2 Corinthians 9:7
“Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver”
Are you a generous person? Think carefully about how you give of your time, money, and resources. Would others says you are generous? Why or why not?
I was recently thinking back to this past summer – maybe it’s the warmer temps! – and I was reminded of when my youngest, Jude, who was then 20 months old started to say new words every day. Like all little kiddos learning their first words, it did not take long before he added…you guessed it…“mine!” to his vocabulary.
On one particularly beautiful July morning I remember my husband and I were sitting on our deck with Jude, trying to enjoy a little Bible reading before our two older guys woke up. My husband handed Jude the bookmark out of his Bible as Jude was sitting on his lap. As soon as Jude’s pudgy little hand grasped the leather strap he shouted “mine!” and placed a death grip on it to ensure it would not leave his possession.
I had to laugh when I thought about how often Jude would claim things as his own that clearly did not belong to him. They belonged to me and my husband, but not in Jude’s mind. He seemed to think everything around our home was his.
While it’s easy to laugh at his childish comprehension, how often do we do the exact same thing? God richly blesses us with time, or in financial or material ways and no sooner does He bless us with something that is still ultimately His than we yell “mine!” and place a death grip on the blessing so as to assure our keep.
The Bible contains numerous verses about being generous. God clearly knew that we as humans would struggle with greed.
The following verses are a few of my favorite on the subject:
Proverbs 3:9-10 says, “Honor the LORD from your wealth, And from the first of all your produce; So your barns will be filled with plenty, And your vats will overflow with new wine.”
Proverbs 11:24-25 says, “Those who give freely gain even more; others hold back what they owe, becoming even poorer. A generous person will prosper, and anyone who gives water will receive a flood in return.”
Luke 6:38 says, “Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full–pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.”
In order to be generous; however, we must begin with a right understanding of our time, finances, and possessions.
We need to understand that everything we have is still ultimately God’s. Like my husband giving Jude the bookmark, God retains ownership of it all, but generously allows us to be stewards of our time as well as certain possessions and resources.
1 Chronicles 29:14 says, “…For everything is from you, and we only give you what we have received from you.”
Psalm 24:1 says, “The earth belongs to the Lord, and everything in it, the world and all its people.”
God’s Word tells us that when we give, stewarding the resources He has given us for His glory, He will care for us.
Malachi 3:10 says “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.”
Clearly the Bible explains that when we are generous we will be blessed. More importantly; however, than financial or material blessings, the ultimate blessing of being generous is partnering with God and allowing Him to use us and all He has given us in ways that only He can.
In what ways might you be generous with the time, finances, and possessions God has given you?
As believers in Christ may it be said that we are the most generous of all!