The divine ideal of generosity has been lost behind the rush to promote our generous activity. We praise those who are outwardly generous with their time, talent and treasures and hold this up as an ideal for all. Businesses now boast and make commercials about their acts of charity. How ironic that altruism is now a strategy to get us to purchase a particular product. What we learn from this is that we are to do generous things, especially if they make us look good. Here's the problem - deeds of generosity can be done by people without generous hearts. God wants and works for us to be transformed, to be truly changed, to be people with generous hearts. People who are inwardly generous always do acts of generosity in their daily activities.
That we would be generous people, inside and out, is God's goal for us. Consider 2 Corinthians 9:10 & 11, He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way for your great generosity. The righteousness God is producing in us has divine generosity as one of its characteristics. God is lavishly generous, we see this in creation and in the giving up of his most valuable possession, his Son, for our salvation. Jesus lived a life of extreme generosity, giving his time, his power, his attention, his wisdom, his possessions and finally his life to those in need.
In order for us to grow in generosity and live it out, at least two transformations are required. First, we must love others so that their needs become more important than our wants. It's hard to picture Jesus going on a shopping spree, to the country club or to a day spa. He was too focused on those in need. Second, generosity requires the willingness to work hard. We cannot be generous by simply tagging an extra dollar onto our purchase at the grocery store. In the New Testament, the generosity of Jesus' followers required intimate, relational knowledge of those in need as well as leadership and organization to meet the need (Acts 6; 20; 24; 2 Cor 8-9; Gal 2, etc).
When we consider the true nature of generosity, it's no wonder we would rather do generous deeds without seeking to have and grow generous hearts (the two go hand in hand). Those who have chosen to follow Christ, have not chosen the easy way, but the more difficult path of transformation. Let's seek to be like our heavenly Father, let's seek true transformation into generous people so that we may live generous lives and become more like our Lord.
This Sunday: Jesus Generosity - 2 Corinthians 9:10-11
Keep Pressing On,
- Pastor Tim
I can plod. I can persevere in any definite pursuit. To this I owe everything.
- William Carey
My name is Tim Kirkes. I am honored to be the a child of my heavenly Father, the husband of Lisa, the father of two boys and the pastor of San Dimas Wesleyan church.