How often do you notice the generosity of God shown to us in nature? Just take this wayside picture from Jersey Island, despite pouring rain, there was beauty all round and in the cobwebs knitted into the heather were seemingly dazzling jewels dripping like diamond necklaces – thrilling if we have eyes to see. God’s nature is a generous one which can be seen in the multiplicity of acorns, conkers, chestnuts, sweetcorn, wheat, lighting, sensory abilities, herbs, fragrances, music and, of course, people. Unsurprisingly, the generosity of his nature is unending, not least to us in the grace and mercy we find he gives us.
- ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life’ – John 3:16
- ‘But when the kindness and love of God our Saviour appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Saviour, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life’ – Titus 3:4-7
- ‘If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you’ – James 1:5
- ‘But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us’ – Romans 5:8
Can you imagine that? Someone with everything gave up everything … for you?! This generosity is God’s heart demonstrated to you in every way. We’re told that God lavishes his love upon us by calling us his children (1 John 3:1) – adoption is perhaps the ultimate definition of generosity. What about us, as his children – generous or stingy?
- ‘Many men are capable of doing a wise thing, more a cunning thing, but very few a generous thing’ – Alexander Pope
- ‘I'm a good person, I hope. But I'm never as good as I want to be, never as nice as I want to be, never as generous as I want to be’ – David Tennant
- ‘Be happy with what you have and are, be generous with both, and you won't have to hunt for happiness’ – William E Gladstone
- ‘Sometimes when we are generous in small, barely detectable ways it can change someone else's life forever’ – Margaret Cho
Well here are a few incentives to be of a generous nature too:
- ‘Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely, who conduct their affairs with justice’ – Psalm 112:5
- ‘A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed’ – Proverbs 11:25
- ‘The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor’ – Proverbs 22:9
- ‘Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously’ – 2 Corinthians 9:6
- ‘Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you’ – Luke 6:38
Generosity is a choice, whether we feel rich or poor.Dolly Parton’s comment may help: ‘Funny thing is that the poorer people are, the more generous they seem to be’.In the light of all we have received, let’s choose the generous route and notice God’s generosity to inspire us as we walk through his ‘nature’ that it may become ours.
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