“The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.” Proverbs 11:25-26
The above verse declares an incontrovertible principle of Scripture, God rewards generosity. Scripture is filled with references to the generosity of God. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16. Romans 8:32 speaks of the generosity of God as well, “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” Ephesians 2:4 says, “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us.” Of Jesus the Scripture says, “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.” One gets the clear truth that God is generous, and that He calls those who follow Him to emulate His spirit of generosity.
When he walked on this earth Jesus told his disciples in Matthew 10:8, “…freely you have received, freely give.” Again, in Luke 6:38, Jesus lays out the standard of God in our giving, “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” Finally, in Matthew 5:42 Jesus says, “Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.” The spirit of generosity that Christ calls for should spring from the hearts of people who are thankful for the generous ways in which God has dealt with us. Our generosity should be grounded in our gratitude that God, who is rich in mercy, saved us, not because of us, but because He is a loving and generous God. This giving should be reflected not just in financial matters, but believers are called to be generous with our time, talent and treasure as well. The spirit of generosity should be a trademark of all believers, in all areas of life, including being generous in forgiveness and grace.
The Apostle Paul tied the subject of giving to the law of reaping and sowing. In 2 Corinthians 9:6-7, Paul wrote these words, “But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give, not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.” Paul says that our giving should be as we purpose in our heart, and that if our giving can not be done willingly and cheerfully, it ought not to be done. He then reaffirms the law of sowing and reaping. Paul reaffirms this law in Galatians 6:7 with these words, “Be not deceived, God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap.” Two truths here to be kept in mind, one, that which is sown reproduces after its own kind, and two, you always reap more than you sow.
One of the most abused verses in Scripture is Philippians 4:19 in which Paul tells the Phillipian believers, “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Many Christians that attempt to claim this verse have no biblical right to do so, because they do not understand to whom it was written. The qualification and context of this verse is found Philippians 4:15, “Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only.” The generosity of the Philippian church to Paul at the start of his ministry was the condition that enabled Paul to declare that God shall supply all their needs. This is not a promise to the stingy, recalcitrant believer who gives grudgingly if it all, this is God’s promise to those who have learned to be generous as an act of gratitude for all that God has done for them. Living generously is one of life’s great pleasures, for those who have learned the joy that generosity brings. We are never more like our Savior than when we give of ourselves. If we were accused of being a generous Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict us? We can only hope so. Live large, and live generously, God does.