Friday, June 16, 2017

Living Generously and Loving Graciously

It’s the Holy Spirit alone who can inject into our hearts the love which is essential to generosity.  As Paul said in Romans 5:5, our “hope does not disappoint us [Why?  Because it’s centred in the Son of God and resting on the rock of His promises!  Our souls are confident and secure:], because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.”

Living generously and loving graciously does something amazing for three different sets of individuals.

 I.  For others.  [a] It relieves their need.  [b] It can restore their faith: in God and man, in the Father of mercies and those made in His image.  A gift of graciousness and generosity at precisely the right moment can show another human heart that kindness and compassion are not dead after all.  [c] It can result in thanksgiving; it can move them to gratitude.  “This service not only supplying the needs of God’s People but is overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God,” 2 Corinthians 9:12.  As we bring the love of God to bear on the lives of others, it just might spark the fire of love for God in their souls!

II.  For ourselves.  Here’s what living generously and graciously does for us.  It puts the stamp of authenticity on our apprenticeship to Jesus.  In the case of the Achaians, this was especially important.  No doubt the Jerusalem Church, the mother from which all these congregations had been birthed, was still predominantly Hebrew, and they might still be looking at Gentiles with suspicion, they might still be wondering if they were as solid a part of the Body as themselves.  The “gracious gift” of the Achaians and Macedonians, their “service to the Saints” in Jerusalem, must have been a marvelous thing in the eyes of the Jewish believers.

When men and women are generous it allows others to see their Faith has been translated into action!  This alone may win us the passion and prayer of other believers.  “Because of the service by which you have proven yourselves, your faith, and your love, men will praise God for the obedience which accompanies your confession of the Gospel ...and for your generosity in sharing with them....,” 2 Corinthians 9:13.  There is nothing in this world as valuable as community, and generosity is a major step on the Path to genuine connection between human beings made in Abba’s image.

III  For Abba.  Graciousness and generosity result in prayers of gratitude ascending to Him.  And what a beautiful, beautiful thing!  “In their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you,” 2 Corinthians 9:14.  Others benefit from our good deeds and glorify the God of Heaven.  Those who have benefitted from the riches of God’s grace should not hesitate to benefit others with the blessings of His grace.  Because we’ve received by grace the spiritual, we should give by grace the material.

Paul closes this section of Scripture with a reference to the greatest Gift ever given, the Son of God Himself!  He say’s, “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!,” v. 15.  The word Paul uses here means- ‘unspeakable, unable to recount or to tell fully.’  The Gift of Abba’s only Son, the Gift of Redemption which He purchased by His sacrifice on the Cross, the Gift of Life which He secured by His Resurrection from the grave, the Gift of Authority and Eternity which He offers by His Ascension to the Throne, are unspeakable, indescribable.”  They are unable to be recounted in their completeness.  No one will ever tell of His glory and greatness fully.  No one.

Jesus Messiah, the Redeemer, Savior of our souls and Lover of our lives, is the Gift whose wonders will never be exhausted and whose Story will take an Eternity to tell.  How can we who have been so generously given by God, who have been so ‘graced’ by God, be anything else but generous and gracious with our fellow Men?

Ric Webb  |  Shepherd
Heart’s Journey Community
9621 Tall Timber Blvd. |  Little Rock, AR 72204
t +1.501.455.0296
Heart’s Journey – Live Generously and Love Graciously