The greatest barometer of our belief in Christ is our giving. Our theology can be correct, our knowledge of scripture can be plentiful, but our giving habits tell all. As we begin our season of generosity, we step back from our series in Acts to consider our generous God and the generosity we show to others. Let these devos seep into the cracks and crevasses of your soul to widen the spirit of generosity in your life.
“Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:7
There is a difference between submission and surrender. Submission can be forced, where there is a superficial yielding, one where a coercive, rigid choice is required. The decision is made, but not willingly. In contrast, surrender is an act of the will, it is a moment when all our resistance ceases to function. The disciple no longer evades the call to stubbornly give, but enters heart, mind, and soul into a state of glad surrender. Cheerful surrender frees us from the battle of excuse-making. What results is joyful generosity – a cheerful, persistent capacity to give free from obligation, strain and conflict.
Having received the undeserved gift of salvation from Christ, we have been given the bona fide gift of eternal life from God. So, in a very fundamental way, we have been shown great generosity. Abundance can take many different forms. Some have more material resources to pull from, others have time, and still others just have a big heart. Some have unique talents that can benefit people.
Quantity of time is something we all have, twenty-four hours a day. Why not use some of that time being a blessing and benefit others? After all, we are surrounded by those who are hungry, thirsty, with souls in need. When the need comes before us, what form will our dedication to Christ take? Our surrender demonstrates a wholehearted acceptance of the generous heart of God.
Generosity can be easily observed. Beginning with your support of the church and its support of ministries, such as, participating in missions, providing things for people in shelters, adopting orphans and giving them a full life, ministering to our military families. The ongoing process of a disciple’s productivity includes becoming increasingly more generous.
Consider the talents with which have you been gifted. Take your talents and give them back to God. Ask God what He’d have you do with what He gave you. Use your God-given talents to give back to others and show them the love of Christ. God gives us talents to use and serve others.