Be Generous

Be Generous

But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.  (Lk 6:35 NIV, underscoring added)

Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.  (Pro 19:17 ESV, underscoring added)

It is well with the man who deals generously and lends; who conducts his affairs with justice.  (Ps 112:5 ESV, underscoring added)

Justice means fair play, impartiality, objectivity or neutrality.  The Scripture verse shown above (Ps 112:5) talks about a person who deals generously, lends to others, and conducts his affairs with justice.  All of these character traits are traits of the Lord Jesus Christ, who is our example.  (See Phil 2:5; 1 Pet 2:21)

The Lord challenges us to test Him with our generosity just so that we will learn that we cannot out-give God!  (Mal 3:10-12)  It is the only area in which the Lord has instructed us to test Him.  Just ponder that for a little while . . .

The Lord demonstrated His love for mankind by GIVING His only begotten Son to become our Savior.  That was sacrificial love and sacrificial giving on God’s part, and anyone who is a parent understands that completely.

The focus of this article is about the call to believers to be generous—to live a generous lifestyle.  And it’s crucial for us to understand that God the Father gave generously, and Jesus Christ gave generously, also. 

And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’  (Ac 20:35)

When we live a generous lifestyle while here on earth, in obedience to our heavenly Father, the Lord sees it and He places treasure in heaven aside for us as a reward.  (Mt 6:19-21)  God is most pleased when we share what we have with others, especially with those who are needy.  (Mt 10:8; Heb 13:16)

Live generously and with joy!  We believers are being transformed daily into the image of Christ, and this is simply one way in which we may cooperate with the Lord in our own transformation.  (See Rom 8:29-30; Phil 2:13; 3:21; Col 3:10; 2 Cor 3:18)  Blessings upon you!

The Righteous Give Generously

The Righteous Give Generously

Today, I’m sharing a large number of Bible verses that address the concept of giving; and in particular, how generously the righteous give and share with others.

The wicked borrow and do not repay, but the righteous give generously . . . (Ps 37:21 NIV)

The Lord will open to you His good treasure, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand. You shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow.  (Deu 28:12 NKJV)

A good man deals graciously and lends; he will guide his affairs with discretion.  (Ps 112:5)

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

Give to everyone who asks of you. and from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back.  (Lk 6:30)

I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’  (Ac 20:35)

But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.  (Heb 13:16, emphasis added)

It’s occasionally very helpful for us to revisit themes of generosity and giving in order to re-center ourselves in the will of God.  The Lord whom we serve is a God of abundance, prosperity, and overflow.  He loves to bless us and to give us everything that we need and everything for which we ask.

God enjoys seeing us operate and flow in His brand of generosity!  He actually receives glory and honor when the righteous give generously in various ways.  Of course, we all know that one form of giving is financial, monetary giving. 

We can also give and share our blessings with others by:

  • Spending time with them, ministering to them with our presence;
  • Cleaning the home of a disabled person or a senior citizen;
  • Giving someone who needs it but can’t afford it an all-expense-paid vacation;
  • Making some payments on a needy person or family’s mortgage;
  • Paying for a new roof for someone with a leaky one;
  • Praying with and comforting those who are grieving;
  • Driving someone to a medical appointment; and
  • Faithfully praying for God’s provision for those in need.

A major component of giving is faith.  We need faith in God and in His Word in order to give with joy.  As we give, we trust God to bless us when and as we need Him to.  According to Acts 20:35, it is more blessed to GIVE than to receive.

We all can hear from and receive creative ideas from the Holy Spirit on how to give generously.  The Lord loves us to use our own creativity in this area as well, so within whatever means you have, seek God for how you can bless someone else.  Hallelujah!

Treasure

Treasure

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.  (Lk 12:34; Mt 6:21)

. . . but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.  (Mt 6:20)

Sell what you have and give alms; provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches nor moth destroys.  (Lk 12:33)

For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.  (2 Cor 4:6-7)

The Bible tells us in 2 Corinthians 4:6-7 that the true TREASURE to be cherished above all is the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.  That is the treasure that we believers carry around within us. 

Do you agree with the Bible that the knowledge of God in Jesus Christ is your treasure?  Or do you consider your treasure to be your physical health, physical possessions and wealth, or your earthly power and influence?  I sincerely hope not.  All of those things are temporary—brief and impermanent.

The “knowledge of God in Jesus Christ” means that Jesus Christ is your Savior and Redeemer.  It means that you have accepted Him as your Lord.  What a blessed, all-encompassing wealth Jesus imparts to all who have made Him their Savior and Lord.

