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The Missional Power of Generosity

The Missional Power of Generosity

 

If I were to ask you, “How much does the Bible talk on the subject of generosity,” what would your answer be? Just a little, a moderate amount, or a lot? If you went with either of those first two options, you’d be way off the mark. In fact, there are more verses on generosity, than on faith, hope and love combined.

And there’s a reason for that:

 

In the beginning … what? 

Well, in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1) and everything in between, and then … then He gave it all away.

So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” God said, “See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. (Genesis 1:26-31)

A pretty generous act, wouldn’t you agree? It turns out that generosity is in the very nature of God – more so than we may think. We of course think of Him as a loving God, but how often do we ever stop to think of Him as a generous God. The God who wants to bless us?

 

Blessed to Be a Blessing

To Abraham, the father of God’s chosen people, the Lord said:

I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. (Genesis 12:2)

God’s intention has always been that His blessing in your life, should become a blessing in the lives of the people around you. If God is indeed the God of love, then as we watch Him in action, we discover that His generosity is in fact His love in action.

I was listening to  a message from the pastor of my church recently, and he said something quite profound. He said that: you can give without loving, but you can’t love without giving.

Generosity of giving, as things turn out, is one of the powerful ways that God expresses His love. It makes sense when you think of it that way, doesn’t it?

 

These Three Things Remain

And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love. (1 Cor 13:13)

It seems to me that generosity is a combination of these three. The old mathematician in me wants to postulate that:

 Generosity = Faith + Hope + Love

Because generosity always involves faith. Generosity is like planting a seed and hoping that something will grow. Sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t. But as my pastor explained to us the other day, the principle of reaping as you sow, involves multiplication. Sow one kernel of corn, and you will reap thousands. But at the time of planting, it’s very much an act of faith. Yes, generosity definitely involves faith.

And it involves hope too, because there is always a lag time between sowing and reaping. When the farmer plants the corn in the dirt, there’s an agonising period where nothing happens. And then, when finally the little seedling sprouts, there are so many things that can go wrong between that green shoot, and the delivery of many cobs of corn. Yes, generosity definitely involves hope.

Sowing through a generous act of giving towards someone who doesn’t deserve it, someone who hasn’t earned it, someone who really deserves your scorn in fact, is a great act of love. That’s what the greatest act of love in all of history was all about. The Cross of Christ.

Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us. (Romans 5:7,8)

Yes, generosity definitely involves love.

 

Generosity is Mission

Jesus HidingSomeone recently sent this priceless cartoon around on Facebook. Look at it closely … and you’ll no doubt fall off your chair laughing as I did.

How many Christians think that “mission” is beating somebody over the head with their Bible? As though somehow you can shove the truth down their throat and expect them to thank you for it. How many Christians think that by telling the world how far it’s strayed from God, they will bring people back to Him?

When all along, a simple act of generosity will speak of Christ’s love more powerfully than anything else!

There is a reason that generosity connects the love of God so powerfully with so many people. And that reason, is this.

God is a generous God. It is in His nature to bless generously. And each sinner on this earth – you and me included – has been created in God’s image.

Therefore, a simple act of generosity from us to someone who doesn’t know the love of Christ yet, is indeed an act of deep calling unto deep. It’s something that the Holy Spirit uses in such power to speak His truth in a way that you and I never could.

Yep. Anyway you look at it … generosity is mission.

The question for you and me is … So what ya goin’ to do about it?


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5 Comments

  1. You are right love= giving and when you give it must be in love. I love giving it’s a real blessing and when you give, you get, so you can give more. And I was blessed recently as I thought I needed a ute but God said no you need a van. So I prayed for a van thinking yup I can see a need for that to take people to church. Well a guy came into my 2nd hand shop and saw me reading my bible and we had a chat. The next day he came in with a van and gave it to me with new tyres and $3000 worth of repairs. It had no rear seats and God said no for now you can use it to help people move and take a couple to church. I was stoked. I would urge people to beware of ministers talking about seeding money to them so God can bless them. The Word of God is the seed to sow and I know God does not operate a lottery agency with a guy saying if 20 people sow a thousand dollars God will bless them. To me that’s putting a lot of people under bondage wondering if it’s them. I could be wrong. As far as I know if we are doing what God wants He will bless us with what we need to do it. So for me and my house I will stick with generousity, faith, hope and love. Also the knowledge that if I am a good steward with the talents that God gives me He will trust me with more and that in itself is a witness to those that see His work at work. May our blessed Jehova bless you all.

  2. Hello my brother! This is a very thought out blog on GOD’S generosity. It shines the light on one aspect of the LORD’S character that is extremely important to emulate in our life. Not many, including myself, recognize the importance of just being generous with the faith, hope, and love that the LORD has willingly entrusted us with. Praise God for bringing this subject to light! May He continue to bless all you do for His glory and honour, paul montoya

  3. Your timing is amazing again!
    Berni I have struggled with taking on a huge task and writing a story to share my life and faith. It was through Xlibris Self publishers USA who managed the package with me from start to finish. What a journey! of editing for author/publishers approval, content evaluating, front and back cover design. By processing a major project I have always had hope but at times found things fall into place when I was almost at a loss. The generosity was gob smacking but circumstances show that god was beside me almost overseeing it unfold in his time. It seemed an eternity and at long last I will publish my first book.
    To summarIse a little of my generosity experienced was when I had no funding so no book and was faced with a dead end.
    Before this I wrote to organisations and tried to get a grant from different sources but I gave up and stopped trying. Then suddenly I got a reply on the internet and a call from Xlibris USA. My mobile phone rang at my 9 to 5 job and my boss said it’s ok to answer it. I could not hold back as this was my chance so I disclosed my hope to write my story and blurted it out to the person on the phone. My boss heard what I said but this my chance so I had to reveal my story of faith. I finished the conversation and I was offered a wonderful package but money was not something I had upfront but I asked them to email the details to me anyway. They were to call back the next day. My boss asked me if I was really going to try and help people through my story. I said yes and he offered to give me a loan up front so I could get my book published!!! How generous! Since this journey and talking to people I have had offers from a few to use in education and for people working with women and basically to those who could benefit from my story. It certainly promotes god in our lives.
    Hope love Joy ……..generosity!
    Thanks Berni for your insight for others to share.

  4. Thank you for the reminder to be aware of and respond generously to everyone we come across daily. May God open my eyes so that I see their needs and longings and may he give me the love and courage to respond in his way. I have met very few Christians who live this way. Those I have met have allowed it to become part of their nature and they stick in my mind because of their ability to notice and willingness to serve…and they are not the ones to be preachy.

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