Tuesday, April 9

Radical generosity

Scripture: 1 Samuel 6-7, Psalm 72, 2 Corinthians 9

2 Corinthians 9:2 For I know your eagerness to help, and I have been boasting about it to the Macedonians, telling them that since last year you in Achaia were ready to give; and your enthusiasm has stirred most of them to action.

2 Corinthians 9:7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctant or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

Observation

Look at the words that Paul uses to describe the Corinthians’ attitude toward giving an offering for poor in Jerusalem: eager, ready, enthusiastic and cheerful.  And if you translate the two negatives in v. 7 as positives, you could add willing and freely.  Paul praised them for this attitude and promised that God would bless them for their generosity.  You can’t outgive God!

Application

Many of us experience a tightening of the heart when asked to give.  Giving is not a free and joyous experience, but something we often resent and resist.  What a contrasting example the Corinthians offer us!  And even more—the example of Jesus.  “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift.” (v. 15; also see 8:9).  Jesus’ radical generosity is the motivation for ours.  God is so open-handed and generous.  When you follow Jesus, you begin to live more generously.

I want to live generously—not only with my money, but my time, attention, energy, help, love, forgiveness…everything.  I want to be a generous person.  That means being eager to give, ready and enthusiastic to give, cheerful and willing to give, and giving freely.  

Prayer: Lord, give me a generous heart, characterized by all the words I’ve listed above.  I know that I can never outgive you!