Everything in the world is about to be wrapped up, so take nothing for granted. Stay wide-awake in prayer. Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything. Be quick to give a meal to the hungry, a bed to the homeless – cheerfully. Be generous with the different things God gave you; passing them around so all get in on it: if words, let it be God’s words; if help, let it be God’s hearty help. That way, God’s bright presence will be evident in everything through Jesus, he’ll get all the credit as the One mighty in everything – encores to the end of time. Oh yes! – 1 Peter 4:7 (The Message)
I am so often reminded that all of this life is temporary, that Calgary is not my home, my body is not going to last, things change so often…But this is good! I am reminded that I am ‘renting space’ in the sense that I cannot do a single thing without God having the final say because He is the Owner.
Jared and I have been renting out rooms/basement suites for a very long time. Some days it’s frustrating when we’re not able to change broken things easily, or when upstairs neighbours are loud at all times of the day/night. Some days it’s more humbling, taking care of another’s place and trying to handle the space and things better than if they were our own.
The first year we were married, we were renting a basement suite of an older house. I was in school and Jared was working and we had budgeted and re-budgeted to save money while covering our expenses. Unfortunately, that winter was cold! And our suite was not well insulated. There were months where we were shocked at the utility expenses, and had to cut back on more.
But, that December, our landlord paid for our utilities as a Christmas gift. He covered the bill, and we were so thankful. We could afford gifts for friends and family.
I think of that generosity in light of these verses and can’t help but think of how God is even more generous with us. He knows we’re residing here temporarily, renting out the Earth and using it (sometimes not in the best ways) and He still gives us gifts like places to live, views to behold, comforts we couldn’t afford, and He offers life to the fullest. With that offer, He invites us into His family, with a promise that we will inherit. We do not have to rent forever. Now we are stewards, taking care of the things God gave us because all things belong to God, but we’re able to share these things with His creation. How He treats His creation is how we ought to treat His creation. (1 Peter 4:10; Psalm 89:11; Psalm 24:1; Luke 16:10-12)
We ought to be as generous and loving as He is, because we were made in His image. He’s continuously working on restoring us to be more and more like Him. So, let’s be generous with everything. We owe everything to the Lord who gave everything for us. Let’s show others what God showed us through His Son.
How are you emitting the fruit of the Spirit today? How are you going to be generous through patience, kindness, love, joyfulness, peace-bearing, goodness, gentleness and self-control this week and this month?