Sunday, October 6, 2013

Generosity in the Bible

I was severely curious about giving and generosity in the Bible, so I decided to search the Scriptures with the help of www.biblegateway.com.

Genero(sity) or Genero(us) appears 21 times in the NIV Bible.

1. Deuteronomy 15:10...The instructions for the Sabbath year (every 7 years in the Jewish calender) included directions to give generously and ungrudgingly to the needy Israelites. If the people did this, God would bless them. Do I give generously? Do I give ungrudgingly?

2. 1 Chronicles 29:14...David prayed to God after the people prepared for the temple-building project. David was amazed that he & his people could give generously to the project. He recognized that all their wealth came from God. Do I acknowledge God as the source of my money? Am I grateful for the ability to give?

3. 2 Chronicles 31:5...The Israelites gave generously when they were allowed to give after a period of backsliding. Do I give generously when the occasion arises?

4. Psalm 37:21...The wicked borrow & don't repay. The righteous give generously. Do I repay my loans (if I answer no, I'm wicked)? Do I give generously (do I want to be righteous)?

5. Psalm 37:26...They (the righteous) give generously and lend freely. Their children are a blessing. Do I lend freely and give generously or am I a grudging lender/giver?

6. Psalm 112:5...The generous & freely-lending & justice-living people will have good come to them. Do I live ethically? Am I generous with what I have or stingy?

7. Proverbs 11:25...Generous people will prosper & the refreshers will be refreshed. Do I want to prosper & be refreshed? If yes, then be generous & refresh others.

8. Proverbs 22:9...The generous (who share their food with the poor) will be blessed. Do I share my food with the poor? I am generous with what I have?

9. Matthew 20:15...In the parable of the workers in the vineyard, we learn that people get cranky sometimes when people are generous to others. Are fair & generous always going the same direction?

10. Luke 11:41...Jesus pointed out that outward signs of cleanliness does not clean the inside. A generous spirit towards the poor can go a long way to making clean hearts & actions. Am I generous to the poor or do I scorn them?

11. Acts 10:2...Cornelius was commended for being generous and God-fearing, as well as praying and being devout. How am I known? Am I known for these qualities?

12. Acts 28:7...During Paul's shipwreck, he was shown generosity. Do I show generosity to those down on their luck?

13. Romans 12:8...Paul encourages people to do/use/live their gifts. Generosity is a spiritual gift. Do I resent or snub those who have this gift?

14. 2 Corinthians 8:2(-3)...Paul praised the church in Macedonia for their joy and generosity during trials and poverty. They gave as much as they could and honestly a bit more than they could. Do I have joy and a generous spirit during trials and poverty or do I hoard? Do I give sacrificially?

15. 2 Corinthians 9:5...Gifts should be generous, not grudgingly given. Do I give willingly or resentfully?

16. 2 Corinthians 9:6...Generous sowing leads to generous reaping. Do I give abundantly or sparingly?

17. 2 Corinthians 9:11...We are enriched to be generous & through God's workers, our generosity will lead to praise & thanksgiving of God. Do I give to God's workers? Am I allowing opportunities to praise Him?

18. 2 Corinthians 9:13...People will praise God for our obedience & our generosity in sharing. Do I share the Good News generously with others?

19. 1 Timothy 6:(17-)18...The rich are commanded to not put their faith in their money (but trust in God), do good, and be generous. Do I trust God or trust money? Am I generous?
 
20. Titus 3:6...God has generously poured out His Spirit on us through Christ.

21. James 1:5...God gives wisdom out generously. Do I ask for it?

Take-Home Points:


Do I give generously & ungrudgingly to the needy?
Do I acknowledge God as the source of my wealth? Am I grateful for my ability to give?
Do I give generously when I can?
Am I known for being generous, God-fearing, devout, and prayful?
Am I willing to give sacrificially and joyfully?
Do I trust God or trust my money?

The righteous are generous and lend freely. Good will come to them and they will prosper.
I can be generous with my food and what I have. I can be generous with the Good News.
Others may not like generosity towards others.
Giving can be within or outside of my means.
Giving can lead to God being praised & thanked.
The rich should do good and be generous.

God gives wisdom and His Spirit generously.

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