God is a generous God, loving us so much He gave His one and only Son (Jn 3:16), and because we are His children, we are to be generous like Him.
What is Generosity? It is beyond giving away our possessions or not withholding. Prov 11:24 says the generous will get richer but that the stingy will lack. God’s principle for increase includes generosity (Psa 112:9; Pro 19:17, 28:8). Unless, however, we ARE selfless, we cannot be generous.
The question is: Why are people selfish? Often it is self-preservation–they think they might run out, yet God says it is the person that withholds that becomes poor (Pro 11:2; Hag 1:9-10). It doesn’t seem to make sense, unless we come to terms with the fact that there is nothing we have that we have not been given (1Cor 4:7). This is one thing David knew and taught well to Solomon his son, as seen in 1Chr 29:16. Everything belongs to God, and it is out of what He has given to us that we give back to him.
What does it take to develop generosity?
- Deadness to self, which is selflessness. We must bring our body into subjection (1Cor 9:27), otherwise we won’t be able to show generosity at all.
- We need to trust God as our source and know that even if we were down to our last meal, like the widow of Zarephath, (1Kg 17), God would still meet our needs.
- We need to glean lessons from generous people in the scriptures — for example, the young man that gave his lunch of five loaves and two fishes to Jesus to feed the crowd. Who do you think they gave the 12 baskets that were left to? (Jn 6:1-14).
- God says that when we are generous, we are lending to Him, and He assures He will pay us back (Pro 19:17).
- Generosity is one way we store treasure in our heavenly bank account, which can never be depleted – Mat 6:19-20.
A few people that exemplified generosity:
- Barnabas, “the son of Encouragement” – sold his land and gave it as proceeds for kingdom expansion – Acts 4:36
- The widow of Zarephath gave all and saved her son and herself from disaster – 1Kg 17:1-16.
- Joseph of Arimathea – Mat 27:57-60
- The church in Macedonia – 2Cor 8:1-5
- The Shunamite woman – 2Kgs 4:8-10
- The Israelite givers in Exo 36:1-7 – They had to be stopped from bringing their resources.
- The Good Samaritan gave more than money – Lk 10:25-37
- Joseph gave when it made no sense, to a wicked family – Gen 45
- By the giving of the man of his food – Mat 14:14-20, Jesus was able to do the impossible, which is the purpose of generosity.
- The generosity of Zacchaeus attests to his transformation – Lk 19:1-10