Fresh Hope – 26th December 2019

The Christmas spirit can motivate us to be generous, and while this most definitely isn’t a bad thing, our giving should include and extend beyond the festive feels. The Holy Spirit invites us into a lifestyle of generosity. 

Being made in the image of God, who is unfathomably generous, it is in our nature to be people who are open handed and open hearted. Does God want us to give everything away? No! He blesses us for us sometimes, and He also blesses us so we can be a blessing to others. That is the beauty of walking with the Holy Spirit – we discern day-by-day, opportunity-by-opportunity what is for us to partner with Him on. 

When we talk about generosity, it isn’t just referring to just giving away money. Generosity with finances is certainly something God calls us to, but equally He invites us to be generous with encouragement, the honouring of others, with time, and talent. 

A person with a generous spirit will actively, and attentively look out for the needs and genuine interests of others. They will eagerly look for an opportunity to display generosity. At the heart of generosity is a desire to honour God, and honour people…And not that we just do it for this – but naturally there is a blessing and fruitfulness when we do give. Why? Because generosity is a sacrifice, and God is drawn to sacrifice. His fire and favour rests on sacrifice. 

A closed hand cannot give out, and it also cannot receive. A closed hand cannot sow, and it cannot reap. But as God opens His hands and heart towards us, we too can open our hands and heart towards others – yes, Christmas time is a great time to do this, but also beyond. 

In Acts 2 we read of a church family where miracles, signs and wonders were a regular part of the church culture. 

Acts 2:43, ‘Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done…’

As the church witnessed the generous hand and heart of God, it overflowed into their personal lives. Acts 2:45, ‘They sold their possessions and their goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need’. The power of God is evident here because Jesus became much more important to them than their possessions. The person next to them who was in need became much more important than what they had. They lived attentive to the needs of others. 

In the spirit of Christmas, and in living a life that is Spirit-led, consider the sacrifices you can make in 2020 in order to display greater levels of generosity – is it offering your time and talent? Giving money? Spending time with someone that isn’t ‘easy’? Thinking of yourself less and developing an awareness of others more? 

If you’re struggling to maintain a generous lifestyle, then first discover the generosity of God toward you and you will find it difficult to not emulate His goodness.

Emma Burchell

A daily devotion for a better way of living.