The Godly Quality of Generosity

  • September 19, 2015
Saturday 19

Proverbs 11:24-25

When I was a child, I lived with my mother in a single-room home. She made just enough money for food, clothing, and rent. Most Saturdays, this one boy would come to the door and ask, “Do y’all have anything to eat?” I’d look in the icebox and see perhaps a piece of fruit or a few eggs and a little bacon, and not much else.

But my mother always found some food for that boy.

Generosity is an attitude of sharing gladly whatever we might have, regardless of wealth. Scripture reveals liberality is an attribute of God (see Deut. 28:12 and Eph. 3:20). And as part of His transformative plan for believers, the Father desires that we develop a generous spirit.

A bighearted approach to our time and material goods starts by giving ourselves to God. When we accept that He owns everything, we can hold our small share with an open hand. But the choice to nurture generosity is based on our trust. Instead of adding figures to see what little amount might safely be set aside for charity, Christians should give sacrificially by faith. Hebrews 13:16 (NIV) tells us, “Do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” The Lord responds by supplying enough to cover the gift and our own need (Luke 6:38). Only through giving do we learn that we can never outgive God.

Some believers choose selfishness and rebellion, but God promised a form of poverty—whether financial, emotional, or spiritual—to those who do. Instead, make a decision today to cultivate a generous spirit for the Lord.

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24 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.

25 The generous man will be prosperous, And he who waters will himself be watered.

12 The LORD will open for you His good storehouse, the heavens, to give rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hand; and you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow.

20 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us,

16 And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.

38 Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure--pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return."

1 Israel is a luxuriant vine; He produces fruit for himself. The more his fruit, The more altars he made; The richer his land, The better he made the sacred pillars.

2 Their heart is faithless; Now they must bear their guilt. The LORD will break down their altars And destroy their sacred pillars.

3 Surely now they will say, We have no king, For we do not revere the LORD. As for the king, what can he do for us?"

4 They speak mere words, With worthless oaths they make covenants; And judgment sprouts like poisonous weeds in the furrows of the field.

5 The inhabitants of Samaria will fear For the calf of Beth-aven. Indeed, its people will mourn for it, And its idolatrous priests will cry out over it, Over its glory, since it has departed from it.

6 The thing itself will be carried to Assyria As tribute to King Jareb; Ephraim will be seized with shame And Israel will be ashamed of its own counsel.

7 Samaria will be cut off with her king Like a stick on the surface of the water.

8 Also the high places of Aven, the sin of Israel, will be destroyed; Thorn and thistle will grow on their altars; Then they will say to the mountains, Cover us!" And to the hills, Fall on us!"

9 From the days of Gibeah you have sinned, O Israel; There they stand! Will not the battle against the sons of iniquity overtake them in Gibeah?

10 When it is My desire, I will chastise them; And the peoples will be gathered against them When they are bound for their double guilt.

11 Ephraim is a trained heifer that loves to thresh, But I will come over her fair neck with a yoke; I will harness Ephraim, Judah will plow, Jacob will harrow for himself.

12 Sow with a view to righteousness, Reap in accordance with kindness; Break up your fallow ground, For it is time to seek the LORD Until He comes to rain righteousness on you.

13 You have plowed wickedness, you have reaped injustice, You have eaten the fruit of lies. Because you have trusted in your way, in your numerous warriors,

14 Therefore a tumult will arise among your people, And all your fortresses will be destroyed, As Shalman destroyed Beth-arbel on the day of battle, When mothers were dashed in pieces with their children.

15 Thus it will be done to you at Bethel because of your great wickedness. At dawn the king of Israel will be completely cut off.

1 When Israel was a youth I loved him, And out of Egypt I called My son.

2 The more they called them, The more they went from them; They kept sacrificing to the Baals And burning incense to idols.

3 Yet it is I who taught Ephraim to walk, I took them in My arms; But they did not know that I healed them.

4 I led them with cords of a man, with bonds of love, And I became to them as one who lifts the yoke from their jaws; And I bent down and fed them.

5 They will not return to the land of Egypt; But Assyria--he will be their king Because they refused to return to Me.

6 The sword will whirl against their cities, And will demolish their gate bars And consume them because of their counsels.

7 So My people are bent on turning from Me. Though they call them to the One on high, None at all exalts Him.

8 How can I give you up, O Ephraim? How can I surrender you, O Israel? How can I make you like Admah? How can I treat you like Zeboiim? My heart is turned over within Me, All My compassions are kindled.

9 I will not execute My fierce anger; I will not destroy Ephraim again. For I am God and not man, the Holy One in your midst, And I will not come in wrath.

10 They will walk after the LORD, He will roar like a lion; Indeed He will roar And His sons will come trembling from the west.

