Rabbi’s Reflections – Friday, December 29, 2023
(Early) Shabbat Shalom,

Love Each Other / Glorify God part 21 – Romans, part 246

Romans 15:25 But now I am going to Jerusalem, bringing aid to the kedoshim. 26 For Macedonia and Achaia were pleased to make some contribution for the poor among the believers in Jerusalem.

I’m not losing my mind (not over this anyway), I know we dealt with these same two verses yesterday.  As you may recall (it was only yesterday), at that time I wrote on Paul “going to Jerusalem” and how we all are doing the same.  Today I want to write about being pleased to “make some contribution.”  What a good thing it is to have a giving culture.

Paul had received gifts from two communities (on this occasion) specifically to help those in need in Jerusalem.  This is a reminder to us all of the value God puts on being generous.

Rabbi Trail:  I’m not writing because I think anyone needs to be “kicked” over this.  In fact, the opposite is true.  I thank God daily for the giving culture that surrounds Shomair.  I’m writing about this because Paul did.  Giving with generosity is a part of the kingdom of God.  If we don’t teach on it, we are neglecting our responsibility.  Also, I have no intention of making this an exhaustive lesson on giving.  After all, this is just a short RR.  End RT.

Historically, as a congregation, Shomair gives from 25% to 30% of our income to other ministries.  This includes our 10% tithe plus regular and special giving to other ministries as the Lord leads.  The point to be made from all this talk on having a giving culture is that we cannot out-give God.  Yeshua spoke this as part of His Sermon on the Mount as recorded in Luke.

Luke 6:38 “Give, and it will be given to you—a good measure, pressed down, shaken together, overflowing, will be given into your lap. For whatever measure you measure out will be measured back to you.”

Go ahead, God is inviting us to put Him to the test on this… Malachi 3:10 “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse. Then there will be food in My House. Now test Me in this”—says Adonai-Tzva’ot—“if I will not open for you the windows of heaven, and pour out blessing for you, until no one is without enough.”

When God “pours out blessing,” He doesn’t have to take a blessing from someone else, He simply makes more, because He alone is the creator.  The way of this world is to take from one in order to give to another.  Not so with God, Who creates more when He needs more, so that He gives without measure.

Shortly after talking about this same gift from Macedonia and Achaia, Paul specifically addresses cheerful giving… 2Corinthians 9:6 The point is this: whoever sows sparingly shall also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully shall also reap bountifully. 7 Let each one give as he has decided in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion—for God loves a cheerful giver.

Let’s keep these things in mind as we honor God through our giving.  Shalom shalom.

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Fri 29-Dec-2023 17th of Tevet, 5784
Ge 49:27-50:20 2 Sa 4-5 Ps 73 Lk 4:22-44 (Gal 1)