If parts 1 and 2 were largely about a couple things of what we should do as Christians to live a life that is worthwhile, then, part 3 will be about one of the attitudes or postures we should live by.
Generosity isn’t so much about what we give but about the heart and character of the one who does give.
Being generous is an act of giving freely
to enable spiritual fulfillment outside of yourself.
Why is generosity such a staple of the Christian life?
Why is it something that should describe each and every one of us?
These questions can be answered easily in two ways given our past blog posts in the series.
The Reasons for Generosity
The first reason is that giving puts us into a position of serving others.
- When we give to our churches, we are enabling the body to do a greater work than we could ourselves.
- When we volunteer time to the ministries we love, we do so because the help we provide feeds into a much bigger picture.
- When we are generous in prayer for our friends and loved ones, we are committing some of the most precious resources in the world to them.
When we put generosity into perspective, it is one of those great ways of serving other people.
Remember when Jesus said that He came to serve, not to be served? It is this posture of heart that He has forwarded to us. We are no longer instruments of self-preservation or insular thinking but instruments of Divine provision for the Kingdom of God.
Remember the Upside-Down Kingdom?
How do most things in the world get funded? Hopefully, most of the time through market transactions in pursuit of profit. In the worst cases, extortion, stealing, and gambling! Taxes too, ha!
The Upside-Down Kingdom is funded through generosity because we trust God to lead the whole church and provide for it all as well as us. We don’t play the zero-sum money game where if we gain a dollar someone else loses one.
We are in God’s economy of provision and care.
I am not saying we will become rich through generosity, but that we will be taken care of.
The other source of generosity I want to point to, and this is the real gold here, is from the example of Jesus.
His example is actually who we are becoming.
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me”. (Galatians 2:20)
This thought is a bit of a theological one, so really try to understand it. Jesus became one like us, right? Born as a baby, he grew up and confronted life as we do and was tempted in every way we have been and will be. He took on our nature; that of a human.
He became like us so that later, we could become like Him.
This thought it huge.
He took on your nature and conquered it so that we could be able to identify with His nature even in spite of all our vast shortcomings!
So, what does this mean? Here is your homework for the rest of your life:
As you read your Bible, look for the parts that describe Who God is.
- How is He depicted?
- How did Jesus treat people?
- How did He relate to the poor?
- How did he talk with the religious?
- In what ways was He a good example for us?
Once we know His example, it is important to put it all into perspective. Remember that verse from Galatians from earlier? Does say anything about following His example? No.
It says that He now lives in us.
We don’t follow His example because He is a good role model but because, day by day,
we become more and more like Him.
We are able to take on His likeness because He gave His all for us. His defining action, as it relates to us, was a gift of generosity in the highest order.
This generosity has and will always be a defining mark of Jesus’ character.
One that we should get well acquainted with.
Thoughts about the Uncommon Means for a Life Well-Lived?
- Have you ever fully realized that the substitution that was taking place?
- He took on our human nature (God becoming human) so that we can later take on His (being sanctified and made righteous)?
- How does this change your view of yourself?
Written by Chris Morris