Today we look at Generosity, from a Christian perspective. There are many in this world who are generous with their time, talents or money (many celebrities and George Soros immediately come to mind). However unless these folks are specifically doing this for God’s glory they are vainly doing it. In others words their deeds, their acts are not considered good.
The church at Corinth has been greatly complimented by Paul at the end of chapter 7:12-16 because of the joyful outstanding report he received from Titus.
Paul suddenly shifts gears in Chapter 8:1 to the Macedonian churches and how God’s Grace was used to have the abundantly provide for Paul and others v.3-6. Paul next v.7 brags about the Corinth Church for all their fine qualities; in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in genuine concern, and in your love for us; then challenges them to excel in generosity also.
How that in a great trial of affliction – First century CHristianity was no joke, it was in many was “The Voice of the Martyrs” on steroids. Although not technically illegal, many local laws highly discouraged churches from meeting (SOUND FAMILIAR?) and believers were discouraged from attending by many means including reproaches, persecutions, imprisonments, confiscation of goods.
the abundance of their joy – So of course these churches disbanded gave up and went back to paganism. NOT! ! ! No the reveled (think how you would react?) in the persecution and were full of JOY!
and their deep poverty – Oh and lest I forget, these folks were not from the rich and famous class to begin with. There were, have always been and are a few well off folks that are among the church; but it seems as we read the Bible and experience shows “Tried and True Christians” are those of lesser means.
abounded unto the riches of their liberality. – Yet even so they gave freely abundantly and with joy. Today it is hard to get folks to tithe on a regular manner never mind gave freely abundantly and with joy.
The Churches at Macedonia and Corinth should be an example for us (corporately and individually to follow. Using their example we can cultivate a Spirit of Overflowing Generosity. Let me explain, by listing the example they displayed:
in faith, If you call yourself a Christian you need to believe as a Christian. Things are going to get tough at times and that is when we display our true colors.
in speech, Trust me when I say the world (unsaved) are listening. Let one curse slip and they are quick to point out “I thought you called yourself a Christian.” Your walk and Talk need to be in the same.
in knowledge, I have met an abundance of “Christians” who do not have a clue about what the Bible actually says. Many can quote scripture better than those that wrote the books; but they do not take the time or effort to study.
in genuine concern, What are you concerned for? If “you or self” is not on the bottom of the list your priorities are messed up. Yes there are times when we need to take care of ourselves; but generally God, Family, Job, Ministry all take priority.
in your love for us (others); Do you really love your neighbor? Are you willing to do for the least of these?
in generosity; Do you give, (this implies money) money, time, or other resources to further to Kingdom?
We wholeheartedly give to others because Christ so generously gave to us!
Have you cultivated your Spirit of Overflowing Generosity today?
The Greatest Commandment: The Very Heart of the Matter
Generosity Web Pages
Generosity Audio Files