Freely Give

Saturday, February 22

2-22By E.J. Chappelle of Rosharon, Texas, USA

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God…

—Ephesians 2:8

I felt able to be a little more generous than usual one day, so I bought some ice-cream cones to share with a few friends. It felt good to bring unexpected gifts to others. Later one of these friends went to the store after receiving a little extra money. It disappointed me when he returned without any treats to share.

Even as a child I knew that a gift is just that, a gift freely given without expectation of receiving something in return. But I’ve still got a self-serving mind that my wiser heart is often slow to rebuke. Of course, I quickly got over that minor disappointment.

When I think of the far greater gifts of God to us, I am humbled. You can’t earn it, and no one deserves God’s grace. Our Creator doesn’t need someone to save his soul in return. We need only accept the divine gift of forgiveness and salvation and live life as disciples on Christ’s mission. Freely, we have received…freely give.

Prayer for Peace
Freely giving God, help us adopt your way of giving. Help us grow a generous heart. May we share what we can, especially the peace of Jesus Christ.

Spiritual Practice: Growing a Gracious, Generous Heart
Open your heart to God’s grace and generosity with a “breath prayer.” Let your breathing 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. Let your heart expand to contain God’s gracious outpouring of love. With each breath out, name one gift you want to share from the overflow of your heart.

Peace Covenant
Today, God, I will be vulnerable to your grace with humble gratitude.

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