Stage 1


"Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously" 2 Cor. 9:6.
Just as God has set physical laws to govern the physical universe, so God has also put into motion spiritual laws which govern human life. One of these is the law of generosity - the principle of sowing and reaping.

The first step in understanding the law of generosity is to see material things as God sees them (Luke 9:25; 12:16-21). As Christians we are now partners with God, but it is important for us to know where our different responsibilities lie:

Ownership is with God

All ownership is with God (Psalm 24:1; 89:11; Job 41:11; 1 Chronicles 29:10-14). Every single created thing, living or not, ultimately belongs to Him, including everything material or immaterial that we may personally have in this life - possessions, careers, families. He is our Master, but this also means He has responsibility as Provider.

Stewardship is with us

We are not owners, but stewards who have been given special responsibility before God for how we use the things He has given us (Matthew 25:14-30). When we understand this owner-steward relationship we have with God, then it becomes easy to give. Generosity is part of our stewardship responsibilities. Our stewardship covers every single thing that "belongs" to us: The key that releases a believer into the full responsibilities of stewardship is surrender - the unreserved giving of one's entire life and purpose into God's hands. Only when we give ourselves do we learn what it means to give of what we have.

Importance of Generosity

"Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires" 2 Peter 1:4.
Amongst all His "great and precious promises," God has given us promises of provision (see Phil.4:19). This promise is not given so that we can "spend what you get on your pleasures" (James 4:1-4). The promises of God cannot be separated from the purpose of God. This "great and precious" promise has been given to us so that we can "participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires."

The Divine Nature

"Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful" Luke 6:36.
God's plan is for us to be like Him (Eph.4:24). God is generous (Matt.7:11; Rom.8:32; 1 Cor.2:12; James 1:5,17). The Lord wants us to express the same kind of generosity in our lives.

The Corruption of the World

"People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs" 1 Timothy 6:9-10 (read verses 5-8).
One of the reasons God places such an emphasis on generosity is because the material lure of this world is a destructive trap. We cannot be both alive to the world and alive to God (Gal. 6:14). We are either alive to the world and dead to God or we are dead to the world and alive to God (James 4:4; 1 John 2:15).
"No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money" Matthew 6:24.

The Grace of Giving

"But just as you excel in everything - in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us - see that you also excel in this grace of giving" 2 Corinthians 8:7 (see also verses 8-15; 1 John 3:17-18).
Generosity is part of the grace of God that flows into our lives. Some guidelines can help us in our "grace of giving": Giving follows a certain order of expression: tithes (the beginning of our giving), offerings (giving for particular needs) and sacrifices (giving that "hurts").


"'Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,' says the Lord Almighty, 'and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it'" Malachi 3:10.
Tithing is an important lesson in giving. But there are three things we need to understand before our tithing pleases God. The firstfruits is the first and the best. If we bring a tenth of our income to the Lord, but it is the "leftover" tenth, this is not a true tithe (Proverbs 3:9-10). In the Bible, the firstfruits of a harvest was accepted by God on behalf of the harvest. This is why Jesus is called "the firstfruits" (1 Cor. 15:20,23). He represented the whole harvest before God and was accepted by God on behalf of the rest of the harvest. In the same way, our tithe is given as a representative of our whole income and our whole lives.

Our generosity brings great pleasure to God. It was the sacrificial giving of the Philippians (read 2 Corinthians 8:1-5) that brought with it a promise of God's certain provision:

"...They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus" Philippians 4:18-19 (read also Luke 6:38).


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