Christians Under Construction is a series of devotions designed for family use each week focused on Christian stewardship. It was originally developed for a congregation stewardship series and intended as a weekly resource. I thought I’d republish here for those interested in using them. Here is week thirteen:
2 Corinthians 8:14 – “At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need.”
The entire Gentry family decided to enjoy a movie at the theater. Bill, Marilyn, Bill Jr. and Mary had arrived early for the show and were wandering around the lobby. As usual, Bill Jr. and Mary were begging for candy from the snack bar. “Mom, Dad, can we get some, please?”
As they were standing in line to buy some candy, they noticed traditional theater candies in a display high above the cashier. There were classic Milk Dud boxes and black licorice whips among other things. They scanned the display until they both eyed a candy they hadn’t seen before – Good ‘n Plenty.
“Mom, what’s that?” said Mary, pointing at the colorful box that looked like it contained cold medicine capsules. “Oh,” Marilyn said with a smile, “that’s Good ‘n Plenty. I haven’t seen those for ages. They were one of my favorites because they were very good, and there were always so many in the box.”
Bill Jr. smartly responded, “Yea Mom, I suppose that’s why they called them Good n’ Plenty.” Bill Sr. chimed in at that point, “Boy, they sure don’t make candy like that any more!”
Good and plenty – our Christians Under Construction verse for this week uses similar language. Reread it now. You may remember that in past week’s devotions we talked about how “good” God’s gifts are. This week we will discuss about how plentiful they are.
“Good and plenty” are God’s gifts. When the Apostle Paul was traveling around making a collection for the needy Christians in Jerusalem, he noted that not only had God provided good gifts to the people in Corinth, but they had them in great supply. He said, “At the present time your plenty will supply what they need.”
At times, God chooses to work this way. He gives out his good gifts and asks us to distribute them appropriately. He may provide us with more than we need, therefore he reminds us, through passages like 2 Corinthians 8, to share our plenty. There may be other times that we may be in want. At those times God will provide for us in the same way – by using others who can share their plenty.
God’s family works no different than our family. God provides all that we need in many ways and through different means, but to be sure, he does provide good and plentiful gifts. A wonderful mechanism that God has created is the church. Through it he provides a means by which we can share not only with people in our congregation who are in physical or spiritual need, but with people all over the world.
Our offerings support missions, both home and world, institutions, schools that train our pastors and teachers, and the list goes on and on. Your plenty can do much. When we put all of our plenty together it funds the Builder’s Budget.
Discussion Questions: Why is it sometimes hard to share our “plenty?” Does your idea of plenty and God’s idea of plenty match up? Why or why not? Plenty need not only refer to money. What else might you have plenty of that you could share?
(Note to parents: You may want to review the facts of the story to reinforce the lesson.)
Family Reading: 2 Corinthians 8
Prayer: Thank you Lord for the good and plentiful gifts you have given us. Motivate us to share the plenty and praise you daily for the good. You have given us all we need in many different ways. Thanks for making us a part of your family. It feels good to know we are not alone. Amen.