Good morning all!
It is Thursday…which you know means it is almost Friday. More importantly…we are one day closer to SUNDAY! Do you love Sundays?!?! I just love them. I get to spend Sundays with some pretty amazing people. I am so excited and blessed that God has brought me to my church. I thank Him often, as I am blown away by their generosity. And I don’t just mean financial generosity or tangible gifts. There are people within the walls of my church that are teaching me, by example, to be generous with my time. They make themselves available whenever ministry happens. These people I am blessed to know are generous with their encouragement. They are generous with their affection. They are generous with their covering of prayer. They are generous with their blessings. Generosity comes in so many different avenues!
The main road from which ALL avenues of generosity should stem…is the heart. Willingly AND happily giving because God has asked, is not a pre-requisite. IT SHOULD BE…but you are surely ABLE to give with the wrong heart condition. You can give a compliment and expect a return. You can hold out the blessing God has asked for you to give, with a hand clenched, and a icy glare. Almost challenging the recipient to dare take that which God has instructed you to give to bless them. We can always mess up God’s blessing. Think about this though…
Let’s pretend that you are asked to bless someone with a financial/tangible gift. You do it…but your heart is NOT into it. You give begrudgingly. You talk behind the recipients back about how they should’ve been smarter with their finances. You hold your hands out. One with the blessing. One with your own expectation. A return. You are waiting for the groveling at your feet. For the million pleading thank you’s. And if your unspoken expectations are not met…you deem them ungrateful.
What, besides the obvious heart issue, is wrong with that mentality? Why is it even something we should try to remedy? YOU. ARE. THE. ONE. THAT. IS. CHOOSING. TO. NOT. BE. BLESSED! When you, with the right heart, bless someone with words of affirmation, gifts, meals, time, prayers, etc…you ARE blessed in return. When you aren’t expecting it because you are ‘entitled’…I promise it will absolutely floor you. It is all about your heart condition. We give generously because God does not hold back. His scale is already tipped one way on what He deserves compared to what we do. His resources are nothing like ours. We give as He leads…because we trust HIM! If we don’t give when
He asks…I would say not only is it a heart issue that MUST be addressed…it is also a trust issue.
Can God replace what He has already given you if He asks you to give it up? YES! That might be the whole point of the blessing. A teachable moment! He can use anything to stretch us in our faith/trust.
Are we willing to change? I pray so!
Let’s look up some verses to help prove God’s point for today. I don’t want you to take MY word for it. Dive into HIS! Don’t set out to prove me wrong…set out to prove Scripture to be right and relevant in your heart of generosity.
“One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly(which means excessively), but comes to poverty. A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.” Proverbs 11:24-25 Keep giving when God leads. Keep blessing with right heart motives. God promises you WILL be taken care of. You will be refreshed. You will gain even more. Those are the inspired Words of God…not of Vanesa! Unfortunately I don’t have the resources to give all that this world needs…but, thankfully, I have access to someone who absolutely DOES! And maybe, just maybe, the gift you give is not at all about the gift. Maybe, instead, it is about showing the heart of Christ to someone who is silently struggling. Maybe this small act of obedience on your part is meant to be a turning point for the person receiving it. Maybe they are just waiting for someone to truly and openly live the heart of Christ before they themselves become sold out for Him.
You see little. God sees ALL. Who’s perspective do you trust?! Let’s set up a picture in your mind.
You know how I LOVE to do that. I want this to stick! I don’t want it to be easily forgotten!! Put yourself at the top of the Grand Canyon. Place a camera in your hand. Put your eye up close to the teensy-weensy view window. Put your head down and focus on one of your own feet through the eye of the camera. You can see only where you are standing at that moment. You can’t see the next step. You don’t know where you might stumble. You can’t see the beauty that comes after years of shaping. You don’t know where danger is. You don’t know what lies ahead…because you only see your own focused, little path. One shoe. Tattered. Beaten. Tired. How can you take a step of faith to give, what you have been given mind you, when you don’t KNOW what is to come?
Now take the camera down to your side. Look up. Open your eyes to the beauty that lies ahead. Trust that even though you don’t know how to shape this impossible rock…you know One who does. He’s not asking you to figure it out. He’s not even asking you to try. He’s asking you to trust. Give freely…and trust without question. You see little. God sees ALL and it is beautiful!
“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.” 1 Timothy 6:17-18
We can’t allow the world to out-give us. Some of the most generous people I know are spiritually lost. =( How sad that makes me for them…and also for the example that we, the church, are not living up to. I understand that this not a competition. I’m not trying to make it out to be. How can we expect the world to learn Godly generosity without an example? Notice the title of today’s post. Contagious generosity. I would say the opposite side of this coin is infectious hoarding.
John 3:6 says, “Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.” Radical generosity is contagious! It is exciting! It is humbling. When you listen to the Holy Spirit that lives within you…it gives new birth to that generous mentality in others. OR…you stay in your flesh. You withhold. You talk about how you had to work hard for what you have…and you deserve to be comfortable. And those words, that mentality give birth to others to live in the flesh. To only see in the natural. You choose what type of birthing coach you want to be. Choose carefully. Choose wisely. One will bless you. One will keep you stagnant and in wanting.
Extravagant generosity. What causes a Christian to be just that? Extravagantly generous! Simple. God. They are concerned with pleasing God. They are concerned with giving back to God what He has blessed them with. It is the anonymous man who walked into the Christian Academy that my children attend for grade school. He asked a simple question. “What is the amount needed to pay off your newly finished school building?” He wrote one check. He had extravagant love for children he might never meet. That is the type of generosity that is contagious. He did not require a plaque in his honor. He quietly and confidently offered a check written out with six figures (BEFORE the .00)... to bless a community of the next generation. You do not have to compete. If someone like this man wanted it to be about the amount for competition…I would know his name. Instead, I am clueless. I am thankful. I aspire to be that faith-filled with my abundance!
How can you be contagiously generous today? It doesn’t have to cost you a dime…but it may. =) My family and I were the recipients of MANY MANY blessings last week. I was overwhelmed by the goodness of God! I was humbled at the specific gifts that God gave. I was floored by the them all. Each of them surpassed the need…and even covered what I hadn’t even asked God for. He saw the need…and He raised me a few wants. Lol! So this week…will I choose to let that generosity be contagious? Or will I let it die? Will I let that Spiritual blessing give birth to the out flowing of many more spiritual blessings?
I command contagious generosity in all forms to flow freely in/through me this week! I want people to know that I adore Christ when they meet me! I’m praying for you to have opportunities just as I am me. I want divine appointments to be evident to you. I’d love to hear about them too!!! Please?! Ha-ha! Until then…love to love ya!
Words have power. Written words provide proof. You can read them, and reread them whenever you want. They can speak life to someone who needs encouragement. They can speak death to someone who is being deceived. The choice lies within you. How is it that you want people to remember you? Encourager...that is the gift that God has laid on my heart. To use my written, spoken, and/or sung words to lift people up. To be one link in their road to healing, restoration, joy. I have been without those things, and I claim them to be mine again. If you want me to seek God on a prayer for a specific situation...that is why I am here. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to pray God's Word of Life over you.