“ But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit upon his glorious throne…Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.” – Matthew 25: 21, 34-36.
Generosity is commonly associated with tithing to a church or an organization. When we look at the generosity of the Bible, though, we see it goes deeper than just the amount of money we’re willing to donate. It starts with the generosity of God.
Many people do not view God as generous. Somehow we got the idea that if we begged God for help and if we were good enough, He might show us a little mercy. The opposite is true, God is amazingly generous. He made the first move of generosity toward us. And the second move and the third. God was the first and is the most generous Giver of all.
He went above and beyond anything we could have imagined. God loved people so much that He gave. He gave His best (John 3:16). He gave His Son for you and for me. This act of generosity began in His heart first. He loved so He gave. Titus 3:4-6 says, “When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior.”
Jesus sees the love in our giving. Jesus was in the home of some friends when a woman came in and poured very expensive perfume over His head. Her generosity was significant because of the value of her gift: it was a great sacrifice and it revealed the depth of her gratitude. Jesus pointed out that this kind of generous gratitude and worship was to be forever connected to His followers.
We are most like God when we are generous and that generosity is tangible. Instead of speaking about money in Matthew 25, Jesus mentions food, water, clothes, and love. In 1 Kings 17, a widow offers the prophet Elijah her flour and oil, even though it’s all she has. It is a tangible, sustainable gift—not a financial one. In the same way, we can volunteer our time and resources in place or in addition to our finances.
Biblical generosity is also cheerful. God doesn’t want gifts motivated by a sense of duty or obligation. He wants us to give out of joy and compassion. If anyone knows generosity, it is God—who gave His Son to us freely, even when He knew we would abuse the gift. Our generosity should be founded in love, not duty.
No one is more generous than God. He’s the greatest giver of all time. And we should acknowledge that fact every day. “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ.” (Ephesians 1:3)
- What excuses do people sometimes make for not being more generous with their resources (time, money, and energy) toward others? What excuses have you made?
- Can you remember a time when your resources were very limited, and God provided for you?
- Identify one practical way you can be more generous in the weeks ahead.