Our generous God: Culture of generosity

Written by Sue Smith
Wednesday, 27 August 2014

God my Foundation

For eight years I lived in Southern Africa without a regular income. I was incredibly blessed by the generosity of churches and individuals and every month I felt amazed at God’s provision through His people. On occasion I even received miraculous deposits into a bank account that I had never told anyone the details to. Through this time I learnt that there would be weeks of bounty and days of not knowing how I would pay bills or put food on the table – times when by myself there was no way I could find a solution. I was forced to rely completely on God! Looking back, I am so glad for these seasons; they have taught me about the amazing privilege we have of going on adventures with God, the faithful one who richly supplies.

Paul, writing to Timothy, states:

“Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.” (1 Timothy 6:17-19, NASB)

Faith is based in the unseen reality of who God is; our generosity as an outworking of this faith is rooted in the unchanging nature of God. As I have seen through history and in my own life, our circumstances may change but our God remains the same throughout the ages. He is the one who richly supplies.

Our generous God

I find it really helpful as I consider what generosity looks like to have God, the great giver, as my starting point. I find that the longer I reflect on who He is and the lengths and depths of His generosity towards me, the more I understand about what it means for me to live like Christ, walking in generosity. My faith is not dictated by my own fears and uncertainties, but rather guided by the eternal truths of who God is.

Ephesians reminds us that, “God, being rich in mercy . . . made us alive with Christ” (Eph 2:4-5). Jesus gave up His heavenly throne and entered earth's domain and limitations for us, faced scorn and shame on our behalf and sacrificed His life on the cross that we might receive an abundant inheritance – life and life to the full! He gave completely of Himself for us.

There are now no barriers to relationship on God’s side. He is generous in His welcome to us – we are freely accepted into the Beloved. No matter what the state of our hearts, He has made the way open for us and is overwhelming in His welcome of us.

He brings fresh grace for every situation. He blesses us abundantly with good things. Even in times of trial He extends immeasurable joy and peace. He provides all that we need so we can do all that He calls us to do. He is literally a gift to us that keeps giving, beyond anything we could ask or imagine.

Everything is His

The reality of our situation is that everything – everything – we have is His, even down to the breath in our lungs. King David wrote, “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein” (Psalm 24:1). He has provided everything: relationally, spiritually, physically, emotionally, financially and intellectually. He is the starting point! When we realise this, generosity makes sense and becomes a little easier. All we are doing is giving back to Him what He has given to us in the first place.

What’s God saying?

Generosity is not something that can be measured. It is not something that we grade one another on. It is all about relationship, walking with the Father and responding to all that He is talking to us about. It is about each person’s individual relationship with Him and our corporate response to Him.

In the King’s Arms community there is a question we like to ask: “What is God saying to me and what am I going to do about it?” How often do I ask this question regarding my finances, time and talents? God is not asking me to outgive the next person. He is interested in my heart toward Him and the things He holds dear; He is after obedience to His call and a response to the things that He is talking to me about.

So I’m now eager to go on another adventure with God in generosity, learning to know Him as source and provider and to trust His voice as He speaks to me and guides me to steward all the resources He has blessed me with. Maybe this time you could join me in asking Him what He is saying and think about what we are going to do in response to His call.

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