There are some people around me who are generous. I stayed with friends from Church recently and they were so hospitable, generous and kind they made me feel loved but humbled too. I was so blessed. I believe they were too, as they gave just as it says in Acts 20:35 "It is more blessed to give than to receive."
Another friend continues to provoke me in her attitude to giving and her generosity. She loves to give. I have seen her offer people she met on a train a place to stay, give away cars, furniture and many other things in a quiet and understated way. When I asked her about it one day this is what she told me and how her mum inspired her.
My mum was the most generous person I’ve ever known. Born in 1920 she only ever really knew austerity yet she had the biggest heart. Whatever she had she would give: time, acceptance, kindness and if she could save any money she would willingly and sacrificially give that too!
She always told me “You can NEVER out give God!”
I was taught tithing from the age of 10 and the verses in Malachi 3:10 about testing God. If I give, He will give so much more in return.
I was also taught that if ever I gave, to give the best! Exactly what I would want and dream for, give that! The best food, the best day out, the best of anything I had in my heart and hands, not the cheapest thing.
The best of anything I could give, I gave. I was, after all, giving it to God. It was my love offering to Him, my thank you.
I learnt that giving gave to me as much as it gave to others, from the homeless we served or our best friends - it made no difference.
I always knew this was God’s heart.
When I saw “Secret Millionaire” programme on TV I would always cry! I couldn’t watch as I so wanted to be a millionaire to secretly be able to give.
When people said they wouldn’t know what to do if they won millions of pounds, I’d always say “I would. I’d want as many millions as I could get!” I would even plan how to distribute the money and what fun I’d have blessing people and making a difference.
Well I’m not a millionaire but what God gives I can still give with the same heart. Although it doesn’t have to be money that’s my passion however little! When I was younger I had a rented flat and a car and that took all my money. I decided that I would use that to serve people - so I slept on the floor if a bed was needed and found myself going all round the country to pick up people and take them where they needed to go. I saw so many miracles and lives changed.
God is my example. God is the giver of every good and perfect gift. (James 1:7) His heart is the most generous and extravagant there has ever been and ever will be. He gave us Jesus. He gave us everything and He still gives every day.
I want to be able to deliver some of His love letters, His generosity to those He wants to touch!
As children of God our desire is to express God's heart for others. To live in a way that shows people He cares for them and knows them. Whatever our financial position we can choose to be generous with what we have. A small gift from someone who has very little will mean the world to the receiver. However, that's not the end of the story - you can't outgive God.
Who inspires you towards generosity?
If you lived your life generously could you be the one who inspires others towards generosity?
Why not take time to consider this Scripture in Malachi this week. It is the only time in the Bible that God says to test Him. Watch and see what He does. He is faithful. It could be the start of an exciting adventure with Him.
"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
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