The key to the success of the early church was its use of unique and unexpected methods for changing the world. Today those elements continue to be what fuels her success. This week we take a break from our study in Acts to once again discover afresh the ingredients of each Christian and ultimately the flourishing of the church. The CP devos are created for you each week. Read them, soak them in, and pass them on to others.
“. . . in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
The Christian life is not static. It has a flow and the direction of that flow is outward. No one would doubt that the flow of the life of Christ was in an outward direction. How then can the life of His that we carry be anything other than generously flowing outward to others?
Because it is His life that we bear inside our bodies, we become the literal vehicle through which God operates in this world. Our lives are the channel of His ministry, the conduit for His love, and the agent for His provisions to the world. There is to be no trace of stinginess in the believer’s life.
Christianity is not about enhancing our lives, it gives us life when we had none. The life of Christ inside of us is focused on carrying out the purpose and plan of God. This is the footing for generosity. Behind all God was doing through Jesus was love, simple and pure. The cross was designed to evoke an uncontrollable response of love from us.
Authentic generosity runs “counterculture to the mainstream” dogma of our society. Generosity violates much of our corporate and success training that teaches if we are to “get ahead,” we must maximize every opportunity for our benefit.
Authentic generosity “creates a large life.” Society’s way of thinking shrinks life down to its smallest possible size. Generosity produces self-generating hope, as well as an abundance mentality. The selfishness of society causes panic and fear of losing what we already have. Panic breeds greed, and greed always leads to stinginess, the opposite of generosity.
Generosity is a “core element of God’s personality.” God is a giver. He loves us, not because of anything we have given Him, nor is it because of what He knows we will one day be able to give back to Him. If this were the motive, then selfishness would be at the heart of His love to us. This is not God’s way of giving. He loved us even before we loved Him back.
Lord, let me get to know Your generosity and make it a part of my identity in You.