Bible reading plan Bible reading plan

A Generous Heart

05 November 2023

A hand planting seeds in rows. In the background are seedlings

And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites.  So He said, "Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had."  (Luke 21:1-4, NKJV)

 

I remember growing up, where the concept of generosity was the cornerstone of my family's values.  If someone were to ask me to describe my father in one word, I would say, "Generous."  Throughout my life he consistently emphasised the importance of generosity.  He used to tell me, “To understand a person's character, you can measure it by their generosity.”  I recall asking him as a child, "What about those who are struggling financially?  How can they be generous when they can barely make ends meet?"  His response was, "Son, generosity has nothing to do with what you have but everything to do with what you are willing to give.  It's about the heart behind it."  

 

Those words have stayed with me to this day.  There were times when I felt that some people were taking advantage of his generosity.  When I asked him about it, he replied, “Let me share a little secret with you: I may not know much about God, but what I do know is that He loves a generous heart.  Every time I give and help others, it seems like God multiplies what I have.”  Although my father believed in Jesus, his faith didn't extend to attending church or discussing God and he never picked up a Bible.  Yet, even with his limited knowledge, he tapped into God's system of sowing and reaping.

 

The truth is, our heavenly Father is an incredibly generous giver.  Generosity is not just a quality He possesses; it's His very nature.  No one gave like our Father did.  While many people give for a good cause, to support their church, missionaries or the less fortunate, God gives from Himself.  He gave His only begotten Son to die for us while we were still His enemies.  The idea of giving your only son to die for others is beyond comprehension.  Imagine giving your only son to die for your enemies: now that's generosity based in love.

 

We are called the sons and daughters of the living God, and as such, we should aspire to be more like our Father.  I've encountered people who believe that giving is a way for churches to exploit and take advantage of them, thinking they are only after their money.  However, they fail to understand the heart behind giving.  The Bible instructs us to, "Seek first the kingdom of God, and everything else will be added to us."  By prioritising God in our finances, we need not worry about anything else.  God promises everything else, and that includes our homes, bills, cars, peace, health, and all that we need for sustenance and more.  Remember, Jesus said, " I have come so you can live life more abundantly."  Abundance doesn’t mean "barely making it."  It's crucial to remember that it's a matter of the heart, not just money.  God is not after your money; He is after your heart.

 

In Luke 6, the Bible says, “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.”  Paul also told the Philippians that when they gave to him, he wasn't seeking a gift but the fruit that would abound to their account.

Throughout the Bible, there's a recurring theme of giving.  There's something profound happening when we give; it's a principle woven throughout scripture.  The reason I give is because I want to put God first.  It’s my way of saying, "I trust you in every area of my life, even my finances."   Here's not so much of a secret: God has multiplied what I've given, far more than I could ever ask or imagine, limited only by my capacity to receive. He has provided me with the house of my dreams, something I couldn't have afforded on my own.  Indeed, God can do exceedingly more than we can ask or imagine.

 

If you're reading this and thinking, “But Roy, you don't understand my situation; now is not a good time to give.  I have bills, expenses, children, and mortgages.”  I have good news for you!  Jesus was impressed by the woman who gave the least in monetary terms; she gave out of her livelihood although she was poor, while the rich gave out of their abundance.  In God's eyes, her generosity was the greatest.  When people contribute to the church's offering, the person with the least could be the most generous giver in the church.  Giving is not only monetary, but it can also be time given for the things of God, serving in your church or time spent in prayer. God knows and values the heart behind the gift. He is after your heart, and He can multiply your giving beyond anything you can ask or imagine.


Photo of Roy Tayysoun

Roy Tayysoun

Beirut Team Member