Be Generous. It's Attractive!

Description

Jeff and Beth Jones' daughter, Meghan, shares her philosophies on generosity.

"One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want."(Proverbs 11:24, English Standard Version)

Good morning! Once again, our firstborn daughter Meghan is going to share with you. From time to time, we plan to ask our kids to write an occasional devo to share something the Lord has put on their heart.

We totally believe a generational shift is happening; God is pouring out His Spirit on our 'sons and daughters' and it's refreshing to hear what the Spirit is saying through them. We need to give our young people opportunities to be used, stretched, developed and matured as they are equipped for ministry.

Meghan has her Bachelors degree in Communications and Public Relations, serves as the Communications Director for VFC, is preparing for ministry by attending Rhema Bible Training Center and we are persuaded that sincere faith now lives in her heart. Enjoy!

Generosity is an attractive quality in a person. My parents are the most generous people I know. They give, lend, support, help—and don’t expect anything in return. They've learned to hold on to the things of this world loosely, because after all, they are just “things."

When it comes to generosity, one practical life lesson my dad taught us kids was this: If someone let’s you borrow something, you always return it in better condition than when they gave it to you. For example, when someone lets you borrow their car—even if it’s just for a 10 mile drive—before you return it, you take it through the car wash and fill up the gas tank. And you don't just replenish the gas you used, but you fill that bad boy to the full, until the gas pump clicks, and then you pump just a little extra in.

A generous spirit goes above and beyond the call—gives more than what is expected. A generous person is open-handed because they know that everything they have belongs to God anyway.

The thing about true generosity is it bucks the world's system. God’s economy is not like the world’s economy, which is why tithing is so hard for people. At the word “tithe,” some of you right now are scrolling down to find the “unsubscribe” button because this is getting up in your business. I know, it’s not easy. Our instinct is to hoard. We worked hard for that money. We have a “right” to do with it what we want. No one tells us how to handle our money. At least that’s what the world tells us. But, let’s read that second half of Proverbs 11:24 again, “...another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want.” Again, God’s economy, opposite of the world’s. The world hoards and thinks it gets more, but really just cheats itself. It's not about the money, it's about our attitude towards it.

If you want to live a generous life, start with the tithe. It’s giving 10% of every paycheck or source of income that comes into your life back to God, at the local church you attend. You get to advance the Kingdom—put God’s priorities first—and watch Him do huge things in your life and others’ lives. When we get our priorities in proper perspective it allows us to actually do more with the resources that come in.

I’ve been tithing for 22 years, and not once in my life have I ever regretted it. It hasn’t been easy street. It's not always natural for us, especially when you're making big paychecks and that 10% could do some pretty nice things for you. But I’ve tithed when I had a lot of margin to tithe and I’ve tithed when it meant I had to believe God for the rent and tuition money to come in, and it always came. I’m sure many of you reading this could echo how God has been faithful to provide abundantly in your life as you’ve committed to tithe, regardless of your financial status.

Imagine what we could do, the body of Christ, if we truly understood this life of generosity. It starts in the local church. If every person gave 10% of their income to the local church there is no telling what we could do to help people. Sadly, most people in the church don't actually tithe.

Maybe you 'tried that tithing thing' and it didn’t work for you, or have your doubts because of people who have misused the message of tithing. Well, I challenge you to put that aside and try again. And this time keep giving; give even if it hurts, because every time you do you’re breaking off that spirit of trusting in your money, and putting your trust in God. Eventually it won't hurt anymore, and you’ll become excited to give because you’ll see God’s Word come to pass in your life and be "one who gives freely, yet grows all the richer."

Start with the tithe. Then look for ways to live a generous life outside the four walls of the church. Devise generous things. Look for creative ways to bless people. It doesn’t just have to be with money either. Be generous with your time. Generous with your resources. Everything you have has been entrusted to you by God, so ask Him how He wants you to treat His stuff, love His people and bless this world.

"But a generous man devises generous things, and by generosity he shall stand," (Isaiah 32:8, NKJV).

Say It: “Father, I ask You today to show me specifically what needs to change in my life so I can live a generous life. Thank You for helping me to have the proper attitude toward money. My heart's desire is to be a generous person, not just in money but in every area of my life. I thank You that You meet me where I'm at and show me how to live this generous life. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”


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