Today's Devotional: Generosity

The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. As it is written, “He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.” He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God. (2 Corinthians 9:6-12 ESV).

The last we will examine on the list, though not the last of things to add to it, is generosity. The Apostle Paul in writing to the young, troubled church in Corinth helps them understand how important the principle of generosity is in their lives. This is true for us as well. I am particular to pray for my family that they will be generous and gracious in their compassion for others and their sharing of the blessings God has given them. There are two principles at work in this prayer re quest.

 First, it provides for a freedom from materialism. Another benefit of giving is freedom. It’s a matter of basic physics. The greater the mass, the greater the hold that mass exerts. The more things we own, the greater their total mass, and the more they grip us, setting us in orbit around them. Finally, like a black hole, they suck us in. Giving changes all that. It breaks us out of orbit around our possessions. We escape their gravity, entering a new orbit around our treasures in Heaven.

Second. It allows an infusion of joy into their lives. On more than one occasion I have heard the testimonies of those who have learned to be generous with their time, talent, and resources. I have seen people with joy in their eyes telling how God has touched their lives through helping the needy, in hands-on ways as well as through their giving.

When Jesus spoke of the man who found the treasure in the field, he emphasized how “in his joy” the man went and sold all that he had to gain the treasure (cf. Matthew 13:44). We’re not supposed to feel sorry for the man because it cost him everything. Rather, we’re supposed to imitate him. It cost him, yes, but it gained him everything he wanted! It filled him with joy. The benefits vastly outweighed the costs. God delights in our cheerfulness in giving. He wants us to find joy. But if we don’t give, we’re robbed of the source of joy God instructs us to seek! Make that principle a part of your prayer life.

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