An important voice to hear today is Peter Leithart. The right words below are from his Advent exhortation.
We think we lose what we give something away, so we are protective of our stuff. Paul says the opposite: In God’s economy, giving is not loss. Giving is sowing seed. If we sow bountifully, we reap bountifully, so that we can sow again, and again.
When the Reformer John Calvin was fired from pastoral office at Geneva, he responded:
“Certainly,” said he, “if I had served men, I should have been ill recompensed; but, I have served a Master who, far from not rewarding his servants, pays them what he does not owe them.
My wife and I started reading RC Sproul’s The Invisible Hand – Do all things really work for good? Looking at the story of David found in 2 Samuel 12:16-23, Sproul makes some meaningful comments:
Here we encounter the David who was a man after God’s own heart. Here the character that resonates throughout the psalms makes himself clear. When God said no to the pleas of David, he immediately went to church –not to whine or complain but to worship. Here we see David living coram Deo, before the face of God. David pled his case before the throne of the Almighty – and lost. Yet he was willing to bow before the providence of God, to let God be God.
A sixteenth century pastor-theologian spoke of the Gospel this way:
In Scripture [the Gospel] signifies [preeminently] the glad and joyful message of the grace revealed to us in Christ, to teach us to despise the world and its transient riches and pleasures, and to desire with all our heart and to embrace this incomparable blessing when it is offered to us. The immoderate delight of irreligious men in the empty enjoyments of the world, who are not at all, or little, touched by a feeling for spiritual blessings, is innate in nearly all of us. Therefore, to correct this fault, God specially calls by the name Gospel the message which He commands to be proclaimed about Christ. For in this way He tells us that nowhere else can true and substantial happiness be obtained and that in Him we have in perfection all the parts of a blessed life.