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Living Generously By Ed McDowell

The Heart of Living Generously

Living generously as Christ’s follower comes from believing that God always has more to give to meet a need.  

God is inviting us to let His abundance flow through our lives to meet the needs of others while making sure we have what we need along the way. 

 Our response to this invitation is intended to be a willing one, from the heart, not forced in any way.

The Apostle Paul says it like this in 2 Corinthians 9:7-8; 10, 11 NLT

[7] You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” [8] And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.

[10] For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you. [11] 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.

Reflection

The idea of living generously has been manipulated by people seeking personal affluence on the backs of other’s giving. This has created a healthy skepticism about the nature of the needs being presented to us and the use of the funds given for the stated purposes.

We need to discern the integrity of who and what we give to. We also need to guard against withholding generosity in the way we live.  

It is worth repeating that God is inviting us to let His abundance flow through our lives to meet the needs of others while making sure we have what we need along the way.

Encouragement

Living generously is an act of trusting God.   It recognizes the overflow of provision in our lives, limits our needs and wants, and gives generously to others. 

This is a mindset, a willing choice, and a decision of the heart to live this way. Show up every day with generous actions planted into your life circle. The results will surprise you. 

Yes, it requires good stewardship. It is freeing to receive God’s invitation to give out of the overflow of our needs being met. 

Next Steps 

What are your answers to these questions?

  • Do you trust God with the invitation to live generously with your life?
  • Will you consider describing what you need to be taken care of (since there seems to be no limit to what we would like to have)?
  • Will you share out of the overflow of your life with others for their needs to be met?
  • Will you consider living generously from a willing heart?
  • Will you thank God for the opportunities to be generous in everyday life?

Prayer

Dear Jesus,

Thank You for the powerful words of Paul that connect us with Your heart of generosity that willingly led You to the cross to pay for our sins. You are the ultimate example of generous living. Then, You followed up with the unexpected abundance of the resurrection!

Thank You for inviting us to give out of the overflow of our lives. 

Help us to live generously every day so others will come to know You. 

For those of us who ask people to be generous, may we have integrity of heart and motive. May we never be manipulative or self-serving. May we stay focused on inviting people to respond to the meaningful work You have called us to steward?

May all who follow You be people who live generously towards others daily.

In Your name, Jesus, we pray,

Amen

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Ed McDowell is the CEO of Warm Beach Camp Ministries. He also coaches and consults in board leadership and development to bring fresh perspectives to perplexing situations. Ed authorizes a devotional series titled A Well-Planted Faith in an Uprooted Culture. His writing and speaking aim to challenge people to have God’s Word inform how they live. Ed and his wife, Bev, live on Camano Island, Washington, where they live out their mission statement: “To give our lives away for the cause of Jesus Christ to as many people as possible.”


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