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Daily Devotions

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Grocery Lists and Generosity

Posted: Tuesday, September 19

Pastor Tom Murray/

Pastor Tom Murray/

One Year Bible Reading Guide

Isaiah 30:12-33:9
Galatians 5:1-12
Psalm 63:1-11
Proverbs 23:22


Verse of the Day:

But generous people plan to do what is generous, and they stand firm in their generosity.

Isaiah 32:8 (NLT)

You finish your grocery shopping.  Everything on your list is in your cart and you roll up to the checkout lane to pay.

(Side note: Why do grocery stores have three dozen checkout lanes but only staff four of them?  Have you ever seen all of the lanes open?)

You have everything you came for.  Then, the checkout lane is lined with many items you didn’t come for, but may very well end up going home with you.  Grocers put items you are likely to buy on impulse right in front of you.

“No, I didn’t plan on buying a pack of gum, family size bag of chocolate and gossip magazine - but, yes - get on the conveyor belt!”

To be impulsive means to take action without giving much thought to what you’re about to do.  Doing good for others is not supposed to be like impulsive shopping.  

A message God gave through Isaiah says, “generous people plan to do what is generous, and they stand firm in their generosity” (Isaiah 32:8 NLT).

To be generous means to go beyond what is required or expected.  We have the capacity to be generous with our time, money, possessions and talents.

Living life God’s way is to plan to be generous.  It is to strive to consistently show kindness in a way that goes beyond what usual or necessary.  It is to give of our best, not just our leftovers.  

This description of generosity in Isaiah is a readiness to give based on intention, not emotion.

Being intentional is the opposite of impulsive.  God’s plan for generosity has much more in common with shopping with a grocery list than shopping impulsively.  A good grocery shopping list is developed out of planning meals in advance, reviewing menus and schedules, and ensuring you have the right quantities.

Planned generosity means we are putting advanced thought into where we are going to be generous with our resources.  

Yes, there are certainly moments when we are moved to do something for someone because of an appeal to our emotions.  However, if that is the only time we give selflessly, we are not experiencing the full blessing linked to generosity that God has is in mind for us.