Today’s devotion builds on the thoughts from Sunday’s Sermon – Week 5 of “Compelled – Living the Value of Extreme Generosity” (LISTEN HERE).
What does generosity look like?
We’ve looked at examples of generosity this week, but are the outward expressions of generosity (helping someone with my time, giving a special financial gift to my church, sharing my knowledge or ability) what generosity looks like?
Generosity will always have outward expressions.
But, generosity will always originate from an inner conviction.
If we could peel back the outward expression of generosity and dissect the inner convictions which lead to outward expressions, what would those be? Perhaps another way to look at it is this, “What inner transformations do I need to ask the Spirit of God to work in me to lead to more regular expressions of generosity?”
Generosity flows from conviction that I have received ultimate generosity from the Lord.
Generosity flows from the conviction that life is about reflecting the generosity of the Lord in my generosity to others.
Generosity flows from a heart that desires to give, loves to give, and needs to give.
Generosity flows from a heart that is captured by the abundance of God, not the scarcity of human limitations.
Generosity flows from a heart that is cheerful in giving, never forced or compelled.
Generosity flows from a heart that is convinced that the Lord has much more seed to give so that I might continue to be generous.
Bottom line…generosity flows from a heart of faith which trusts the Lord at all times to provide all that we need so that we might be generous on all occasions.
All of these realities flow throughout the pages of Scripture, however these few verses from 2 Corinthians 9 capture what generosity looks like … on the inside. Read the following slowly. What else does the generous heart look like?
2 Corinthians 9:6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 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. 9 As it is written:
“He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.”
10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
I love the verse 11. You WILL be made rich in EVERY way so that you can be GENEROUS on every occasion.
Sure, through your generosity others are blessed and you receive joy and satisfaction, but ultimately the result of faith driven, God-given generosity?…people will give thanks to GOD.
That’s what generosity looks like.
Apply: Take time today to allow the Spirit of God to open your heart and expose the aspects of your faith life that are supporting generosity and those that are not. Slowly read 2 Corinthians 9:6-11. Wherever your heart needs the Spirit’s strength, ask and seek his guidance to mold your heart to be generous on all occasions.
Prayer: Lord, forgive me for times when my outward expressions of generosity were not driven by an inner conviction of generosity. Transform my heart by your Spirit to more and more reflect the generosity of your heart in my expressions of generosity to others. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.