“God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times having all that you need, you will abound in every good work”(2 Corinthians 9:8, NIV).
Grace is the empowering presence of God, enabling you to be who God created you to be and to do what He has called you to do – right where you are. It is the one resource that unleashes all other blessings.
The Bible uses the metaphor of a farmer to illustrate this truth. “Remember this,” writes Paul, “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously”(2 Co 9:6). His readers were largely an agricultural people, so the metaphor was well understood; they literally knew what he was talking about.
He concludes his appeal with the strongest logic possible, “Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God” (2 Co 9:10-11).
In earlier postings we discussed what I call “Life’s Three Options” – beggar, digger, and steward. The Beggar does whatever is necessary to survive, only to spend most of his life in poverty; filled with bitterness. The Digger scrapes to become successful; his goal is prosperity, and upon attaining it he walks in pride. The Steward seeks significance; and he understands that generosity is the gateway to greatness. He walks in humility, and God makes all grace abound toward him.
Few people are more attractive or more contagious than those individuals who find happiness in generosity. God’s grace is the key to making this happen.
When we receive God’s grace and move into a lifestyle of generosity, several dynamic things begin to occur. First, out lives bring honor to the Lord – for He is the Ultimate Giver, and all other giving becomes a reflection of Him. Second, our lives validate the power of Truth. “One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, and comes to poverty” (Prov.11:24). That’s true! And you are proving it true – one way or the other.
Third, we truly help others in real and meaningful ways. “Buy a man a fish and feed him for a day,” Benjamin Franklin wrote,“But teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Generosity trends towards a Hand Up….not a Hand Out. We don’t merely enable someone to remain in their needy condition; rather, we empower them to rise above it and enter into what Jesus called “life more abundant!”
Fourth, we “provoke others to love and good works” (Heb.10:24). Something extraordinary happens when others hear the testimony of generosity. They are sometimes ashamed, because they have been so indifferent and passive; more often they are spurred onward to acts of generosity themselves. and this multiplies giving into staggering measures.
Wouldn’t it be awesome to see an “epidemic of generosity” sweep through our world?
Why not let it begin with you in your sphere of influence? Ask God to give you the grace to become a man or woman of generosity — and then do whatever He tells you to do. The rest, as they say, is history. And in your case, it will be history in the making!