Long after his resurrection, Jesus was quoted as saying it’s more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35). In other words, there’s greater joy in it, greater fulfillment, and more pleasure. And according to a promise he gave his followers, there’s no way to give without receiving back from God and others in some form or another: “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Luke 6:38 NIV). Or, as is often said, it’s impossible to out-give God.
We serve a generous God. Scripture not only tells us that; we experience his extravagance daily, if we open our eyes to it. So if we want to be like him, we will become exceedingly generous. If we simply want to remain recipients of his gifts . . . well, he still gives them because he’s generous. But the heart that longs for God isn’t content simply to observe him; it longs to become like him, to participate with him in his nature. And his nature is to lavish his goodness on others.
Generosity is a key characteristic of the culture of the kingdom. To be like God is to celebrate the giving spirit, to naturally flow outward to others, to enjoy the delight of those who receive. When we take on that spirit, we not only fit into the kingdom culture, we reflect the nature of the King. And what we receive in fulfillment far exceeds what we could possible give in gifts.
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