Posted: May 28, 2019 by Sarah O'Sullivan, Connections Pastor
I am grateful for the opportunity to be generous in many ways. Generosity of Spirit, generosity with finances, generosity of time. All of them have something in common, the way they make people feel. The receiver feels seen, valued, appreciated, cared for and loved. There is a tangible nature to the love they have been offered.
The giver is able to show, through any of their offered resources, their love for the Lord, gratitude for the blessings they have received, love for people, an understanding of what it looks like to put spiritual gifts to use, discipleship through giving from the overflow of what they have first received, trust in God, abundant joy, etc.
The definition of generosity- The quality of being kind and generous.
Everything We Have Is A Gift From God And An Opportunity
“My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” But remember, the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today. Deuteronomy 8:17-18
There was a point in my life that I asked these questions and I have since been asked by others, isn’t tithing and generosity the same thing? If we are generous to someone in need, we can tithe less, right?
My first response is that Jesus cares about your heart. We are to give cheerfully, not reluctantly, but out of abundant joy. The Pharisees were careful to tithe on the tiniest amount, but often missed the heart of the message. Let’s not make that same mistake.
Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Luke 6:38
A Story For You
Paul told a story of incredible generosity in one of his letters to the Corinthian church. It clarifies these questions and provides a model for tithing and generosity.
Now I want you to know, dear brothers and sisters, what God in his kindness has done through the churches in Macedonia. They are being tested by many troubles, and they are very poor. But they are also filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed in rich generosity. For I can testify that they not only gave what they could afford, but far more. And they did it of their own free will. They begged us again and again for the privilege of sharing in the gift for the believers in Jerusalem. They did even more than we hoped, for their first action was to give themselves to the Lord, and to us, just as God wanted them to. – 2 Corinthians 8:1-5.
Did you catch that? Even though they had very little, they begged to help. While they were extending themselves to meet a need, they still gave to the Lord first, they also gave to the church and then accepted this opportunity as well, “just as God wanted them to.”
God is so generous with us. He blesses us and we give back and bless others. What an opportunity!