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“If there is among you a poor man of your brethren . . . you shall not harden your heart nor shut your hand from your poor brother, but you shall open your hand wide to him and willingly lend him sufficient for his need.”—Deuteronomy 15:7-8 (NKJV)
Certain things are just part of the DNA of God’s people, and Moses touches on one of them here in the Book of Deuteronomy. As he is giving instructions to the Hebrew people on how to inhabit the Promised Land that God was about to give to them, he tells them to have an open hand for those who are in material need.
An open hand is representative of an open heart . . . a heart that is not only open to receive the goodness and the blessings of God, but one that also wants to be an open source of blessing to others.
Open-handed generosity is the mark of a man or woman who has been touched by God’s grace. It’s also indispensible evidence of the ongoing work God’s Spirit is doing in a believer’s heart as He continues to conform them into the image of the greatest giver the earth has ever seen, Jesus Christ (Romans 8:29).
This great giver also included the importance of generosity in His Sermon on the Mount, which can be considered the definitive declaration of what the Christian life should consist of: “Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away” (Matthew 5:42 NKJV).
Clearly, the admonition of Moses extends across the centuries and various kingdoms to us today. God wants our hearts and hands to be open towards those in need. Now, this goes against the grain of our human nature and culture, which would have us believe that we need to grab hold of all we can and never let go because we don’t know when or if we will ever have enough of what’s needed for ourselves.
But the heart of faith understands that all things ultimately come from the Lord to begin with (Psalm 24:1; James 1:17), and that He has an unblemished historical track record of filling the hand that is open. That’s how He wants us to live life, with an understanding that we were created to be rivers and not reservoirs of His resources and an openness to allow His resources to flow through us. Look at your hand . . . is it open or closed?
DIG: What should be in the DNA of God’s people?
DISCOVER: What often poses a challenge to being open-handed?
DISPLAY: Is your hand open or closed? Pray and ask the Lord to give you His heart of generosity and an open hand, then find an opportunity to put that open hand to use!
Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.