Giving Generously

Regardless of what currency you use, the bible makes it clear that you are to be a good steward over what you have.  One way to ensure that you are being a good steward is to be generous and give when a need arises. Today we are going to talk about generously.

One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want.Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered. – Proverbs 11:24-25

These two verses present a paradox. That we become richer by being generous.  The world says to hold on to as much as you can, but God blesses those who give freely of their possessions, time, and energy.  When we give, God supplies us with more so that we can give more.  In addition, Giving helps us gain a right perspective on our possessions… we have them to help others.

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

This verse in proper context is talking about judgement but the principle of Giving remains the same across many others of life. If we give generously, graciously, and compassionately, we will receive back in full measure.

Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine. – Proverbs 3:9-10

“First of all your giving” refers to the practice of giving to God’s use the best of your harvest. Many people give God their leftovers.  People who give in this manner are operating with a backward attitude with regards to giving. It’s better to Give God the first part of our income rather than the leftovers.  This is a demonstration that God is first place in our lives and that we have faith in Him to provide for us.

You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. – 2 Corinthians 9:11

Paul was emphasizing the spiritual rewards for those who give generously to Gods work.  We should expect what we give to help others, and give glory to God.  And as we give to others, they will pray for us and as you bless others you also will be blessed.

Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act. – Proverbs 3:27

Withholding good is inconsiderate and unfair, whether it is repaying a loan, returning a tool or fulfilling a promise.  Be as eager to give and do good as you are to receive and have good done to you.

Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. – Malachi 3:10

Malachi urged the people to stop holding back their tithes.  When we give we must remember that the blessing God promises are not always material and may not be experienced completely here on earth but we will certainly receive them in heaven… Or those blessings may be seen in many other ways in your life… Like peace in your family and household.

When you give to someone in need, don’t do as the hypocrites do—blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you the truth, they have received all the reward they will ever get. But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. – Matthew 6:2-3

Jesus was teaching here about your motives when giving. Your motives should be pure and not mixed with anything else.  Ask yourself the next time that you give “why you are doing it?”  Do you truly want to be a blessing to that other person?  Or are you feeling guilty and giving only because someone pressured you to give?  Think about this.

Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely, who conduct their affairs with justice. – Psalm 112:5

Now this is a very powerful verse. Generosity will cure two problems that money can create.  The rich man may abuse others in his desire to accumulate wealth but by being generous, you eliminate that potential for that abuse.  Also, the fear of losing money can be a snare.  When you are generous you place your trust in God to provide for you and not yourself.  God will never fail us.

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. – 2 Corinthians 9:10

God gives us resources to use and invest for him.  Paul uses the illustration of seed to explain that the resources God gives us are not to be hidden, foolishly devoured, or thrown away.  Instead, they should be cultivated in order to produce more corps. When we invest what God has given us in his work, he will provide us with even more to give in his service.

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Be blessed!