Browse Category

Joy

Define Love According to 2 Corinthians 8:2

Recently I heard Dr. John Piper speak at the Celebration of Generosity and he touched my heart deeply. Below is just an excerpt from a sermon that he gave at the conference. I consider that sermon to be a contender to be one of my Top 5 sermons of all time. I believe you will be deeply impacted by it:

https://generousgiving.org/media/videos/john-piper-joy-in-poverty

Friday Inspiration

Love, is the overflow of joy in God that meets the needs of others especially in times of suffering and loss.

John Piper at Generous Giving’s 2017 Celebration of Generosity

Check the video out here: https://generousgiving.org/media/videos/piper-2017

Greg pool 2

Confidence and Joy

I have been looking at this picture for months trying to figure out what I am supposed to write about it. I still cannot believe I was ever that joyful. Mom used to call me “happy baby.”  I was confident and joyful.

Just look at me.  I didn’t have a care in the world.  Looks like my belly was full and I was enjoying the sun as I played in the neighborhood pool.  Heck, I might even have a gift for the pool man in my diaper.

When this picture was taken I had been greatly loved and taken care of since birth.  At that time, my confidence and joy came from my Mom and Dad.  My Mom was a very loving and confident woman and I was her pride and joy.  She had been dreaming of having a baby for many years.

Before I was born, my Mom had 2 miscarriages and had tried for many years to have a baby.  In fact, as the story goes, more than ten doctors told her she would never have a child, so when I came along it was a very special time for her.  I was secure in her and my Dad’s love, fed by them both emotionally (love) and physically (food, clothing (some), shelter, and care).

Since this picture was taken in 1974, I have a struggled with confidence and joy ̶ but why?

Growing into a young man, I slowly began getting my security more from myself and less from my parents.  I became more and more self-reliant and confident in myself, which is developmentally appropriate. But I also became self-centered and arrogant. My joy dwindled and my confidence declined when life happened – ridicule from others, passed up for promotions, grades falling below those of my friends, being laughed at for my speaking abilities, and on and on.  I arrived into my mid-twenties angry, depressed, lonely and self-important.

I’ve been clawing my way back to the Greg Hurley of 1974 ever since.

I’m learning my confidence comes from the Lord.  “For You are my hope; O Lord GOD, You are my confidence from my youth” (Psalm 71:5).  My joy comes in knowing Jesus as my Lord.  “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice” (Philippians 4:4) and knowing that He will never leave me nor forsake me.  “For God has said: “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5b). And God calls us “to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).

God loves me so much that He sent His only son to die for my sins, (John 3:16)  ̶  for my arrogance, anger and self-centeredness. “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?”  (Romans 8:32).

In 1974, I believed wholeheartedly in my Mom and Dad and that they would give me everything I needed.  And they did.  I was blessed.

It’s not always easy, but in 2017 I am trying to believe wholeheartedly in my Heavenly Father that He will give me everything I need – love, food, shelter, clothing.  Everything. That He will be the source of my confidence, security, and joy.

What are you doing to make sure your joy and your confidence come from the Lord?

Friday Inspiration

Lifestyle generosity doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it’s more of a growth process: the more you give, the better you feel-and the more joyful and contented you are, the more you want to give.

Ron Blue, Generous Living

 

 

Friday Inspiration

To be joyful and generous,  you have to see things as God sees them. When your beliefs, your vision, and your actions align with his perspective, the results will be nothing short of incredible.

Ron Blue, Generous Living

Friday Inspiration

 

The Bible is unclear on exactly how much we should give. I believe this lack of clarity is because the decision concerning the amount an individual gives should be based on a personal relationship with God. As we seek the guidance of the Spirit through an active prayer life, giving suddenly becomes an exciting adventure.

Howard Dayton, “Your Money Counts”