For reading & meditation: Romans 12:9-21
"Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality." (v.13)
Today we look at God's third purpose for money: to bless and enrich other Christians. One of the characteristics which God wants to develop in us is that of generosity, for our generosity will determine how much spiritual light we have in our being. Take this verse: "If your Eye is generous, the whole of your body will be illumined" (Matt. 6:22
, Moffatt). If your "eye" - your outlook on life, your whole way of looking at things and people - is generous, then your whole personality is illuminated, is lighted up. If you have a greedy or selfish "eye", your whole being will be filled with darkness. In Acts 11:27-30
we read about a severe famine that caused suffering to many Jewish Christians. The church at Antioch - made up mostly of Gentiles - sent an offering to their fellow believers in Jerusalem, and that offering was an important means of tearing down national and cultural barriers between them, and building bonds of genuine Christian love. God likens generous giving to reaping a harvest: "He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully" (2 Cor. 9:6
, RSV). Perhaps the greatest benefit of generous giving to other Christians, however, is this - it results in "an overflowing tide of thanksgiving to God" (v.12, Phillips). Yes, God will give you much so that you can give away much, and when you take your gifts to those who need them they will break out in thanksgiving and praise of God for your help. Giving to the needs of fellow Christians means that many will thank God and fill His Church with praise.
O God, help be to become a truly generous person, for I see that when I am generous, then my generosity generates generosity in others. I ask this in the peerless and exalted Name of the Lord Jesus. Amen.
For further study:
1. What is the lesson of the widow of Zarephath?
2. How will you be generous today?