THE SPIRIT OF GENEROSITY
In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'” (Acts 20:35)
A story was told about some currency notes gathering to exchange their experiences. The hundred ringgit and fifty ringgit notes boasted about where they had been: first class travel and cruises as well as top concerts and restaurants. The twenty and ten ringgit notes told about their time on car rides, family holidays and theme parks. The five-ringgit note spoke about being in cinemas and school canteens. The one ringgit note was rather subdued. When asked where he’d been circulating, he said: “O the same old places, you know: church, church, church!” We laugh. But its true; some churches give niggardly. God has however raised churches in our land with generous spirits. Skyline is such a church! We have a generous spirit!
What is a spirit of generosity? It is more than action. It begins in the inner recesses of our hearts and incubates a posture of knowing that surplus is not security and that all that we have belong to God. It carries an inner conviction that money is a means to an end and never an end in itself. Such a spirit is concerned about the Kingdom of God and seeks to sow possessions and resources into the Master’s work. Its primary motive is not monetary returns or recognition. It is simply seeks to bring pleasure to the Master. It sees God take and multiply our giving beyond our wildest dreams. A spirit of generosity is a spirit of faith!
Generosity and tightfistedness bring different ends. Abraham was a giver. Lot was not. One became a father of nations and faith. The other was caught up in a materialistic world that entrapped and destroyed his family. Barnabas sold his land and gave away all he had. His impact on the early church was huge. Ananias and Sapphira feigned generosity and lied about their gift; they and their ministry met a premature end. When Zaccheus was saved, he gave half of his goods to the poor! Contrast with the rich young ruler who didn’t even part with a single cent of his money and walked away from Jesus sorrowful. Eternity rings Zaccheus’s name! The rich young ruler.. remains, well.. the rich young ruler: unknown, anonymous and pitied!
2016 YEAR OF STRENGTH
PsDr Philip Lyn