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.
“Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in My House. . . .” Malachi 3:10
Generosity breeds generosity. The basis of generosity is God’s person and character. The barrier to this generosity is our fear of lack. And the boundary of God’s generosity is our obedience. This is another way of saying that the only limitation to God’s outpouring of generosity is the length of our obedience.
He calls us to generously invest our lives in meeting the needs of others. The Christian view of giving outstrips mere obligation. Under Old Testament law, an Israelite was required to give a tenth of all product and livestock. In the New Testament, those who have experienced the breakthrough of grace in their relationship with Jesus, those who have been seized by the power of great affection, are to give liberally and cheerfully.
The contrast is hard to miss. If an Israelite living under the law gave a tenth, how much more should a Christ-follower living under grace give? Grace is the base of all our giving.
Generosity is limited by our obedience. When obedience is controlled by our stinginess we cannot expect to experience the fullness of His presence. His call on our lives requires an investment, not a donation. The difference is the commitment behind the gift.
God calls us to become obedient by investing ourselves and in extending the work of God’s kingdom. God’s plans and purpose for our lives is to expand the rule of His kingdom throughout the earth. This will require us to be unsparing when we give our lives and our money.
God demonstrated generosity by giving Himself to die for our sin. He continued generosity into the world. Our obedience to this call does more than determine the joy we experience, it determines whether or not the rest of the world experiences the generous life God has given through Jesus Christ.
Just as in the days of Malachi, the Lord invites us to return to Him wholeheartedly, begin today by praying; Lord, help me to be obedient to Your call to be generous with my treasure, time and talents.