Grace

By Steve Jones, presiding bishop

As he was setting out on a journey a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good teacher what must I do to inherit eternal life?”…Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, “You lack one thing: go, sell what you own and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions.  Mark 10:17, 21–22

I have the most-wonderful ministry assignment in all the church. Almost each week I receive an envelope or visit by someone who is making a generous offering to World Mission Tithes. Here are two such moments:

“Dear Presiding Bishop, my name is Katy. I was baptized in August. I got money for Christmas from my grandma. I want to give 10 percent for my Mission Tithes. Thank you.”

Fred and Martha (names changed) were passing through Independence and stopped to see the presiding bishop. Now retired, they had given years of service as caretakers at several of our campgrounds in North America.“Our finances have been tight,” they said, “but we have been blessed, and now in our retirement we want to continue our commitment to fund World Mission Tithes as best we can. It’s not much, but we hope this $1,000 can help to provide ministry throughout the world.”

God is generous. God is the giver of the first gift by giving us God’s only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. Daily I receive the knowledge that people like Katy, Fred, and Martha are receiving God’s grace and responding generously to the mission of Jesus Christ.

Prayer for Peace:

Gracious and loving God, we give you thanks for the grace and peace of the life and ministry of your Son. May we be a reflection of that grace and peace in the world.

Spiritual Practice for the Week: Growing a Gracious, Generous Heart

Each day this week open your heart to God’s grace and generosity with a “breath prayer.” Let your breath slow and deepen. Be aware of God’s breath moving in and out of your heart. Spend several minutes focusing on breathing in God’s generosity. With each breath, silently name one gift for which you are thankful. “God, I breathe in the gift of  with thanks.”

Let your heart expand to contain God’s gracious outpouring. With each breath out, name one gift you want to share from the overflow of your heart.

Eternal joy and peace await those who grow in the grace of generosity that flows from compassionate hearts.  Doctrine and Covenants 163:9

Peace Covenant:

Today, God, I will not be shocked at Jesus’ answer to the rich man’s question. I will follow Jesus.

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