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If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 2 Cor 5:17

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Go to the source! Discover what the Bible says about …

These pages are designed to aid study or investigation for Christian discipleship through individual Bible study, Cell groups, Home groups, or meeting one to one.  The questions could be used alone allowing each person to use their own Bible.

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Introduction

Generosity is a precious characteristic of God.  It is also a beautiful fruit of knowing God. Generosity is not governed by rules, going beyond what is expected or given by right. Stinginess says, I might not have enough, and holds back.  Generosity gives, knowing that the Lord will in turn look after our needs.


Bible Zone

What does the Bible say about generosity? How does the Bible talk of giving, and giving generously? How does the Bible encourage us to be generous or to give generously? Here are some thoughts -


God’s Generosity

God is generous.  He shows His generosity both to those who like Him and to those who hate Him.  His generosity can be seen through His graciousness, and that He gives gifts to all His children.  Jesus tells of the Father’s generosity in Matthew 5:45.

  1. How does the Father show His generosity?
  2. Why does God show generosity both to evil and good?


Matthew 5:45  In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.


Example of Early Church

Look at the example of the generosity of the first church in Acts 4:32-35.  Note their attitude to their possessions.

  1. With what generosity did the believers treat one another?
  2. Why were they sharing with one another?


Acts 4:32-35   32 All the believers were united in heart and mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had.33 The apostles testified powerfully to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and God's great blessing was upon them all.34 There were no needy people among them, because those who owned land or houses would sell them35 and bring the money to the apostles to give to those in need.


God responds to generosity

God who is generous delights in those who have the same attitude.  He backs them up.  Have a look at 2 Corinthians 9:6-9.

  1. To what is generosity equated?
  2. Why would God be looking for people to be happy in giving?
  3. How does God respond to the one who is generous?


2 Corinthians 9:6-9     6 Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop.7 You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don't give reluctantly or in response to pressure. "For God loves a person who gives cheerfully."*8 And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.9 As the Scriptures say,

"They share freely and give generously to the poor.

  Their good deeds will be remembered forever."*


Join God in generosity

God is generous and desires us to join with Him in His generosity.  See how Paul continues with 2 Corinthians 9:10-15

  1. What outcomes does God look for in His generosity?
  2. How do we benefit through joining God in spreading out His gifts?


2 Corinthians 9:10-15   10 For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity* in you.

  11 Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God.12 So two good things will result from this ministry of giving—the needs of the believers in Jerusalem* will be met, and they will joyfully express their thanks to God.

  13 As a result of your ministry, they will give glory to God. For your generosity to them and to all believers will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ.14 And they will pray for you with deep affection because of the overflowing grace God has given to you.15 Thank God for this gift* too wonderful for words!


Principles of Giving

Through our giving we show our hearts.  2 Corinthians 8:3-14, speaking of the Macedonian’s attitudes, shows some key principles that give some perspective.

  1. What was the attitude of the Macedonians in their giving?
  2. What does ‘they gave themselves to the Lord’ mean? (V5)
  3. Note v8 there was no command.  Why is that significant?
  4. What are the principles of how much and to whom we give? (V11-14)


 3 For I can testify that they gave not only what they could afford, but far more. And they did it of their own free will.4 They begged us again and again for the privilege of sharing in the gift for the believers* in Jerusalem.5 They even did more than we had hoped, for their first action was to give themselves to the Lord and to us, just as God wanted them to do.

  6 So we have urged Titus, who encouraged your giving in the first place, to return to you and encourage you to finish this ministry of giving.7 Since you excel in so many ways—in your faith, your gifted speakers, your knowledge, your enthusiasm, and your love from us*—I want you to excel also in this gracious act of giving.

  8 I am not commanding you to do this. But I am testing how genuine your love is by comparing it with the eagerness of the other churches.


11 Now you should finish what you started. Let the eagerness you showed in the beginning be matched now by your giving. Give in proportion to what you have.12 Whatever you give is acceptable if you give it eagerly. And give according to what you have, not what you don't have.13 Of course, I don't mean your giving should make life easy for others and hard for yourselves. I only mean that there should be some equality.14 Right now you have plenty and can help those who are in need. Later, they will have plenty and can share with you when you need it. In this way, things will be equal.

BE GENEROUS