It's In You To Give

April 11, 2021
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Matthew 22:37-40 – [Jesus] said to him, "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." (NRSV)

You may have seen the phrase in today's title a time or two, but it holds special meaning for me, and the pandemic is messing it up! For years, my weekly routine included a trip to the Canadian Blood Services. I gave about two hours each week to travel to the clinic, get hooked up to the plasma machine and then rest and restore for a while and return home or back to work. Over the course of an hour, the machine separates the plasma from the other blood components and returns them with sterile saline solution to help the body replace the plasma that is removed. The pandemic closed our clinic to focus on whole blood in a safe and sterilized environment. I had made more than 250 donations, and I had hoped to make 300 before I would finish, but the pandemic messed up the math. I was able to get in three whole blood donations over eight months, and I hope to be back soon to plasma donations. See, I believe that it is in me to give — blood and plasma and time — and any other way that I can give. I consider it to be one more act of love in my Christian life along with all my church and other community involvements. My life was given to me to give away — in as many ways as possible. Oxenham said it well a century or two ago:

    Love ever
    gives, forgives, outlives,
    and ever stands
    with open hands,
    for while it lives, it gives.
    For this is love's prerogative —
    to give, and give,
    and give.
           – John Oxenham

I try to make it my life's goal to find, always and everywhere, new and innovative ways to give. A friend of mine, Jesus, once said,

Luke 6:38 – Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back. (NRSV)

As you prepare for the day ahead, ask God to open you to the new possibilities that are waiting for you!

Prayer: God, help me to give from all that has been given to me. Help me to offer a kind word, a sympathetic smile, an outstretched hand, willing feet. Use me in any and every way that brings me closer to the way of Jesus, in Whose name I pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Kenn Stright <kennethstright@yahoo.ca>
West Petpeswick, Nova Scotia, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Beautiful, thank you.


    Thanks for the good word, Kenn.


    Thanks, Kenn. That is a good reminder.


    Thanks for the inspiration Kenn. Happy Sunday!


    Thank you for giving these words today. Enjoy spring.


    Your writing continues to speak to me, Ken. You are certainly, ‘a sermon in shoes,’ as the song says. God is in it.


    Dear Ken,
    What a wonderful lesson and application you gave this morning. Well said!


    Thank you for your testimony and challenge of giving. It reminded me of how through many years I was able to give my Type O blood one pint at a time. I gave over 10 gallons and praise for the health that I have at age 89. Keep on giving and challenging others to give. Blessings.


    Good Morning Kenn
    Thank you for your devotional today. It is so true, we are here to give whatever is needed. We are so blessed but what a blessing it is when the Lord puts it on our hearts to give in some way that is unique to us.
    God bless.


    Hi, Ken,
    I appreciated your daily devotional. So many things have been affected by the Pandemic.
    But good things have come out of it as well. We’re thankful for technology which has kept us connected.
    Good to be in touch with you.


    Kenn,
    Not that you need the note of appreciation, but your self-giving of your blood and plasma, is one that I applaud.
    We know however, that when things change, we are given NEW ways to continue giving. I know you agree.
    Blessings,
    (CA)


    Hi
    Thanks for the devotional.
    My beloved husband received many transfusions in the last months of his life. I used to look at those bags of blood, and whisper, “Thank you!” to the donor I would never meet.
    It’s lovely to be able to offer my thanks to a real live donor, and so lovely you, like us, belong to Christ.
    My husband is in heaven now. But thank you.


    Dear Kenn,
    I am sure you are finding many other ways to give until the world opens up again so you can complete your goal. I love the words of Oxenham and your Bible references. They paint a very clear picture of what Jesus would like us to do. It is so true that we need to ask for help to see the possibilities where we can give with your many great examples in your prayer. I like to start my day with a gratitude list thank God for all he has provided. I am going to add to that list the ability to give to others with your help. Thank you for sharing and may you find abundant ways to give today. Blessings.


    Ken,
    I appreciate your devotional. What a change in your life, as it has been for many of us. Your encouragement through scripture and experience lends hope. You have rightly shared the love of Christ and supported your readers through this piece of work. Blessings to your day as you pray for opportunities to share God’s love.


    Thank you for this wonderful message.
    I found it uplifting and a good reminder of how to live.
    I would like to share portions of your message and I would name credit as well.
    Loved your prayer at the end, too.
    Thank you,
    (Ontario, Canada)


    Thank you, Kenn. yet another fine one.

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