Giving Generously

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly; and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each one should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you so that in all things at all times having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 
–2 Corinthians 9:6-8

Generosity and giving: it seems like these words would flow off a Christ-follower’s tongue as easy as butter off a hot biscuit. It would also seem that the spiritual realities of generosity and giving would be as natural to the behavior of a disciple as chasing mice is to a cat. It would seem that God would have little difficulty persuading a heart to give. Even so, many Christians struggle when living out the challenge of generosity. Often a follower of Jesus is more apt to “talk the talk” but not “walk the walk.”

“For God so loved…that He gave…” Giving is part of the essential nature and character of our God. As we learn to give, we not only undergo the thrill of faithful living but we actually begin to experience what it means to allow Jesus to live His life in and through us.

Richard Foster once said that the quickest way to discern whether you have a selfish heart is to give something away. So, what is the truth of your heart? Try this challenging exercise: imagine taking all of your assets — your pension, checking account, stock funds, and equity in a house… and putting it all into cash — and then giving it all away. Imagine. How would you feel? What would that reveal in you? Talk to God about your feelings. Tell God about it. Today, think and pray on how the spirit of generosity and giving has infected your soul. Ask God to change your nature to better reflect His.

1. Evaluate your own generosity. What does your recent history in giving say about your heart?

2. Make a list of the top ten things you want to plan on giving away that will allow God to create in you a generous heart.

Matthew 6:25-34; Mark 12:41-44

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Robin Dugall

A long-time contributor to HomeWord's daily devotionals, Robin is Pastor of Our Savior Lutheran Church of McCall, Idaho and Shepherd of the Mountains Lutheran Church of Cascade, Idaho. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Theology at Concordia University in Portland, Oregon.

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