October 20, 2012

15 Days on Giving

In his beloved book, Where the Red Fern Grows, Wilson Rawls writes, in this coming-of-age novel, about a 10-year-old boy named Billy and his two redbone coonhounds hunting for raccoons in the Ozark Mountains. In the book, Billy’s grandfather tells him about an old trick he used to trap raccoons when he was younger. He told Billy to drill a hole in an old log and polish up some very shiny pieces of metal and drop them down into the hole. After that, he instructed him to then drive three nails into the log around the hole, so the nail points come out just above the pieces of metal. A greedy raccoon will see the shiny things at the bottom of the hole and will reach in to grab them. Empty handed, the raccoon can reach his hand in and out of the hole with ease, but with a closed fist full of shiny things, he is stuck. All he has to do to go free is to let go, but even when he knows he is in danger of losing his life, he refuses; he is just not capable of making the sacrifice, even to save his life.

It is discouraging when God’s people behave more like raccoons by refusing to release the material things of this world, instead of choosing to give as generously as Christ has given to them. Over the next 15 days, our daily Bible readings will focus on the importance of giving in the life of a Christian.

October 20 – 2 Corinthians 8:1-6
In chapter 8, Paul is hoping to correct the Corinthian’s lack of giving by applauding the sacrificial giving of the Macedonian churches. These churches were experiencing a time of “rock bottom destitution,” yet they were generously giving out of their “overflowing joy” in the Lord. Based on what you have given over the past year, have you been more like the Corinthians, who needed to be corrected by Paul, or have you been giving faithfully and generously like the Macedonians?