Deuteronomy 15:11 “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.’”
Unfettered generosity is one of the clear marks of the godly. It’s what God is like and it’s how He would have us to be. Jesus showed us this by His life, for we are told “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich (2 Corinthians 8:9).” He gave up the riches of heaven to be born in a stable, work as a common laborer, and then give His life so that we could become rich, joint heirs with Him of the most precious thing there is in heaven or earth: eternal life.
We have been promised that God will supply all of our needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19). Jesus has told us to not worry about our food or clothing because the Father Who feeds every sparrow and beautifully clothes the flowers of the field will certainly meet the needs of those He has made His children (Matthew 5:25-33). And so, the Lord has commanded us to be generous.
This generosity is to be expressed in cheerful and generous giving of tithes and offerings to the church as well as generosity towards those around who are in need. And there are people around us in need, if we will but open our eyes. In the verse above we are told that there will never cease to be poor in the land. Who they are and what they need is something we may need to ask the Lord to show us, and He will show us, if we ask. But then we are to be generous. Generosity is nothing more than a mark of true faith. As we obey God’s command to be generous, we must fight the natural tendency to be stingy with our time, resources, and finances fearing that if we give we’ll not have enough for ourselves. However, to think in that way demonstrates a lack of trust in the one Who has told us clearly that we will reap as we sow. Everywhere we look the Bible gives us this same message. One such example is in the following passage from James 2:15-17: “If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” And then this from 2 Corinthians 9:11: “You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.”
So, do we want to glorify the Lord Who gave His all for us? Do we want to obey Jesus in a very practical way, and by this demonstrate our love for Him and faith in His promises? Then we are to live a life of generosity. It’s the mark of a believer. It’s a mark of those who love God. But it’s nevertheless something we all need to be reminded of as the natural tendency of our flesh wars against the spirit, i.e., the generous, loving, and giving Holy Spirit Who dwells in those who know God.