March 25, 2023
Generosity, The Story of Our Lives
The Apostle Paul - “Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others. By doing this they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they may experience true life.” (1 Timothy 6:17-19)
Randy Alcorn once wrote, “Our stewardship of our money and possessions becomes the story of our lives.” This makes a lot of sense because inside the soul of every person is a desire that God gave us to live as generous people. Generosity is essential to following Jesus. What the Lord expects us to do in life cannot be done if we do not have generous attitudes. If we are not generous people, how can we possibly trust God enough to live sacrificial lives for Him and also serve others at the same time. We can give to the Lord and others without loving them, but we cannot love God and others without giving to them generously.
The truth is, we are most like Jesus when we are generous. Jesus told His disciples, “Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” (John 13:34-35) In living out this scripture, we can’t just say, “I love others like the Lord loves them.” We have to prove it by demonstrating our love and concern for others through our service to them, through what we share with them, and through our generous giving to them. The Apostle John writes, “Let us not love with words or tongue, but in action and in truth.” (1 John 3:18) In other words, if we simply say that we love others and never demonstrate that love, we are simply fooling ourselves. One way to express that love is through our generosity.
Generosity is not just giving occasionally to someone in need or putting our extra change into the Salvation Army Santa bucket. Generosity is not a random or haphazard behavior, but a consistent trait of being willing to give of our money, time, and possessions to the Lord and others. The Bible teaches that we must learn to be generous with the resources we have right now, regardless of how meager they might be, if we are going to be generous with our resources later on.
Mark’s gospel tells us a story of a poor widow who had almost nothing to give to the Lord. One day, she came to the Temple while Jesus was there. It was obvious that Jesus was concerned with how much people give because he noticed the lady put 2 small coins into the offering basket. What the widow gave wasn’t a lot of money, but Jesus, being the Son of God, knew she had given all she had to give. In that moment, Jesus could have told her not to worry about giving because her gift was so small, but instead He applauded her generosity. Why? Because He expects us all to be generous when it comes to giving to the Lord and to others. It’s an almost definite fact that almost everyone reading this devotion owns more than that poor widow. Jesus said, “Much is required from those to whom much is given, and much more is required from those to whom much is given.” (Luke 12:48) We’ve been given so much. If we don’t we don’t learn how to handle the resources the Lord has blessed us with in the way that He intends, we’ll never be able to live the life He created us to live.
FOLLOW UP ACTIVITY
Ask yourself this question: Am I generous with my time, talents, finances, and resources? In what ways might I be able to improve? Write out your answers in your journal or on a piece of paper and then pray, asking the Lord to help you grow in your generosity. If you’re leading your family through this devotion, guide each member to ask themselves the same questions. Then, pray as a family and ask the Lord to help you become a family known for your generosity.
PRAYER FOR TODAY
Lord, You have given me so much. Help me to become the generous person You created me to be. In Jesus name, Amen