Tim Owens, pastor
Fellowship Baptist Church, Chickamauga
The dictionary gives us the definition of generous as “showing a readiness to give more of something, as in money or time, than is strictly necessary or expected.” Do you realize that God expects us to be generous? If we look at the etymology of the word “generous” it takes us back to a late 16th century Latin word generosus meaning “noble and or magnanimous.” The original sense of the word was “of noble birth” or a “characteristic of noble birth.”
I am a child of the King. The King of all kings! I believe a characteristic of every child of the King should be our generosity. We should be generous with our love, our time, and yes, our finances. When we give generously of the resources God has provided us, it allows us to live out our faith and let God know our trust is in Him and not in our resources.
When we view our money in the way God wants us to look at it we find He blesses and expects us to bless others with it. What a wonderful way to express our trust in God!
Be Generous with how God has blessed you – Proverbs 11:23-26
At first glance, this passage of scripture does not seem to refer to finances. Instead, I believe it speaks about the intent of the heart. You see, having money or not having money is not good or bad in and of itself. However, what we choose to do with money can be good or bad.
When we stop and realize everything we have belongs to God, that should help us put our view of money in the right perspective. When we are selfish and try to hoard our money it seemingly shows an issue of our heart. We are selfish and it shows we don’t trust God like we should.
Do we not think God is big enough to take care of us? Verse 23 says, “The desire of the righteous turns out well, but the hope of the wicked leads to wrath.” To be righteous is to act like God. It is to be morally right, good, decent, and just. As a righteous person our desire, or our longing, is to do what is right.
This takes us back to Deuteronomy 28:1, “Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth.” In Deuteronomy 28:15 it says, “But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you.”
These two verses describe what some scholars call the deuteronomic code, or principal. In essence it says if you do what is good and honorable in the sight of the Lord He will bless you, but if you do what is wrong or wicked in the sight of the Lord it will bring about God’s judgment. Jesus even tells us in Luke 6:28, “bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.” We are to have a heart like Christ and be generous with what God has blessed us with.
Honor God by how we handle our money – Proverbs 11:27-29
In who or what are you trusting? Matthew 6:21 says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” If you are trusting in your wealth you are more likely to be selfish and stingy with your money. You might be afraid to give because you “might need it.” But if we are trusting God with all parts of our lives, and that includes our money, then we recognize that God will take care of us.
One of my favorite verses comes from Matthew 6:33, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” If we will truly seek God and His will first, God will take care of us. In the book of Hebrews it admonishes us that “the just shall live by faith.” This is true for us in every part of our lives.
King Solomon gives us the same truth in verses 27-29. Search for what is good. Don’t trust in your riches or your wealth. Trust God with what He has blessed you with and use it to honor Him. It does not matter if you have a little money or a lot of money. What matters is what we do with it.
We can tell God everyday that we trust Him, but do our lives really show that we trust Him? A wonderful way to live out our faith and to show God we completely trust Him is to wisely and generously give of our finances.
We can even take that thought further. If we truly want to honor God and trust Him and live by faith in Him we will give generously of all we have. Our time, talents, and our finances.
Live it out
- If the world could see all of your finances, would they see that you are trusting God with everything you have?
- Are you honoring God with your generosity?
Let me encourage you to use what God has entrusted to you to invest in and bless the lives of others.