By Jane Fryar and Kristin Schultz
Generous. It’s a description most of us covet. We would like others to think of us as generous. Generous people give, and while money may come first to mind, generosity extends far beyond dollars and cents:
- Leslie loved chemistry and physics—and people! Every freshman in her dorm, sooner or later, knocked on her door to ask for some informal tutoring. Before long, her generosity was known across the small campus where Leslie attended college.
- Claude sat in a wheelchair in the assisted-living center that had become his home. All day. Every day. His situation easily might have frustrated him and saddened others. Instead, Claude was generous with a smile and an encouraging word. He brightened everyone’s day, including his own.
- Nat was always generous with his time. Never in a hurry, he especially enjoyed fixing things. He cleaned gutters for the Navy wife down the block. He hung two new doors to winterize the church entryway. He replaced the headlight in his daughter’s car. And all that, just this week!
Generous. When we hear that word, people like Leslie, Claude, and Nat come to mind. Never, though, will the generosity of any human being outstrip that of our Lord. His generosity gushes like a mighty geyser from the infinite aquifer of his love. God loves. God gives. The two are inseparable.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16 ESV).
By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us (1 John 3:16 ESV).
This is love. Love with no strings attached. Love without conditions. God loves. God gives. Period.
When we consider spiritual gifts in light of our Lord’s generous heart, it takes away all the pressure—pressure to perform, pressure to volunteer, pressure to join, pressure to produce. Instead, we begin to see our spiritual gifts as an invitation, an opportunity, a joy.
Your Lord is not looking over your shoulder, judging you based on how busy you are or on how effectively you are exercising the spiritual gifts you have received. No! Instead, he invites you to serve and joins you as you participate in his one purpose for you:
It is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure (Philippians 2:13 ESV).
Editor’s note: Today’s devotion comes from one of CTA’s brand-new devotion books, One Purpose. It’s specially written to encourage Christian workers and ministry teams. Use the book, and the downloadable retreat that accompanies it, to bring your team together for One Purpose—glorifying our Lord by sharing the love and grace of our Savior, Jesus.
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