October 26 – Extravagant Generosity Daily Devotion

Day 25 – The Old Life and the New Life

You’re done with that old life. It’s like a filthy set of ill-fitting clothes you’ve stripped off and put
into the fire…So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in a wardrobe God picked out for
you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline…. And regardless of what else you
put on, wear love. It’s your basic all-purpose garment. Never be without it. Col. 3:9, 12, 14 (The
Message)

The Bible is replete with stories that lift high the notion that God expects us to use what we have
received to make a positive difference in the world around us. Fruitfulness points us toward the
result, the impact, and the outcome of our work for God’s purposes and saves us from merely
congratulating ourselves our efforts, our hard work, or our input. No one tithes accidentally. No
one happens to have enough money left over at the end of the month to be truly generous. Tithing
results from a deep commitment and from careful planning. We have to do it willingly, and
willfully, or we never do it at all. We have to think about it, pray about it, talk it over, and plan
for it. It’s a major decision involving everyone in the household. It requires us to change, and to
begin to seek God’s priorities instead of merely our own. The apostle Paul used another image to
describe the change that God works within us when we follow Christ. He says that new life in
Christ is like getting rid of old ill-fitting clothing and putting on new clothes that God has picked
out for us.

– What attitudes, behaviors, and values might you need to prune in order to live more fruitfully in Christ?
– How much planning, praying, and intentionality do you put into your decisions about giving? How would giving more generously require changes inside you and in your behaviors?