Written by Stephen Cox
What should generosity look like in the life of the believer? The people of God learn what it means to be generous from God, for He has a generous heart. God is not stingy or reluctant in His giving. He loves to give and is happy to bless. He takes great delight in providing for His children.
In the gospel, we are recipients of God’s lavish generosity. The cross is the standard of God’s eagerness to give. It is the guarantee that He is willing and able to provide all that we need.
‘He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?’ Romans 8:32
Generous Gospel, Generous People
As we receive God’s lavish generosity in Christ, we are, in turn, made a generous people. Ephesians 5:1 calls believers to “be imitators of God, as beloved children.” We imitate the compassion and generosity of our Father by taking notice of the needs of others and seeking to meet them. When we see the cross as the standard of God’s generosity, we understand that our giving, as well, should be marked by liberality, love and sacrifice. When we understand that God is happy in His giving, we too become eager and joyful in ours.
When we trust God to provide perfectly for all our needs, we are set free from fear and are glad to give for the good of another, even if it means giving to our own hurt. When we understand that Jesus entered into the poverty of the human condition on our behalf, our hearts are gripped with love and compassion for the poor. We become willing to forsake the comfort and entitlement of our circumstance and to meet them where they are. When we understand that being a child of God means being a part of the family of believers, we are happy to care for brothers and sisters in need. The gospel makes us a people of joyful, willing sacrifice.
When we understand the gospel, we are set free to give with joy from a pure heart. We no longer strive after the temporary treasure of man’s approval, nor are we consumed with the love of self. We give out of a compassionate, joyful heart that mirrors the heart of our generous Father. It is one of the reasons why we never “pass a plate” around during our Sunday meetings, which may coerce you to give. Instead we encourage and challenge each other through the scriptures to grow in our generosity with integrity.
If you are a member of our church, you’re part of a family, and each family has financial needs. There are costs associated with church life and these are covered by God’s people, members of God’s family in our church. If you consider this to be your church family, please give generously to provide for its needs. There are several ways to give to church:
– Direct Debit is where you authorise the church to debit an amount from your bank account or credit card at regular intervals. If you want to use direct debit, please catch up with our Treasurer, Brian Michaels. Church account details are available on the back of your outline.
– Likewise, you could use the Red Toolbox. One use for the Red Toolbox is to give to church by cash or cheque. As someone needs to count the cash and bank the money, we prefer direct credit or direct debit. These other methods also encourage regular giving, even when you miss church.
More information for regulars can be found at: www.waggaevchurch.org.au/giving
The stewardship of our finances is a tremendous—and often overlooked—area of our lives where we can faithfully proclaim the gospel. Giving strengthens our devotion to Christ and frees us to live open-handedly with the gifts God gives us. We trust in Him and His provision instead of our perceived self-sufficiency. As people of faith, we give faithfully and generously.