Tuesday, May 20, 2014

May 20: Generosity of the heart

Give, and it will be given to you: A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be poured into your lap. For the measure you use will be the measure you receive.  (Luke 6:38  NET)

Jesus is preaching a longer sermon in this chapter that is deeper than mere dos and don’ts, but attitudes we need to have towards God and towards each other. The bottom line is that we all are completely indebted to God for everything we have. None of us has the right to cling to our opinions, our ways, our possessions or our lives, because all we have and know is a continuous gift from our Creator. We are to live in a spirit of generosity and gratitude for the lives we have.  

This verse is often used to refer to the giving of offerings, but it’s actually about a state of mind that offerings can naturally flow from.  It’s a state of total dependence on God with absolute trust in His goodness and desire to bless His own. When we give mercy to people that seem unworthy of love, we will receive even more back from God.  When we give kindness, effort, understanding, goodness, we are guaranteed to have it all returned to us in abundance by a loving Father who has already given us more than we deserve to begin with.    

Those who complain about the giving of offerings and tithes (Jesus refers to the importance of tithes in Matthew 23) are completely blind to the generous character of God.  He is a God of abundant giving.  He loves to see His children blessed, but they first need to exhibit that same character of joyful giving as well.  When we give freely, we show not only that we trust in Him, but that we are LIKE Him, that we have a heart of giving. That is when He is able to give back to us freely.  

Our generosity may seem like a lot to us, but being a recipient of God’s generosity is beyond comparison. Our abundance is a pittance compared to His.  Once we believe that, we can throw off our fear of giving, become more like Him, and enjoy partaking in His goodness.

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