Defined by Generosity Part II
Command those who are rich in this presence age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life. (I Timothy 6:17-19)
Living a life defined by generosity starts with the reminder that we are stewards of the blessings of God. Therefore, our goal is to determine what God wants us to do with the blessings/resources He has entrusted us with and a give accordingly. As we take a final look at chapter four let’s focus on some results of being generous toward God and others.
THINKING IT THROUGH:
Giving to God:
Our tithes and offerings are a tangible sign of our desire to live wholly for God. They are an expression of gratitude, worship, and praise. They demonstrate that we put God first in our lives. They are an investment in God’s work through the church. And, without a doubt, they are pleasing to God. Page 86.
* A central theological foundation for generosity is this: Life is a gift, and everything belongs to God.
* The Lord is pleased when we give freely with grateful hearts. When offered in pure, selfless love, our offerings bless the Lord.
Giving to others:
As human beings, we were created with the need to be generous. When we are not generous in giving we have a financial problem and a spiritual problem. Overtime we become self-absorbed, money-consuming, joyless people. When we are generous to God and to our families, friends, neighbors and others in need-our hearts are filled with joy. They are enlarged by the very act of giving. When we give generously, we become more generous. That is how generosity works. Page 88
* Our generosity to God and others not only blesses God and other people; it also changes us, filling our lives with joy.
* We do not give to God so that we can get something in return. Yet when we give to God and others, unexpected blessings just seem to come back to us.
Notable Quote: “As the Holy Spirit continues to work in our lives, we begin to think less about ourselves and more about others. We begin to see the needs of others and wonder if I don’t do something who will? As this change takes place within us, we experience real joy. We discover that we find more joy in doing things for other people and for God than we ever did in doing things for ourselves.” Adam Hamilton
Ask yourself a couple of questions. “Am I experiencing the joy that comes with living a life of being generous?” “When I am gone can people honestly say I lived a life defined by generosity?”
Scriptures to Meditate on: Genesis 14:17-24; 28:20-22; Leviticus 25:23; 27:30; Psalm 24:1; Matthew 16:24-27; 25: 14-30; Mark 12:41-44; Luke 6:38; Acts 20:35; 2 Cor. 9:7.