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Generosity is a peculiar topic. Whenever it comes up, especially in church, things get uncomfortable in a hurry. The question begins to crop up in our minds: “Am I giving enough? How do I know I’ve given enough?” And if the pastor lays it on thick—telling us all about the overwhelming number of poor unfed orphans in India while we fat, disgusting, overfed Americans waste our money on luxuries—we become pretty convinced that we aren’t giving enough. The greater the sense of the need, the greater our sense of guilt.

I’ve always found it telling that in one of Paul’s most majestic passages about generosity, 2 Corinthians 5:13–21, he doesn’t drum up donations by beating people over the head with guilt. Instead, he applies the gospel in three distinct ways:

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Little in life is as important as finding purpose. If you know a certain experience has a purpose, you can endure all kinds of hardship because of it. But if you don’t see a purpose, any hardship—however small—feels like drudgery.

I’m convinced that if we could get a hold of God’s purpose for us, really sense what he has for us, that it would completely reshape how we see our lives. It would transform what we do with our blessings; it would transform how we interpret our pain. Nothing would ever look the same again.

Most people want to know God’s purpose for their lives, but they simply don’t know where to look. Is it possible to even know God’s purpose for our lives? And how do we discover what it is?

Psalm 57 teaches us three truths about our God-given purpose:

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Wisdom For Your Weekend: your weekly installment of things we’ve been reading around the web.

Book Review of the Week

The Zimzum of Love: A New Way of Understanding Marriage, Rob and Kristen Bell. Reviewed by Dave Harvey. Here is an incisive and masterfully written book review of Rob Bell’s latest offering—and of Rob Bell’s ministry in general. An illustrative excerpt:

“In Love Wins Bell introduced us to his ‘new’ way of understanding heaven and hell. At least he used the Bible. In The Zimzum of Love, the Bells reference the Bible a total of three times, one of them being a reference to John 3:16 signs at football games (25). But then, why ground ideas in the Bible when ‘zimzum’ offers so much uncharted territory for authorial exploration? And this is where Rob and Kristen blast off from planet Christianity for galaxies unknown.”

“The result? A ‘spiritual’ book that commends the ethics of Christianity but appears ashamed of their source (Luke 9:26). Biblical ideas without scriptural grounding—water with no spring, heat with no sun, liberty with no law (James 1:25). Never mind ‘rightly handling the word of truth’ (2 Tim. 2:15); Bell makes little effort to handle it at all.” 

“I’m not exaggerating. If Christianity were outlawed and a mob amassed to burn Christian books, The Zimzum of Love would not be at risk.”

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