Ministry personnel - pastors, missionaries and others who work in ministries are often asking others to give generously to their ministries. In fact, they and their ministries are dependent on the gifts and generosity of others. 

I have a belief that those who see their needs met are usually those who live a life of generosity themselves. That is because God responds to our generosity with His generosity. Paul indicates this in 2 Corinthians 9:6-9 "Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written: 'They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor: their righteousness endures forever.'"

I often want to ask missionaries who are raising support: How generous are you? I have met many Christian workers who say, "My time and energy are my generosity" as if financial generosity does not  apply to them as well. I don't know why we in ministry should expect God to bless us with the financial needs we have if we ourselves are not living generous lives, financially and otherwise! 

In fact, I believe that those in Christian work ought to be the very models of what it means to be generous - regardless of what they make. We of all people understand the theology of generosity that comes from a generous God who has made us heir to all of his riches and glory through redemption and salvation.

Pastors and missionaries may rationalize their lack of generosity with the fact that they make less than others. In fact, many people who are generous don't make a great deal of money. Rather, they have cultivated a lifestyle of generosity. I have often met with people over the years to thank them for their giving to ministry only to find out that they are people of very modest means who have chosen to give generously to God's work. Each time, I am deeply humbled by their commitment and joy of giving. 

A life of generosity on all fronts reflects the gift of Jesus to us - He who gave up everything so that we could know Him. No matter how much or little we have, why would we not want to reflect in our lives the generosity that God showed to us and continues to shower on us?

Want to have all that you need for life and ministry? Sow abundantly. Live generously. God will and does respond. 

  • Jan 22, 2012
  • Category: News
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