The Generosity of God
…the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. (Ephesians 1:7-8)
In the week that Mike wrote this, he and his wife were on the receiving end of a substantial gift from someone who wanted to share an inheritance with them. How grateful they were for the donor’s generosity! But then God reminded Mike of how he had felt when a colleague had received a gift earlier in the year but when he hadn’t. He remembered that he hadn’t been as excited about generosity on that occasion!
We all love generosity – as long as it is we who are on the receiving end. Jesus told a parable that touched on this attitude in Matthew 20. A caring landowner gave work to those who needed it and agreed to pay them a fair wage: a day’s pay for a day’s work. As the day went on, however, he became more and more generous. Each worker, regardless of how long he worked, was paid a day’s wages. Each received what he needed in order to keep his family, not what he deserved on a strict hourly rate. Those who didn’t start work until the eleventh hour (5 p.m. by our reckoning) were excited by such generous treatment – though those who had worked from the beginning of the day complained it wasn’t "fair." But the landowner simply replied that he wasn’t being unfair, but more-than-fair. His generosity had exposed the hearts of mean-minded people.
God is still as generous today. The riches of His grace are freely promised and available to all, regardless of what we have been or done. The miracle of grace is that He doesn’t deal with us according to what we deserve or have "earned," but simply according to His kindness and generosity – a generosity that is still available to all today.
‘If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!’ (Matthew 7:11)
© Copyright 2017 Martin Manser and Mike Beaumont