Living it Out! - Reimagined Generosity
Imagine you have been brought into a home that is full of only good things. Not only is the home beautiful, but there is also an abundance within. You do not lack for food or even good company because the host who has given you this home has even supplied you with an ideal companion. How would it feel to be loved so fully and provided for so generously? How would it feel not to have to worry about food, or shelter, or finances because a kind host has given you all you need?
Our God is such a host. In Genesis, chapter 1, He made the world and called it good and then filled it only with good things. He supplied man with a helper (Gen 2:21-22) and gave them a home in Eden and the garden in which they dwelled was full of all they needed. God, in the opening pages of Scripture and in the origin story of our world models generosity.
Mankind, however, has always struggled to steward God’s generosity well. Not long after God provided us with all we needed, a choice was made to disobey God’s one rule. Eve, believing the serpent’s lie that she could be like God (Genesis 3), chose to sink her teeth into the forbidden fruit. Eve was operating out of a belief that God was withholding from her even though the evidence pointed to the contrary. She operated out of scarcity even though God had given abundance.
Today, we are no different. God has continued to be a generous host toward humanity in the world He’s given us by offering His own Son for our sins (John 3:16). Those who believe in Christ are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17) and a part of the Kingdom of God (Ephesians 2:19-2). We are to abide by the commands of God’s Word and from the beginning God has asked us to be a generous people, just like Him.
In Deuteronomy 15:7-8 Moses made clear that God commanded, “If among you, one of your brothers should become poor, in any of your towns within your land that the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother, but you shall open your hand to him and lend him sufficient for his need, whatever it may be.”
God is asking His people in this passage to keep their hearts soft and their hands open in giving to meet the needs of others. Tony Evans says, “Giving to others as God commands is crucial because it shows how much you value Him, and it expresses your faith in His ability and willingness to provide.” By remembering that our Creator has always provided for His children and has modeled a world full of abundance and not scarcity, we can trust Him with every facet of our lives. This includes our giving.
When Jesus lived among mankind, He said not to store up our treasures on earth, but rather in Heaven. He made it clear that treasure in this world will rust and break and be destroyed, but treasure in Heaven cannot be corrupted. He also made sure His followers understood that “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt 6:19-24, summarized). Jesus understood that a heart divided cannot walk in sole allegiance to either of its affections. Instead, it will always be facing conflict and turmoil. Therefore, He asks us to let our treasure be in heaven. In doing so, we keep our perspective oriented towards heaven and not on this earth.
Paul rounds out this same concept in 1 Timothy 6:17-18. He says, “As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.”
So, in believing and understanding how generous our God is and how, in our faith, we are pursuing righteousness and sanctification, shouldn’t we want to move toward being generous just as God is generous? Not only has He commanded this from us, He also modeled it Himself. He has given us all we need for an abundant life in and through Him. When we believe He is holding out on us we fall into the trap of scarcity and walk the path of sinful disobedience.
Don’t let another day go by where you believe giving your money, time, skill, effort, and resources will leave you lacking. Trust our God of generous abundance to supply all your needs and then go forth walking with a heart that is allegiant to the Kingdom of God, practicing generosity in abundance.
- How have you seen God’s blessings in your life?
- In what ways have you given to someone else to demonstrate reimagined generosity?
- How can you give generously during this Christmas season?