Today’s devotion builds on the thoughts from Sunday’s Sermon – Week 5 of “Compelled – Living the Value of Extreme Generosity” (LISTEN HERE).
What’s in it for me?
Asking this question in regard to generosity really isn’t a good question. At first glance, one may suspect it is being asked for selfish reasons, i.e. “If I give something, what will I get in return?”
Our sinful nature loves to ask this question and monitor our generosity based on what we perceive we receive in return. Sometimes it looks or sounds like the following:
“I really gave a lot of my time to that person to help them move. They didn’t even say ‘Thank you.’ I’m never helping them again!”
“I have been giving special gifts to my church for a couple years. I am just not seeing the changes I want. I’m done giving to my church.”
“I gave that friend of mine a really nice birthday gift. They did nothing for mine. I’m done giving gifts.”
“I let some relatives stay in our house while we were gone and they ate all our food. They better pay us back!”
Generosity is hard if I’m always looking for “what’s in it for me.” In fact, I would surmise generosity is non-existent if we are motivated in any way to receive something back in compensation. Then it’s not generosity, it’s a business transaction.
Generosity builds on the value of unconditional love and visible grace. Unconditional love and visible grace are a reflection of the love and grace that God has shown to us. So when we show love and grace it is a reflection of God who unconditionally loved us and gave us his grace as a gift. So when we exhibit generosity it is NOT motivated by desiring something in return, but by the generosity of the Lord who has given us all we have and need to be generous.
2 Corinthians 9:8 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.
Generosity is allowing the blessings of God to flow through us to others.
Here’s the fun reality. We may never receive any return or thanks from the person to whom we were generous. That’s OK. We are not being generous to GET something from the person. However, when we are generous, the Lord continues to give us “seed to sow” and makes us “rich in every way” and gives us “at all times” “all that we need.” We aren’t generous to GET from God. But when we are generous, he continues to give to us so that we might continue to give to others. We become a conduit of God’s blessings to others.
What’s in it for me?
When we are generous, we get to see first hand the generosity of the Lord at work in our own lives and have fun sharing the generosity of the Lord with others.
That’s what’s in it for you!
Apply: Take inventory of when you are “generous.” Have you expected something in return? Have you stopped being generous because people haven’t responded as you wanted to your generosity? What happens when you let go of expecting something from the people to whom you are showing generosity and simply be a conduit of generosity through whom the Lord works?
Prayer: Lord thank you for giving me all I need so I can be generous on every occasion. AMEN.