Radical generosity: a key for transformation

Written by Phil Wilthew
Monday, 17 February 2014

The Gospel is a story of God’s radical generosity to us in Jesus. Grace has been poured out on us in such abundance – not merely the forgiveness of sin, but the active bestowal of God’s highest blessings, including adoption into His own eternal family (Ephesians 1:3). God is very good!

Generosity is a Response to Grace

It’s for this reason that radical generosity is a key cultural hallmark of the Kingdom of God. Generosity empowers, enables and encourages. In short, generosity reveals what the Father is like. When we give money, time, love, possessions or energy away, we are participating in our Father’s business – the business of grace!

2 Corinthians 8-9 is one of the clearest Bible passages on giving. Paul brags about the Christians in Macedonia for this reason:

We want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. (2 Cor 8:1-2)

The Macedonians gave richly because they were in love. Generosity has nothing to do with your income, but everything to do with who you are in love with. That’s why giving should be accompanied by hilarious joy! Generosity is not an activity but a lifestyle. It is a response to grace!

You Can’t Out-Give God

Generosity is such a key tool in transformation because it demonstrates the good news that our God has withheld nothing because of His great love.

You can never out-give God – I dare you to try! One man who undertook this experiment was R. G. LeTourneau. He was a man who understood God's purpose for blessing him financially. LeTourneau was an inventor of earthmoving machines, and by a certain point of his life he was giving away 90 percent of his income to the Lord. He discovered that, no matter how hard he tried, he could not out-give God. As he put it, “I shovel out the money, and God shovels it back to me – but God has a bigger shovel.”

The truth is, we never give to get; but when we give, we do get! Generosity increases generosity! As Randy Alcorn puts it, “God does not bless us to increase our standard of living but to increase our standard of giving.”

Generosity Changes Lives

This is one of the reasons why I believe radical generosity is actually a key to revival and cultural transformation. When we live as God does in a lifestyle of overflowing and joyful giving, it releases the Kingdom in powerful ways. When you start to put your money, time and possessions in the hands of Jesus, pretty soon it multiplies in front of your eyes!

When we live in radical generosity, we have nothing to lose but everything to gain, as we see God transform lives around us, including our own!

Generosity is Eternal in Nature

Radical generosity also has everything to do with living with an eternal perspective. I believe that in Heaven we will be able to see the effect of every pound we ever gave: the lives that were transformed, the hungry who were fed, the addicts who were restored, the children who came to Christ, the nations that were impacted, culture that was rocked by the Kingdom.

Jim Elliot, missionary and Christian martyr, said this: “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.”

Radical generosity. It is a key for transformation, both in this life and the one to come, so set your hearts on things above and let grace empower you to live with overflowing and joyful generosity. 

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