November 15th, 2013 | By admin
By Paul Holland
Two little boys were each given a box of chocolates by their grandfather. The first boy took the package into his bedroom, tore into it, and stuffed the candies into his mouth until he was one big mess of smeared chocolate. The other boy unwrapped his package there in front of his grandfather. He opened the box and looked at all the candies. Then he raised the box to his grandfather and said, “Thank you for giving me this candy. Here. You have the first piece.”
The little boy gave to his grandfather because his grandfather first gave to him. Today, we give because God first gave to us. I want us to consider our sharing with others in light of the “Open hands of God…”
Psalm 104 is “an extended celebration of the goodness and awesome character of creation” (Brueggman, 31). As you read through the psalm, you notice what God does. He “makes the winds His messengers” (vs 4). He “established the earth” (vs 5). He “sends forth springs” (vs 10). He “causes the grass to grow” (vs 14). It is evident that God brought the world into existence and He sustains the world continually by His power.
Jumping down to verse 24, God has made many works, in wisdom. The earth is full of His belongings. Among His works are: The sea and its swarms, animals (small and great) and Leviathan, which is arguably some type of dinosaur like creature (Job 41). All these animals depend on God for food – He provides with His “open hand” (vs 28). His power extends to extinguishing life (vs 29) and creating life (vs 30). So, God’s glory will last forever – vs 31.
I want you to underline in your Bibles that expression: “You open your hand.” God gives. Now…
Based on Psalm 104, we sing as long as we live – to praise God – vs 33. We meditate on Him and His greatness, His wisdom, His power – vs 34. We are glad in the Lord – vs 34.
But also, we give because God first gave to us. He is “open-handed,” therefore we ought to be open-handed. We share that open-handed generosity with others…
Jesus was concerned with the physical needs of others - Luke 7:11-17. So should we.
Jesus teaches us to be concerned about the physical needs of others - Matt. 25.
The church and Christians are to continue this “open-handed” benevolence of God - Hebrews 13:1-2; Galatians 6:10.
Churches can combine their contributions to help a larger work - 1 Cor. 16:1-3.
We are to help widows and orphans - James 1:27.
Be open-handed with others. God has been with you.