“And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”-Luke 12:15
In Luke 12, Jesus teaches a parable about a certain rich man whose fields yielded him a plentiful crop. In fact, he had such a bountiful harvest that he could not contain all the crops in his barns. After considering his dilemma, he came up with a solution:
“So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat , drink, and be merry.”-Luke 12: 18-19
However, that night, the man’s life was demanded of him and his great wealth was left in question. Jesus called the man foolish for he only saw fit to lay up treasures for himself and was not rich toward God! Yet, what does it mean to be rich towards God?
“He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord, And He will pay back what he has given.”-Proverbs 19:17
This passage and many others like it attest to the fact that when we demonstrate generosity towards others, we are demonstrating charity towards God:
“Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see you sick, or in prison, and come to You? And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.”-Matthew 25:37-40
A generous spirit is never measured by the pool of resources we have to give from, but rather it is gauged by the passion with which we give. Giving is a heart issue:
“But this I say, He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.”-2 Corinthians 9:6-7.
What is your attitude toward giving? Do you give grudgingly or out of necessity? Do you allow your emotions to dictate your generosity or are you purposed in your giving? Do you leave your house each day prepared to meet a need if you see one?
God promises that if we will purpose to give that He will supply all we need to be generous on every occasion:
“And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.”-2 Corinthians 9:8
Because God takes on the responsibility of being the source of our generosity, it only makes sense that our giving should result in thanksgiving towards God:
“Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God. So two good things will result from this ministry of giving—the needs of the believers in Jerusalem will be met, and they will joyfully express their thanks to God.”-2 Corinthians 9:11-12.
True sacrificial giving will always cause us to take our eyes off ourselves, meet the needs of others, and bring glory and honor to the Lord our God! It is my prayer that your generosity doesn’t fade as the holiday passes, but rather this Christmas will become the catalyst for a lifetime of generous, cheerful giving.
Pastor Scott Burr
Dayspring Community Church