Day 4: What We Have
Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
Romans 12:13 NIV
It’s no secret to those who know me best, I don’t like to share my food. Let me clarify. I don’t like to share food from my plate. If you ask me for a bite or reach over to take something from my plate, something in me shifts. It is not easy to admit, silly I guess. I can’t tell you where it comes from. I’m not anxious about germs or afraid I won’t have enough to eat. I just don’t want you taking things off my plate. It’s a space issue. My plate… my space. DO NOT ENTER!
Now that I’ve put it here in black and white. I’m feeling a bit embarrassed. Because this might just be a picture of my heart when it comes to sharing what I have. I’m willing to share to a point, but when it comes to my personal space, I need some work.
The moment I type this I know the lesson will begin. Because my heart longs to share in very intimate, sacrificial ways, but my flesh is screaming NOOOOOO!
Lord, I want to share even when my flesh screams no. Bring me to a place where my personal space doesn’t matter to me anymore. Not my plate or the bubble that insulates me. Nothing. Let nothing stand in the way of me sharing with others what you have freely given me… Amen.
Being an introvert and a perfectionist made it difficult for me to offer hospitality. It’s not an excuse, it’s just the way it was.
I hosted a Sunday School party or two and at least one youth group party, but for me, these were anxiety-ridden events. Making sure everything was perfect (or at least as good as it could get), and having people in my space was just uncomfortable.
So, when He called me to invite ladies, including the ones on my street (many I didn’t know), to come for Bible study at my dining room table it was quite a leap. Yet, the years I opened my home, inviting ladies to my table to eat His Word and share our stories, became a season of joy.
For me, growing in faith included growing in grace. Releasing my own expectations of self and how others might perceive me. In my life, sharing my space has become easier and more important. But only by God’s grace and His work in me.
To share what we have is to give a portion to others. This may sound a lot like flat out giving (which we talk about next week), but when we give, we go without. When we share, we keep a portion for ourselves.
We share part of the whole of what we have with someone else. Portioning out our money, food, space. In the process, we share experiences. Like cutting a pie and offering pieces to others. We get a slice, and those who receive a piece enjoy it too. We could give the whole pie and have none. That’s giving, not sharing.
Sharing connects us more deeply. Offering hospitality is a form of sharing. We don’t give our house away, but we invite others in to share our space. Whether it’s for an evening meal or for weeks of refuge after a loss, we share our space and lives. Connecting through a shared experience.
How are you when it comes to sharing what you have? space? money? things? Are you open-handed or reluctant to share what you have? Why?
Read Proverbs 22:9
What quality in a person brings blessing?
What do they do?
The ESV reads: Whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed (emphasis added). Other translations use generous. To have a bountiful eye is to have a generous spirit. We always see enough.
Seeing life through Jesus, our eyes never see scarcity. We can share what we have with those in need without fear of becoming needy. Without fear of loss.
Fear of scarcity keeps us from being generous and sharing what we have. Can you think of other hindrances to sharing? Write them below.
Sharing what we have is a spiritual discipline God compares with fasting.
Read Isaiah 58:6-7
What aspects of the fast God chooses for us have to do with sharing?
Sharing our bread with the hungry, our homes with the homeless, and our clothes with the naked are a spiritual discipline. A discipline God calls fasting. The traditional fast involves giving up food or certain types of food for a period of time to grow closer to God. How can sharing be like fasting?
Sharing a portion of what we have with those in need is a sacrifice of doing without surplus, which can help us grow in faith. As we share what He has given, we put aside the security we find in having extra, to trust God to provide what we need at the proper time.
Read Isaiah 58:8-12
List the blessings of sharing as God calls us to.
To be one who shares with the needy is to be one who is truly blessed. It brings healing, righteousness, and God’s glory at our back. We receive answered prayers, joy, guidance, satisfaction, strength.
And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to dwell in.
Isaiah 58:12 ESV
Sharing as God calls us to restores broken communities. Raising up not just those with whom we share, but the generations to follow.
Whew! Why wouldn’t you share?
Talk It Out
Talk it over with yourself:
When and with what are you happy to share? Why?
When and with what do you have difficulty sharing? Why?
Talk it over with God:
Consider all that you have. Your time, energy, belongings, the means to earn, the discipline to save, everything…
Remember it is all a gift from Him. Everything.
Give Him thanks for everything He has given you. Ask Him how He wants you to share it with those in need.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
James 1:17-18 ESV
Work Out Your Faith
Today seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance on what to share and whom to share it with. Maybe it’s your time. Or perhaps extra clothes or money. Or someone you can offer hospitality to.
Take the step of faith to begin breaching the gap in your community.
Reflection Scripture: Journal
Click here for today’s guided Journal Page – Share Day 4. Follow the directions.
Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
Hebrews 13:16 ESV