Giving from a Generous Heart

Key Verse: “Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.”
—II Corinthians 9:6, New American Standard Bible

Selected Scripture:
II Corinthians 9:6-8

GENEROSITY IS AN ESSENTIAL element of a genuine Christian life. Our Key Verse underscores this principle, as do the verses which follow. “Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed.” (vss. 7,8, NASB) When we gave ourselves to God at the beginning of our walk in Christ, we received freely of divine grace; hence, we must give freely.—Matt. 10:8

The Apostle Paul practiced what he preached. On one occasion he said, “I have coveted no one’s silver or gold or clothes. You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my own needs and to the men who were with me. In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:33-35, NASB) Paul cheerfully supported himself and his coworkers with his own hands. He did this while daily laying down his life for others. This proverb must have inspired him, “There is one who scatters, and yet increases all the more, And there is one who withholds what is justly due, and yet it results only in want. The generous man will be prosperous, And he who waters will himself be watered.”—Prov. 11:24,25, NASB

We should count it a great privilege to exercise godly generosity. It brings not only benefit to others, but is also a means of glorifying the Heavenly Father and receiving further riches of his grace on our behalf. Thus, when we give to others, we are giving to God. “One who is gracious to a poor man lends to the Lord, And He will repay him for his good deed.”—Prov. 19:17, NASB

We may grant material things to others as we are able, such as money, clothing or food. We may also provide words of comfort as we preach the “gospel of the kingdom.” (Matt. 24:14) Further opportunities in giving lie in showing mercy, a quality which is greatly lacking in this present world. People often say, “Please—give me a little slack.” They are pleading for mercy, and we are blest in giving it. “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.”—Matt. 5:7

Paul exhorts us to be steadfast in generosity. “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. … Let us do good to all people, and especially … the household of the faith.”—Gal. 6:7-10, NASB

“If you give yourself to the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, Then your light will rise in darkness and your gloom will become like midday. And the Lord will continually guide you, and satisfy your desire in scorched places, and give strength to your bones; And you will be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.” (Isa. 58:10,11, NASB) With such exhortations, let us diligently continue giving from a generous heart.