Friday, December 31, 2010

Character: A Spirit of Generosity

The generosity of our God is an awesome thing to behold; as we do, our own character is sweetened with a spirit of giving that blesses all! Love and generosity walk hand in hand throughout the scriptures. God’s Word opens with the story of Creation—a world created for and entrusted to mankind. John 3:16, the foundation of our faith, tells us “God so loved…He gave.” Thankfully, God’s generosity is not tied to our merit for in Hosea we read, “I will heal their backsliding, and I will love them freely…” The generosity of God is His character: nothing we do makes God love us more or give us more. He always loves us perfectly and gives to us all we need. His call is constant and the scriptures close with an invitation for us to drink freely at the river of life. The generosity of God flows eternally and transforms our character when we receive it!

Abundance is a truth woven throughout scriptures! God does all things well and abundantly. Christ came that we might have abundant life. Jesus told His disciples, “Freely you have received, freely give.” So what have we received; what can we give? All of scripture and the touch of the Spirit are needed to explore the treasures God has given, but our souls will be excited with even a glimpse of His gifts! The obvious gift to begin with is the redemption of our souls. Though we all have chosen to go our own way, the love of God paid the price to restore us to Him! He has loved us wholly as we have trampled His gifts. Forgiveness, grace and mercy are all rolled into the redemption concept. What treasures those are to share in a hurting world!

Simply considering how our world would be sweetened by forgiveness, grace and mercy is a breath-taking thought. Imagine ill-timed words and actions covered by a love that forgives the hurt caused! Consider the blessing of giving "Grace:"  the beautiful taste of God's Spirit: love, joy, peace, a willingness to suffer, kindness, gentleness and mercy offered to another! Do you know anyone who needs peace today—confidence in God’s love and power? Or perhaps someone who is drowning in the darkness of this world who needs you to sit in the mess with them giving a gentle touch of love? Giving mercy--seeing and meeting a need rather than condemning and punishing would bear precious seed. This world is abundant in need; what need can you meet today by sharing the blessings of Jesus you have received? The words of Christ to freely give are preceded by some miraculous things: “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils.” When we share Jesus—when we share what we have received—His Spirit is freed to work in and transform more lives…what a privilege to embrace.

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.  Ephesians 3:20-21

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