04 Dec Let Love Lead Your Giving: A Christmas reflection from Randy
I love to talk about generosity. But make no mistake, I’m no expert. Having a giving spirit doesn’t come naturally to me. It requires effort. Of course, the center of generosity isn’t about money. “For God so loved the world that he GAVE His one and only son…” (John 3:16). Because God loved…He gave. That’s generosity. It’s about the heart.
Jesus said, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:21). So generosity must be cultivated in our hearts first, and then it will be expressed in every aspect of our lives. When we love…we give. It isn’t from compulsion or manipulation. It’s from deep love and devotion.
Consider these few synonyms for generous: lavish, magnanimous, openhanded, bountiful, unselfish, ungrudging, free and indulgent. These are strong words… heartfelt words.
One of my favorite passages about generosity comes from Paul’s letter to the Corinthian church, where he so aptly describes the giving spirit of the Macedonians:
1 And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. 2 In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. 3 For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, 4 they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people. 5 And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us. 6 So we urged Titus, just as he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. 7 But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you—see that you also excel in this grace of giving. -2 Corinthians 8: 1-7
Here are eight quick points from this passage about generosity…
- Generosity requires commitment! “Very Severe Trial” (v. 2)
- Generous people have joy. “Overflowing Joy” (v. 2)
- Give even while it hurts. “Extreme Poverty” (v. 2)
- Generosity will stretch us. “Even Beyond Their Ability” (v. 3)
- Generosity is not compelled! “Entirely On Their Own” (v. 3)
- Giving is a blessing. “Pleaded for the Privilege” (v. 4)
- Generosity goes beyond to do more. “Exceed our Expectations” (v. 5)
- Generous people know they are really giving to God. “Unto the Lord” (v. 5)
Paul, using the great example of the Macedonian churches, exhorted the Corinthians, and in the same way, is challenging us, to let our hearts well up with love to lead us in our giving, no matter what the circumstances. This is “rich generosity.” Remember, because God loves, He gave. So it should be with us.
My desire this Christmas is to allow God’s greatest gift in Jesus and my love for him to be expressed in my own generosity. And I pray for you also, that you know and experience the blessings of His generosity now and in the New Year.
God bless you!
Tell us your takeaways from Randy’s Christmas message @brewerdirect!