Today's Devotional Thought: Nuts For God
2 Corinthians 9:7-8, "Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work."
Pastor Ken Shigematsu shares the following true story about his wife's pet chipmunk named Forte:
My wife Saiko's family loves animals. They regularly take abandoned cats or dogs or even an abandoned ferret into their home. In the city of Osaka, Japan, her family's home has become the neighborhood's de facto pet refuge. At one point she even took in a wild chipmunk. This chipmunk had been the runt of the pack and the veterinarian had said it would probably only survive for a few days. She named him Forte—with the hope that he would grow strong. He not only survived but he began to thrive.
When Sakiko came back to her apartment in the evening after work, Forte would wake up and run excitedly around her apartment doing figure eights. Or if Sakiko was working on her computer at home, he would scamper up and down the keyboard, pressing on random characters. She noticed that Forte would take his most treasured possessions—his walnuts—and place them where he slept. Apparently this was a kind of hibernation instinct for him. But as his relationship with Sakiko developed, he began to take half his walnuts and put them under her pillow. He somehow came to understand that Sakiko was the one who provided for him and was his family. So out of gratitude, he wanted to share with her what he had so freely been given.
Do you have enough nuts? I do. God has blessed us with nuts, if we’re honest. God has blessed us with an abundance of nuts so we can share those nuts. In 2 Corinthians Paul gives three reasons why we should share our nuts.
First, there is a need for nuts. Paul was taking up an offering for persecuted Christians who were in great need. When we see a need it is God’s way of saying to us, who have nuts, to help meet that need. As James says, “Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?” (James 2:15-16). God expects us to share. Every parent recognizes the necessity of teaching their children to share. God is no different.
Secondly, there is a principle of generosity. “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously” (2 Corinthians 9:6). Paul is not talking about an earthly return. This isn’t a strategy for getting rich. At least not earthly riches. That which we will reap for being generous is heavenly wealth. It is spiritual wealth. Jesus told us, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21). An eternal perspective, which Christ gives, should give us an eternal motivation.
Lastly, we should share our nuts because of gratitude and love for God. For when you share your nuts in the name of Christ you are giving God glory. Those who receive our generous gift will thank God and praise His name. Paul says, “You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God” (2 Corinthians 9:11). Our giving shows our gratitude for a God who has so abundantly blessed us and that generosity will become to Him a gift of what He truly deserves--praise and glory.
Will you share your nuts today? Will you do it with a cheerful and grateful heart for all that God has done for you? Even a chipmunk knows that gratitude is shown by giving back some of the nuts that have been received. “Freely you have received; freely give” ~ Jesus Christ (Matthew 10:8)
Prayer: Father God, we thank You for Your abundant generosity to us. Will You open our eyes to see the opportunities You have have given us to be generous? May our generosity bring You praise and glory. We love You. In Jesus name, amen.