It’s easy to miss a few words when they are nestled in the familiar …
“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16, NLT)
“For God loved the world so much that he gave.”
It was love which made God give to the world. God is a generous God, giving freely. He gave us what was His and only His. Through His Son, He gave us what we could not obtain on our own.
This generosity was most costly to Him for it was a true sacrifice.
The very character of God causes Him to be giving. Could it be that when we are generous, giving to others, we become more like Him?
Paul, in writing to the Corinthians, encouraged them to be generous in helping others. In so doing, something began to occur:
“But they were also filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed in rich generosity.”
(2 Corinthians 8:2, NLT)
Their joy resulted in generosity, which resulted in increased joy, which resulted in increased generosity. They gave cheerfully knowing they were giving as unto God and as God wanted them to do (verse 5).
Paul tells them their generosity will work in their lives beyond their expectations:
“Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God.” (2 Corinthians 9:11, NLT)
Our generosity is matched by God’s generosity so that we can continue to be generous. He does not bless us so we can hoard the blessing. The blessing is meant to be shared so it will increase.
Jesus taught about generosity …
“Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full – pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap.”
(Luke 6:38, NLT)
Those listening in that day understood Jesus was speaking of grain merchants. The generous grain merchant would fill the grain container to the top. But he would not stop there. He would then press it down, shake it hard so that it would settle and make room for even more grain to be added. The grain would then spill over.
The grain would be for food consumption and/or planting. Either way, it yielded more. And it was for many people not just the buyer.
“At its best, giving is an act of worship.”
(a colonel under the command of General George Washington)
May we be a people who are giving.
And may it be an act of worship to our God,
who loved the world so much that He gave.