While you don’t have to be a Christian, read your bible, or attend church to be a generous person and live a life of generosity, there are many biblical examples that provide a great framework for anyone wanting to live a life of generosity.
The Kingdom of God is often completely opposite to everything that we’ve been taught.
- The first will be last and the last will be first – Matthew 20:16
- Humble yourself and God will lift you up – James 4:10
- The greatest is the one who serves – Matthew 23:11
- Love never fails – 1 Corinthians 13:8
One of those seemingly “upside down” kingdom principles that we see Paul addressing with the church in Ephesus in Acts 20:35 is when he quotes Jesus’ words saying “It is more blessed to give than to receive”.
Jesus teaches us that there is something significant that happens in our souls when we give. There is greater joy, greater happiness, and greater fulfillment to be found in God when we give rather than when we receive.
At first, this may be very difficult to understand or even accept but it is much easier to be experienced. It is impossible to out-give God.
Giving is in the very fabric of God’s Character. God is a giver.
- “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16
- “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” – 1 John 4:9-10
- “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” – Romans 8:32
One of the greatest hallmarks of the life of a follower of Christ should be one of generosity. We give because God gave.
Jesus’ life modeled and was characterized by one of generosity. If you are looking for Biblical examples of generosity to help you become a more generous person, here are just a few examples:
1. The Good Samaritan
In one of the most famous parables of the Bible, the good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37), we see how two religionists passed by a man lying half-dead on the road. After being ignored for hours, the man was finally rescued by a Samaritan.
This story is undoubtedly a great example of generosity, and the extra-mile attitude and approach we are called to have in modeling the extravagant love of Christ.
2. Jesus and the Widow of Nain
Jesus’ compassion for one of the less fortunate people was very evident in this particular story in which he raised a widow’s son from the dead (Luke 7:11-17). Her gratitude was so great that when Jesus came out of town, she followed him on her son’s newly-restored cart.
This act of generosity is one that we can all learn from. Not only is it a good example of generosity, but it shows us that generosity starts internally before it ever is externalized. Jesus was moved by compassion (Luke 7:13) and out of that place of compassion was generous.
3. Jesus and the Disciples
Jesus was often criticized for not following the religious norms of the day but instead showing generosity and care for those others overlooked. In both Matthew 9-10-12 and Mark 2:15-22, Jesus invites sinners to eat with him and his friends.
Jesus’ priority was not about keeping up appearances or being overly concerned about what onlookers thought of him but more so with his ability to be generous with his love, his attention, and his time with whosoever.
4. Jesus and Zacchaeus
In the story of Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-10), the tax collector, we see people’s distaste of Jesus for his willingness to befriend and enter the world of a notorious thief and sinner. Jesus shows, again and again, his ability to be generous with his ability to notice those others had overlooked. Jesus’ generosity is so outrageous that Zacchaeus is immediately changed and begins modeling the generosity he has seen modeled by Jesus. Zaccheus gives half of his possesssions to the poor and four times what he has stolen to those he has stolen from.
“Listen carefully to what I am saying and be wary of the shrewd advice that tells us you how to get ahead in the world on your own. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets Generosity.” – Mark 4:24-25
Jesus death on the cross was the ultimate sacrificial act of generosity. As followers of Christ, let us not complicate what it means to live generously. Generosity will often go unnoticed and unapplaud but will always do more for you than it will ever do for others.
Would you make the commitment today to live a more generous life living a life of generosity with your time, money, attention, compassion, and efforts?
How would our communities look if our focus was on what we could give rather than what we could get?
It truely is better to give than receive.
Global Disciples Canada trains local leaders living near least-reached communities to multiply disciples for Christ. One-third of our world hasn’t heard the Good News of Jesus. Yet. Global Disciples refers to these as “least-reached” people, and fewer than 10% of all missionaries work among these groups. We live in a time where many of these people are within reach of a local church. Through our simple and effective training and coaching strategy, believers share the Gospel in their own nations and cultures. Jesus said, “Go and make disciples of all nations,” and we’re committed to doing just that. If you are looking for a Christian mission organization to partner with to become a better disciple and make disciples, connect with us today!