Daily Encouragement: Year 2, Day 47

From Handbook to God’s Promises


How Generous Is God?
(1 Timothy 2:3–4)

“What does she want?” we may wonder as we watch a generous person in action. “I’m going to keep my eye on her; she’s got to have some ulterior motive.” 

Why do these thoughts come to us when we see someone acting generously? Perhaps because we have too often observed people (including the one in the mirror) with mixed motives behind their generosity. If they give, it is ultimately with the purpose of receiving. If they share, it is only because they have kept back plenty for themselves. If they have a tip to pass along, they have checked it out for their own advantage before relaying it to others. Those are, unfortunately, our initial suspicions when we see an act of generosity. But after spending time around that person, we may discover that she is truly generous. No secondary motives, no hidden agendas, no well-planned moves on the chessboard of life and relationships. Just . . . well, generosity.

How do we decide that a person is truly unselfish in giving? He or she doesn’t play favorites, gives with no strings attached, gives more than is expected or required, and rejoices in another’s good fortune. Truly generous people want everyone to have whatever good fortune he or she has experienced. Conversely, generous people are never envious of good fortune that goes to another person.

In a word, generosity describes God. In requesting prayers for the spread of the gospel, Paul says that God “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:4). Is salvation to be had? Then proclaim it far and wide! Is forgiveness of sins available? Then tell every guilty one to come and be set free! Is there a bubbling spring of cool, living water? Then bring every parched and thirsty soul! God is generous! 

Like God, truly selfless people discover that their kindness empties them of the need for self-protection or self-promotion. Like God, they become defined not by what they keep, but by what they give away.

God’s Promise:
He promises to give you all that He has and all that you need.