Extravagant generosity is at heart a response to what we know about God – that he is extravagantly generous to us - the giver of every good gift, and the source of life and love. It is also a recognition that all we have comes from God. As the Psalmist writes at the beginning of Psalm 24, “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it”.
In several places in the Bible we are called to imitate God by being generous givers ourselves. Extravagant generosity is therefore about our attitude to giving, much more than it is about the amount we give. In Mark 12 Jesus commends a poor widow who has given just two small coins as her offering. The amount is small (in financial terms), but it represents all that she possesses. Her giving is extravagant because what she offers to God is everything.
Elsewhere in the New Testament we read the parable of the talents, a story about three people entrusted with various resources which is designed to teach us that God’s desire is for us to faithfully, productively and responsibly use those things he has given us.
All of this demonstrates that how we use the things we have matters to God.
Reflect for a moment on your own experiences of giving, whether money, time, talents or resources. From whom have you learned your patterns of giving? How do you feel talking about your money and giving as an aspect of your faith journey?
Today Robert Schnase offers us this prayer and challenge:
Father, may I be generous to all your children.
Help me to give from the heart.
Challenge: Read from your Bible the following passages: 2 Corinthians 9 v6-15, Luke 12: v13-21,
Mark 12 v41-44, Galatians 5 v22 and Romans 12 v6-8. Why do you think Scripture focuses so much on wealth, greed and generosity?