How to be More Generous

When you hear the word generosity where does your mind go?

Giving your money? Maybe material goods?

Generosity is so much more than just giving our money. God has given us a perfect example of how to give of ourselves.

Yes we can give, and should, of our finances. But what about being more generous with our time? How about generously giving mercy to others? How about we just give what God calls us to and trust Him with the outcome!

Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.” Luke 6:38 (NLT)

When God called me into youth ministry my first thought was, “Lord, I’m not qualified!” My second thought was, “To be honest God, I don’t really don’t have the time.” I told Him I didn’t have the time but this is the same God that made the sun stand still. He is capable of giving me time. I just didn’t want to give it.

As we all know time is a very valuable commodity!

In typical God fashion when I finally submitted and gave my time and my limited abilities God multiplied everyone of them.

So I have to ask, when asked to “share” do you tighten your fist and say NO like a child who doesn’t want to share their favorite toy? I get it, it can be hard when we’ve worked so hard for something we think is ours and we’ve earned it. But let’s be honest is it really ours?

But we have to unclench our fists so that we can allow God to do the work he intended with our generosity.

How to be More Generous

Do you know the funny thing about a tight, clenched fist? It’s not open to receive either. What we think we’re holding onto desperately is keeping us from the gifts that God wants to give us. It’s time to roll your fingers back even if it takes a little bit of effort. Go ahead – try it. Is it hard? Are you finding it difficult to say, “Here it is God, whatever you want me to give I will?”

We’re fooling ourselves if we believe we were created for an easy life. But there’s no need for despair because we were also created for a life of abundance. I know that seems to contradict itself but it doesn’t when you think stop and think about it.

What the world thinks of as abundant and easy isn’t the same as what God’s word promises us.

A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance. John 10:10 (HCSB)

We want to hold on to what we think is ours when in all reality what God has for us is so much better. Yet it doesn’t always make it easy to make the right choice.

So often we just think about the cost to ourselves because it’s human nature. Unfortunately we are a selfish being without Christ. So when those times come up and we’re struggling to let go of something go ahead and tell Jesus it’s hard.

We can't out give God!

I am so ready for all of us to stop pretending we’re perfect and everything come easy. He doesn’t want us to hide it from Him! He’s not waiting for us to be perfect. He simply wants us to come to Him. Even in our struggles – especially in our struggles!

Outside of Christ it is impossible to truly give in love. Thankfully, Jesus tells us when we freely give it will be freely given to us.

I’d love to hear from you! Are there certain areas of your life where generosity comes easier? Anything that is super hard to let go of for you? Let’s bring it out into the light and let God work it out within us.

I’m sharing this post with several other blogger’s at these Faith Linkups. I encourage you to check them out. If this post resonates with you and feel it would help others please feel free to share. Easy to share buttons below. ~Laura~

 

God’s Best is Truly Best

Do you ever think of God as some kind of Genie in a bottle? Or maybe even hope for it?


“C’mon God, I really need that new car!”
“I’m sure this job is what would really be best for me, God.”
“Could you please just make this person fall in love with me so I can finally be happy?”


Okay, I realize that sounds a little silly but how many of us come to God with our well laid out plans and say, “Here they are, make them happen God.”


I’ll be the first to admit I’ve been guilty of that in the past. I still have to do a heart check daily to make sure I’m seeking and putting His will in my life first.


“If you want to hear God laugh just tell Him your plans.” Woody Allen


God has put dreams and passions in each of us. He’s not withholding good from us when things take longer to come together than we hope. Even when things don’t go the direction we feel would be best for our life, God’s best is truly best.


For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Eternal, “plans for peace, not evil, to give you a future and hope—never forget that.
Jeremiah 29:11 (VOICE)


All too often we spend so much time making our plans before we even talk to God. Instead of the frustration of making our “to do lists” as well as the pro’s and con’s of each endeavor, let’s simply ask God first.


He loves us more than we can fully understand! He wants us to be complete and have a full, abundant life.


Our view of a full and abundant life needs to be viewed through the lens of our mighty God who is able to accomplish more than we could ever ask!


May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.  Ephesians 3:19-20 (NLT)


Am I the only one who’s ever struggled with the idea that maybe God’s best isn’t really what’s best for me? Sorry if I burst any bubbles with that statement but I just want to be honest.


How about when God whispers to you as you’re about to eat something that looks and smells so yummy, “Not my best for you”? I’ve heard that and decided God didn’t know what He was talking about in that moment. Surely popcorn that smells that good and is loaded with butter and salt was the best for me right then. “Trust me God, I’m sure of it.”


God isn’t forceful. He just nudges at us to point us in the right direction. What we do with that nudge is our free choice.


My choice that night wasn’t the best for me. Oh how I paid for that choice all night. Miserable stomach ache. He wasn’t try to deprive me. He was trying to spare me the pain.


I’ve also been through a time in my life where I was pretty sure I didn’t deserve God’s best so there wasn’t any point in believing or asking.


I pray if you’re at that point in your life you’ll give God a chance to whisper to your spirit that His best is truly best. We deserve it because when we believe and accept Him we’re given the *rights of children*. (John 1:12)


As a mom, I know I want the very best for my kids. I also know that sometimes what they want and what’s best for them doesn’t line up.


Lord, help me to not throw a tantrum when I don’t get what I’m sure is best for me. I want to trust You completely, knowing that You want me to live a life of fullness IN You. Guide me to where You want me to be each day so I can serve fully in the work of Your Kingdom. In Jesus name, Amen.

A Generous Spirit Can Grow Weary

Do you ever get tired of doing good for others or even for yourself? Just flat out tired of giving your best and ready to throw in the towel? I’d say most of us desire to have a generous spirit and willingly step out in faith to the assignment He has given each of us. It doesn’t mean we’re exempt from the humanness of exhaustion though, physically or mentally!
I truly wish that every day was sunshine and roses as we put our feet into motion walking out the calling the Lord has put on our lives. Maybe it is for others but I have days that can be downright difficult as I follow God’s assignments for me.
God doesn’t call out us into the deep waters of service and then wish us the best as He walks onto the next person. No! He knows full well we’re going to need Him and that’s the point. If we could do it without Him we’d believe it’s all about us instead of the truth of how God saves, not us.
Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2 (NLT)
It has been an exhausting month in my life. I truly love what God has called me to do but there have been many days over this last month that I was physically exhausted and even more so mentally. I wish I could tell you that I walked through it with tons of maturity and grace. Unfortunately I’ve been known to need a pretty good fall to make me realize that once again I’m trying to do it all in my own strength.
But…God is faithful and I hear Him whisper “Come to me” much quicker than I did in the past. He wants to help us. Not just get through our assignments in life but live the John 10:10 life of “life abundantly”.
I don’t mean that our workload is necessarily any lighter by man’s terms but I often find the spring returning to my step and my spirit renewed to the point I feel new energy. We remember we’re not in this alone! God is with us and WILL help us do His will.

Keep pushing forward my friends and lift each other up along the journey!