The call to generosity stems from God’s heart to reach out to us. God gave Jesus to us so that he may make us givers after his kind. God’s generosity is not meant to stop with us but extend through us to others. As Paul says, we are created for his good works. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10 NKJV).
Generosity should not just a nice character trait that people have. It is right at the heart of what our faith is all about. God has poured out his generosity to you in Jesus (John 3:16), and you are called to respond in faith and generosity to others.
Psalm 37:21-31 touches on aspects of generosity. Generosity should not be an occasional act; it should be a way of living. The generous are ‘always generous and lend freely’ (v.26). The Lord delights in those who live like this (v.23). You may hit “problems and stumble but you will not fall (v.24). God’s promise is to bless you and your children (vv.25–26).”
Verses 25-26, describe the righteous as being very generous “I have been young, and now am old; Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, Nor his descendants begging bread. He is ever merciful, and lends; And his descendants are blessed.”
In Luke 6:30-31, Jesus further touches on generosity. He says, “Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back. And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.” Then in verse 35 he adds, “But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil.”
Dorcas epitomizes generosity. Her generosity would shame many believers. She was said to be “full of good works and charitable deeds.” Paul said our works are evident to all (2 Timothy 5:25. Dorcas was an example of a believer whose good works were evident in life and death. When she died, Peter was invited to Joppa to pray for her. When Peter arrived, all the widows surrounded him with the evidence of the garments and tunic she made for them. God seemed to have honored her by making her an example of a post-resurrection believer. Dorcas’ testimony was a source of great harvest in Joppa (Acts 9:36-43).
Generosity attracts blessings to us therefore we must be intentional in the act. “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” (Luke 6:38 NKJV). I don’t think this passage refers to monetary giving alone but extends to other things we give. Whatever we give to others returns to us one way or another.
We return to our original text in Acts 17:25 to remind us that we are created in God’s image to be givers. God is not “served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.” Since God gave us life, breath and all things we owe him gratitude, service, obedience and worship.
May our prayer be that God would make us givers after the image of our Heavenly Father.