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Living Effectively for Christ 17- Being Generous

Living Effectively for Christ
Day 17- Being Generous
Jonathan Draper

“In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” (Acts 20:35, ESV)
“But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.” (1 John 3:17-18, ESV)
“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2, ESV)
“The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:6-7, ESV)

Today we’re looking at the topic of generosity. Although we most often think of monetary giving when we think of generosity, I would like to discuss generosity in all parts of our lives as Christians. Have you ever said or thought things like these?
-If God were to ever bless me with riches, I would be so generous.
-When I’m older, I’m going to give so much time to the Lord’s people.
-I can’t wait to have a big house one day so I can have people over.

We have all likely dreamed of a day when we will be older, wiser, wealthier, with gobs of free time on our hands, and then we will be the Christian that the Lord has called us to be. Until then, though, we are just trying to get by!

However, the Lord never set a bar on an amount that we need to have to trigger generosity. He expects generosity from all believers. The Lord Jesus commends the woman who gave two mites (Luke 21) because she gave the little she had. There were others who were contributing to the treasury out of their abundance, but she gave all she was able to give. The Lord asks for cheerful givers (2 Corinthians 9:7), not necessarily wealthy givers.

But generosity goes far beyond what we have in our bank accounts. We should be generous with our time, our resources, our abilities, et cetera, along with our finances. That could mean volunteering at church or in the community, welcoming friends and fellow Christians into our homes for meals or get-togethers, letting others borrow things that we own, using our skills and abilities to help those around us—pretty much anything that requires us to give something up.

Sacrifice is part of giving, but we should be cognizant of the fact that all we have belongs to God (1 Chronicles 29:14), and so we are merely returning to Him what He has blessed us with. Not only are we returning what is rightfully His, but we’re also displaying Christ when we give to others. He is the ultimate Giver in that He gave His own life at Calvary that salvation might be granted to a world full of lost sinners. We have been given the greatest gift—eternal life and a relationship with our Creator and our Savior. It is my prayer that we would take this as an encouragement to be generous, not only with our money but also with our time, our resources, and our abilities, and in any way that we feel the Lord is leading us to give.

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