So many underestimate how God multiplies what we give to Him and others of ourselves! God’s formula concerning generosity is an extraordinary one!
Probing Proverbs 11:24-26 Give freely and become more wealthy; be stingy and lose everything. The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed. People curse those who hoard their grain, but they bless the one who sells in time of need.
A Pastor was speaking at a very small Church. The offering bowel was passed. He handed his 12 year old son a five dollar bill and told him to place it in the bowel. His son did so. At the end of the service a deacon came up to the Pastor and said “we wanted you to have our offering as a love gift, it is not much, but it is what was given.” The Pastor said thank you and handed the envelope to his son. When they were in the car the boy asked if he could count it, his father said yes. $11.15 the boy said, then he stated, “you know dad, if you would have given more, you would have received more!”
Obviously the little guy did not quite understand the whole picture…yet his point is a Truth that the Scripture repeats again and again. Sadly, many only view this principle from the financial perspective, but in Scripture the principle carries to all of life. It is not wrong that when we think about being generous that a major part of that includes finances, but it is wrong to limit that to only money. Generosity should be the way we handle our time, our fellowship, and our knowledge of God. Consider this Proverb:
Clearly this is speaking about money, but it is not limited to that. The principle is the key, the more free you are to others with yourself, i.e. money, time, etc., the more you will have. If you hold everything you are to yourself, you will only lose.
I have witnessed this with individuals towards friends. They are very self absorbed and selfish, and before they know it they are friendless! Many have refused to be generous with their time, only using it for themselves; in the end they find they have no family, no deep friendships…no life! The early Church experienced that generosity in faith and fellowship bring joy.
Acts 2:46 They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity
Philemon 6 And I am praying that you will put into action the generosity that comes from your faith as you understand and experience all the good things we have in Christ.
v. 25 The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.
Again, money can be a part of this, but notice the key word, “refresh.” We can refresh others in many ways! I have often cooked dinner for my family so my wife can just relax. This refreshes her! When we learn the principle that the more we do for others, the greater the satisfaction we will experience in our lives, we begin to experience what a joyful life really is.
v.26 People curse those who hoard their grain, but they bless the one who sells in time of need.
Notice, the point of generosity communicated here. The generous person is actually making money. The issue at hand is their heart is generous towards those that are in trouble during a hard time. Generosity does not mean you cannot make a profit in business. The generous person that has an abundance of grain does not have to give it away, but when difficult times come they don’t clutch onto their grain, they open their store and sell to those in need! The folks love them for this.
My family has seen God honor this principle all through our lives. One time we had just begun a new ministry and were able to get a mini-van, which we needed due to the size of our family. The car we had was great but small. Right then a friend we had lost his vehicle, which he needed for work. We were led by God to give him our car. In the following 25 years our family has been given 9 vehicles and we have bought 4 others way below market value, as much as 50% off!
2 Corinthians 9:6 Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
Folks, you cannot be more generous than God! God’s generosity offers us not only a full life…but also eternal life!
1 Timothy 1:14 Oh, how generous and gracious our Lord was! He filled me with the faith and love that come from Christ Jesus.
Titus 3:6 He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior.
2 Corinthians 8:9 You know the generous grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty he could make you rich.
Consider: If you feel bound financially, emotionally, or even spiritually, evaluate how generous your life is. Your own actions may be the source of your frustration. Ask God right now to teach you how to be a generous person! He will be delighted to do it.