Freely You Have Received, Freely Give

“‘Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?’ It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. And God said to him, ‘Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches or the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, behold, I now do according to your word. Behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you. I give you also what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that no other king shall compare with you, all your days.'” “And King Solomon gave to the queen of Sheba all that she desired, whatever she asked besides what was given her by the bounty of King Solomon. So she turned and went back to her own land with her servants.” “You received without paying; give without pay.” 1 Kings 3:9-13; 10:13; Matthew 10:8

There are many cogent observations and lessons from the story of the Queen of Sheba’s visit to King Solomon. While it is easy to focus on her response to him, it is inspiring also to note that he who had received much was quick and generous to give. When he was young, inexperienced, and overwhelmed, Solomon had asked for wisdom and understanding from his Lord, and received that and much more. He learned that his God was not only able to do more than he asked, but delighted to do so, and generously. Solomon displayed his gratitude for this bounty from his God by paying it forward. He who had received much knew much was expected from him, and it became his nature to lavish others with great largesse. (Luke 12:48; Ephesians 3:20)

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When we acknowledge that all we have is only a stewardship, we are not only freed to give generously, but desirous to. When we realize that all fruitfulness flows from a vital relationship with Jesus, we can pour out as He directs, and even look for opportunity, in His joy and love. If what is ‘mine’ is really His, then my question every morning will be, “What will You have me do with Your bounty today?” (1 Corinthians 4:7)

What do I hoard that has been entrusted to my care? My home, my time, my energy?Where am I skimpy in loving to others from the wealth lavished on me– of resources, energy, knowledge, compassion, mercy, love?

“Take my silver and my gold;
Not a mite would I withhold;
Take my intellect, and use
Every power as Thou shalt choose.

“Take my will, and make it Thine;
It shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart; it is Thine own;
It shall be Thy royal throne.”  ~Frances Ridley Havergal (1836-1879)

Father, You have given so much. Open my heart and hands and life for others. Please make me a giver as generous and gracious and willing as You, that others see Your glorious benevolence and give You the honor and praise You alone deserve.

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