ODJ: Generous Hearts

September 25, 2016 

READ: 2 Corinthians 9:1-15 

God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you (v.10).

I opened a letter from our mortgage lender and, instead of a bill, found a check! Our escrow account had accrued a surplus, and the bank had sent us a check for the amount. The previous month had been overly busy, and I had been unable to take on any freelance work during those weeks. But we strived to remain faithful in our giving, and now God had provided. I was holding a check with a value that exceeded what we had lost due to my inability to work more hours.

Discussing finances and giving can be difficult. Jesus told us to not “let your left hand know what your right hand is doing” (Matthew 6:3), something that can mistakenly taken to mean that financial discussions are taboo for the church. While it’s wise to discuss personal money issues at the right time and with trusted people, this doesn’t preclude our need for biblical teaching and correction for our financial practices. Consider how the apostle Paul reminded his readers that generosity is a condition of the heart before it ever reachesthe wallet (2 Corinthians 9:7).

Truly generous people don’t give to gain position or recognition. Neither do they give because they’re attempting to meet the expectations of others (v.7). Instead, realizing that generosity is love revealed, they give as a reflection of the very heart of God. Scripture reveals that God blesses those who are generous (Proverbs 11:25)—those who give with the right heart (Malachi 1:7-8).

God has generously poured out His eternal riches on us. May we give back to Him out of love and share in different ways with others with grateful, joy-filled hearts. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully” (2 Corinthians 9:7).

—Regina Franklin

365-day plan: Mark 15:6-24

Read Luke 6:38 and see what Jesus says about generous giving. 
Have you ever been the recipient of someone else’s generosity? What are some of the barriers—either in your circumstances or in your thoughts—that keep you from giving more freely?