Jesus is the One who: 

  • Heals the sick: physically, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally (that means He heals each one of us—when we need it),
  • Raises the dead to life,
  • Surrounds each one of us with His supernatural, miraculous, indefensible, irresistible favor as with a shield,
  • Renews our youth like the eagle’s,
  • Upholds and sustains our lives,
  • Bestows abundant prosperity upon us,
  • Makes peace between us and others because He is our Peacemaker and Advocate,
  • Protects and defends us,
  • Never leaves us nor fails us,
  • Provides for us continuously, and
  • Meets literally every need that we may have now or in the future.

The treasure that we each carry within us, of the knowledge of God through Jesus, our Savior is eternal, never-ending and undying. 

It means that each one of us will have endless peace, love, and joy in the presence of our Savior now and for all eternity. 

That is genuine treasure.

The Power That Works In Us

The Power That Works In Us
  1. So when Peter saw it, he responded to the people: “Men of Israel, why do you marvel at this? Or why look so intently at us, as though by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk?  (Acts 3:12)
  2. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.  (2 Cor 4:7)
  3. Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us . . .   (Eph 3:20)

The verses above talk about God’s power, and Ephesians 3:20 says that His power works in us!  Not only does God’s power work IN us, but THROUGH us!  God uses us as His vehicles or representatives to release His power in the earth.

I’m not saying that it’s the only way that God releases His power on this earth, but it is one of the important ones as far as God is concerned.  The first verse above, reminds us that it is not our own power or godliness that produces answered prayer or miraculous results, but God’s power, alone.  We are merely a conduit for God’s mighty power.

The second verse above calls the “excellence of the power” a treasure that we carry within our bodies.  This is a very worthwhile point upon which to meditate:  that we carry the treasure of God’s salvation, mercy, grace, and power with us wherever we go.  Let’s not be shy about sharing Jesus’ power, love and kindness.

What an unparalleled honor it is for us to be able to serve our loving God and Savior!

Out of the Mouth

Out of the Mouth

Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth [words], this defiles a man.  (Mt 15:11 NKJV – parenthesized word added)

But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. (Mt 15:18)

If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are. (1 Cor 3:17)

The definition of defile is:  spoil, sully, impair, debase, or degrade; to desecrate or profane something sacred.  The words that come out of our mouths are capable of defiling us!

From the verses quoted above, we understand that our words can displease God, because we are His holy, sacred temple.  He never wants us to speak words which would degrade us.  Words are the heart’s reaction or response to people or circumstances.  He wants us to respond to all things as He would—with love and mercy.

Jesus is our example in all things.  (1 Pet 2:21-24; Jo 13:13-16)  He has called us to follow Him, as He leads and shepherds us. 

A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good . . .  (Lk 6:45a KJV)  Let us encourage ourselves to speak forth only words which are good and edifying—which bring glory to God and blessings to mankind.

The Treasure of Our Tongue

The Treasure of Our Tongue

There is a fairly well-known book titled The Treasure of Our Tongue authored by Lincoln Barnett, published in 1962.  This is the story of the English language from its obscure beginnings to its present eminence as the most widely spoken language, and it’s a very interesting book.

We, as believers, have another—even better—Treasure of Our Tongue

For the ear tests words as the tongue tastes food.  (Job 34:3, emphasis added)

My tongue will proclaim your righteousness, your praises all day long.  (Ps 35:28)

The mouths of the righteous utter wisdom, and their tongues speak what is just.  (Ps 37:30)

I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.  (Ps 34:1)

He has put a new song in my mouth—praise to our God; many will see it and fear, and will trust in the Lord.  (Ps 40:3)

Hear my prayer, O God; give ear to the words of my mouth.  (Ps 54:2)

I cried to Him with my mouth, and He was extolled with my tongue.  (Ps 66:17)

My mouth shall tell of Your righteousness and Your salvation all the day, for I do not know their limits.  (Ps 71:15)

Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles.  (Pro 21:23)

The treasure of our tongue, from these verses in the Bible, is our ability to praise God daily, and to speak of His righteousness not only to other people, but to ourselves!  Test the words of your mouth and determine if they edify others or put them in a negative frame of mind.  Proverbs 21:23 reminds us that when we guard our words, we keep ourselves out of trouble!

We have been given a new song, a song of praise, since our rebirth into God’s family.  The author of Psalm 54:2 invites the Lord to pay attention to the words that he speaks!  You must be very sure of yourself before you invite the Lord to pay attention to your words. You words would be full of praise and would speak forth the wisdom of God.

Psalm 71:15 states that the psalmist does not know the limits of God’s righteousness or His salvation.  What a positive, faith-filled declaration!  Let us join with the psalmist in lifting our voices in praise to God, and in glorifying His righteousness and his salvation.  This is an honor and a treasure that we believers have been given, so let us exercise it.