11 They will come trembling like birds from Egypt And like doves from the land of Assyria; And I will settle them in their houses, declares the LORD.

12 Ephraim surrounds Me with lies And the house of Israel with deceit; Judah is also unruly against God, Even against the Holy One who is faithful.

1 Ephraim feeds on wind, And pursues the east wind continually; He multiplies lies and violence. Moreover, he makes a covenant with Assyria, And oil is carried to Egypt.

2 The LORD also has a dispute with Judah, And will punish Jacob according to his ways; He will repay him according to his deeds.

3 In the womb he took his brother by the heel, And in his maturity he contended with God.

4 Yes, he wrestled with the angel and prevailed; He wept and sought His favor. He found Him at Bethel And there He spoke with us,

5 Even the LORD, the God of hosts, The LORD is His name.

6 Therefore, return to your God, Observe kindness and justice, And wait for your God continually.

7 A merchant, in whose hands are false balances, He loves to oppress.

8 And Ephraim said, Surely I have become rich, I have found wealth for myself; In all my labors they will find in me No iniquity, which would be sin."

9 But I have been the LORD your God since the land of Egypt; I will make you live in tents again, As in the days of the appointed festival.

10 I have also spoken to the prophets, And I gave numerous visions, And through the prophets I gave parables.

11 Is there iniquity in Gilead? Surely they are worthless. In Gilgal they sacrifice bulls, Yes, their altars are like the stone heaps Beside the furrows of the field.

12 Now Jacob fled to the land of Aram, And Israel worked for a wife, And for a wife he kept sheep.

13 But by a prophet the LORD brought Israel from Egypt, And by a prophet he was kept.

14 Ephraim has provoked to bitter anger; So his Lord will leave his bloodguilt on him And bring back his reproach to him.

1 When Ephraim spoke, there was trembling. He exalted himself in Israel, But through Baal he did wrong and died.

2 And now they sin more and more, And make for themselves molten images, Idols skillfully made from their silver, All of them the work of craftsmen. They say of them, Let the men who sacrifice kiss the calves!"

3 Therefore they will be like the morning cloud And like dew which soon disappears, Like chaff which is blown away from the threshing floor And like smoke from a chimney.

4 Yet I have been the LORD your God Since the land of Egypt; And you were not to know any god except Me, For there is no savior besides Me.

5 I cared for you in the wilderness, In the land of drought.

6 As they had their pasture, they became satisfied, And being satisfied, their heart became proud; Therefore they forgot Me.

7 So I will be like a lion to them; Like a leopard I will lie in wait by the wayside.

8 I will encounter them like a bear robbed of her cubs, And I will tear open their chests; There I will also devour them like a lioness, As a wild beast would tear them.

9 It is your destruction, O Israel, That you are against Me, against your help.

10 Where now is your king That he may save you in all your cities, And your judges of whom you requested, Give me a king and princes"?

11 I gave you a king in My anger And took him away in My wrath.

12 The iniquity of Ephraim is bound up; His sin is stored up.

13 The pains of childbirth come upon him; He is not a wise son, For it is not the time that he should delay at the opening of the womb.

14 Shall I ransom them from the power of Sheol? Shall I redeem them from death? O Death, where are your thorns? O Sheol, where is your sting? Compassion will be hidden from My sight.

15 Though he flourishes among the reeds, An east wind will come, The wind of the LORD coming up from the wilderness; And his fountain will become dry And his spring will be dried up; It will plunder his treasury of every precious article.

16 Samaria will be held guilty, For she has rebelled against her God. They will fall by the sword, Their little ones will be dashed in pieces, And their pregnant women will be ripped open.

1 Return, O Israel, to the LORD your God, For you have stumbled because of your iniquity.

2 Take words with you and return to the LORD. Say to Him, Take away all iniquity And receive us graciously, That we may present the fruit of our lips.

3 Assyria will not save us, We will not ride on horses; Nor will we say again, `Our god,' To the work of our hands; For in You the orphan finds mercy."

4 I will heal their apostasy, I will love them freely, For My anger has turned away from them.

5 I will be like the dew to Israel; He will blossom like the lily, And he will take root like the cedars of Lebanon.

6 His shoots will sprout, And his beauty will be like the olive tree And his fragrance like the cedars of Lebanon.

7 Those who live in his shadow Will again raise grain, And they will blossom like the vine. His renown will be like the wine of Lebanon.

8 O Ephraim, what more have I to do with idols? It is I who answer and look after you. I am like a luxuriant cypress; From Me comes your fruit.

9 Whoever is wise, let him understand these things; Whoever is discerning, let him know them. For the ways of the LORD are right, And the righteous will walk in them, But transgressors will stumble in them.

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Publish Date June 26, 2017
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