21 Days of Prayer and Fasting: Day 17

Wednesday, February 22

Day 17: Authentic Generosity



In recent years, we have seen some unbelievable demonstrations of greed and corruption in companies and other organizations. These include Enron, Worldcom, Tyco and the subprime mortgage mess of 2007-08. They also include Deutsche Bank (money laundering), Toyota (lying about financial records), FIFA (bribery and fraud), Wells Fargo (fake sales), and Johnson & Johnson (false marketing and poor products).

But greed and corruption are not new. They have existed for years. They’ve even existed within the early church. Our passage today reveals the story of Ananias and Sapphira who had sold a piece of property with the intent to give the proceeds to the poor. But Ananias kept some of the money while implying he had given all the money to the collection of the poor. Their decision was completely different than that of Barnabas, who gave all his proceeds to the collection. The difference between these gifts is one of genuineness. While Barnabas apparently did exactly what his action had suggested he did, Ananias and Sapphira’s action was an illusion.

God knows whether or not our generosity is genuine. There are times we are generous because we will greatly benefit from being so. There are other times when we will not benefit, but we are still generous. God alone can show us the genuineness of our generosity. Ask him to purify your motives and remove greed from your heart.


Spend time in prayer, following the Upward, Inward, Outward, Upward format.

Upward: Who God is; What God has done, is doing, will do

Inward: Who you are; How you live

Outward: Intercession for others

Today’s Prayer:

“God, forgive me for those times when I’ve given off an air of genuineness that does not reflect why I’ve been generous. I confess this is hypocrisy. Purify my motives, Father, so that my generosity comes from a genuine heart. Help us at Pathway to be generous for others’ sake and not just so that others may think highly of us.”

Upward: Thanksgiving and Worship

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