There is nothing more basic to the Gospel than the reality of God’s generous giving of his willing Son to save us from our sins. A healthy Gospel Culture reflects God’s generosity in the way we use our money, time, and resources.
The Origin of Our Generosity
When the Apostle Paul was making his appeal for generosity in the Church at Corinth, he directed their attention to the grace of God. He said, “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.” (2 Cor. 8:9). They were to understand that in beholding the lavish grace of Jesus Christ, the Christian is given the impetus to give and the most compelling model of giving we could ever have. We pursue generosity NOT so we can earn God’s grace but because we have received God’s grace. Generosity is not a supplemental virtue for the faithful Christian, it is an essential part of our lives. It is unthinkable for those who have received the infinitely great riches of God’s generous grace to be stingy people. People who get grace are givers! As Randy Alcorn wisely said in his book The Treasure Principle:
Our giving is a reflexive response to the grace of God in our lives. It doesn’t come out of our altruism or philanthropy—it comes out of the transforming work of Christ in us. This grace is the action; our giving is the reaction. We give because He first gave to us. (Randy Alcorn, The Treasure Principle, p. 31)
The Pursuit of Generosity
So, with a desire to be generous because of the grace of God, how do we put this into practice? Certainly, we can and should find ways to be generous with our time through serving others, but a primary way we express generosity is through financial giving. Here are some suggestions for the pursuit of generous giving:
- Cultivate a cheerful heart (2 Cor. 9:7). If you are experiencing reluctance to give, fix your eyes on Christ and find grace to open up your hands and give freely. Generosity is not about the amount you are able to give but what you able to cheerfully give.
- Get a budget. A budget helps us to know where our money is going so we can be good stewards of the finances God provides for us. Dave Ramsey is one teacher that is helpful in this area. Consider checking out some of his free resources here: www.daveramsey.com/tools
- Develop a conviction to give to the local church. Tithing (giving 10%) is a great starting point but the generous Christian will often find ways to give above and beyond that amount to the church and other ministries.
- Set an example for your children. Involve your kids in the process of giving so that they understand what faithful Christian giving is all about.
What Generous People Can Expect
God’s Word not only commands us to honor him with our finances but also provides us with wonderful promises in response to our giving. Generous givers can expect that:
- When you give bountifully, you will reap a bountiful harvest of righteousness. (2 Cor. 9:6,10)
- You are laying up treasure in heaven. (Matt. 6:20)
- You are supporting the mission of Jesus Christ. (Phil. 4:14-20)
- You will be blessed by God. (Acts 20:35)
- God will supply for your needs and increase your capacity to be generous. (Phil. 4:19, Matt. 6:33, 2 Cor. 9:11)
There is no downside to generous giving in God’s economy. He provides the grace we need to be generous givers and then graciously promises his care and provision as we give. So friends, let’s express to the world that we know the generous grace of Christ through our generous giving. To the many faithful, generous givers at Living Hope – thank you! Further on and further in! For those of you who haven’t committed to the adventure of generous giving – let me encourage you to take your place in this Gospel Culture of generosity for the glory of God.
Randy Alcorn’s The Treasure Principle is a short and helpful book on giving
Check out my sermon on Generosity here