Generosity in the New Testament
Jesus did more than talk about generosity; he lived it out
by sharing his healing powers, providing food for thousands, and being available
to anyone. The Apostle Paul in his letters to the early Christian community
encouraged all Christ-followers to live generously.
We have different gifts, according to the grace
given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance
with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if
it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give
generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it
cheerfully. Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be
devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.
2 Corinthians 8:1-7
And now, brothers and sisters, we want you
to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. In the midst
of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled
up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able,
and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with
us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord?s people. And they
exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and
then by the will of God also to us. So we urged Titus, just as he had earlier
made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part.
But since you excel in everything - in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in
complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you - see that you also
excel in this grace of giving.
1 Timothy 6:17-19
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. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a
firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that
is truly life.