If we really understood how good things happen to those who are generous, we might all be a little more generous to others.
Blessed by Giving
God often uses others as a means to bless people, and so it is with believer’s who know enough to help when they see the need, but something more happens…sometimes later, or sometimes sooner…the person who gives is blessed. It may not be financial blessings but maybe a new relationship, a new opportunity, or some other blessing that comes unexpectedly. Solomon writes about this subject, saying that “One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want” (Prov 11:24). The one who holds tight to what they have cannot receive back from God. Only open hands can give and only open hands can receive. This means that “Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered” (Prov 11:25). Many I know are blessed by giving to others, but they don’t give just so they can get more. They understand that, “Whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed, for he shares his bread with the poor” (Prov 22:9), and “Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed” (Prov 19:17). When you see the generosity of others, you can see for yourself that “Whoever gives to the poor will not want, but he who hides his eyes will get many a curse” (Prov 28:27). You reap what you sow…but you also reap according to how much you sow.
There is no excuse for the Christian to neglect his or her immediate family. Maybe that’s why the Apostle Paul wrote that “if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Tim 5:8). The Bible clearly teaches us to “look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Phil 2:4). If we ignore the needs of our brothers and sisters, it is just like neglecting Jesus Christ because they’re part of the Body of Christ. What affects them affects Him. The Apostle John wrote that “if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him” (1 John 3:17)? That’s a great question. Love is a verb. It’s what you do, and if we fail to do anything, especially if we have the means, then to us…it is sin. Jesus said that “when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind” (Luke 14:13), but don’t’ do it so you can get paid back later. Those who have little no nothing are probably not going to be able to pay us back, and besides, we don’t give in order to get. Jesus said if you give, just for the benefit of helping others, “you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just” (Luke 14:14).
Old Testament Poor
The Old Testament laws made provisions for the poor of the land. They were allowed to glean the corners of the fields for grain or any that might be left over after harvest (Lev 23:22), but it also says, “you shall not strip your vineyard bare, neither shall you gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the LORD your God” (Let 19:10). These laws were not part of the Mosaic Law but part of the civil law of Israel. Just as there is today, there were poor in the land. Some became poor due to bad choices, but others from circumstances beyond their control. God knew that, and so He said, “If among you, one of your brothers should become poor, in any of your towns within your land that the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother” (Duet 15:7). God knew that there would always be poor in the land. The Scripture says as much: “For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land” (Deut 15:7). God wanted the Israelites, and I would imagine He wants us to remember where everything we have comes from. The Apostle Paul wrote, “What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it” (1 Cor 4:7), therefore, “You shall remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day” (Deut 8:18).
When a believer faces Jesus Christ for the final judgment, it won’t be for their sins, but with respect to what they did for Christ while here on earth. Jesus sees you helping others as doing it unto Him (Matt 25:40). Many will claim to know Jesus Christ on the Day of judgment, but those same many will be turned away (Matt 7:21-23), having either done their works to be seen by others, or having done nothing for Him at all (Matt 25:40). Either way, their fate is sealed if they do not repent and fully trust in Christ. Whatever we do here on earth, God “will render to each one according to his works” (Rom 2:6), and “to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life” (Rom 2:7), however, “for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury” (Rom 2:8).
Generosity is contagious. When you help someone, they might help someone too, and thus, it keeps paying it forward. Like ripples on a pond, our generosity extends beyond what we can even see, and like ripples, they return again to us in some other way. There is no doubt that God blesses those who bless others. When it comes down to it, Jesus says we must “give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you” (Luke 6:38).
Article by Jack Wellman
Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is a writer at Christian Quotes and also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Christian Crier or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.