Dear Ones,
Hope your day is filled with joy! More snow yesterday and very beautiful but also harder doing our walk. Today we are having friends over, the ones that were to come last week but had to cancel because of sickness…so double joy today!
Devotions from Judy’s heart
  Would others say we are a generous person, or would they consider us a “tightwad”, you know, a stingy person! When we come to know the Lord, we discover that are incredibly rich for we have been forgiven, made free, and loved beyond words. No matter if we live in a tiny old house in a non-exclusive area, yet we can consider ourselves rich because of what we have received from the Lord. Whether we are poor in the eyes of the world or rich, we can all know the joy of giving to others, whether it be in giving of our time, our attention, or $. God loves when we delight in giving. Jesus said in Luke 6:38, “Give away your life: you’ll find life given back, but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessings. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity.”

I read a devotional by author Alicia Searl who writes on how we can be generous in the new year. When we give to others we are blessed as well as the receiver, and our hearts enlarge as transformation takes place in us. She writes about ways we can be generous and first names generosity with our time. That may be the more difficult one, as needs come up that aren’t always at a convenient time, and we have to drop what we are doing. It could be only taking time to listen to someone who has lost a loved one, or inviting someone for coffee that is going through a hard time. But the Holy Spirit will direct us, and we need to respond as He prompts us.

We also need to be generous with random acts of kindness to others. It can be little things like a smile to the tired cashier at Target or bigger things like serving at a soup kitchen. Each act of kindness not only meets the needs of others, but also fills our hearts with joy.

 Alicia also writes we need to be generous with our gifts and talents that the Lord has given us.  We have all been given gifts at birth and as we flow in them to others, we feel fulfilled ourselves. It can be the gift of speaking truth to others, serving them, teaching, encouraging, giving, leading, and showing mercy. (Rom. 12:6-8) May we let the Lord reveal our gifts and then put them to use!

Another way to give is often a struggle for many but it is giving of our means, our money, our tithe! We may be the answer to another person’s prayers when we respond to their need when led by the Spirit. Let us not withhold when we have the power to give and have been given everything we possess. Let our eyes be open to the needs around us and may we be cheerful givers and also grateful receivers when we have need.

Challenge for today: Ask the Lord to open your eyes to the needs of others and respond as He directs.
Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy