Healthy Leaders


Imitating Our Generous God

Mark AltroggeMark Altrogge

I love to bless my kids and grandchildren, and I’ve been known to be a bit liberal now and then, like most parents and grandparents.

Once when my daughter was around seven, my wife and daughter and her little friend were shopping in Walmart, and my wife heard my daughter say to her friend, “My mommy never lets me get anything, but my Daddy gets me anything I want!” Translation: Mom teaches me self-restraint; Dad’s a soft touch.

My consolation is that my Heavenly Father is generous. He loves to lavish His children with blessings. He promises to bless us when we meditate on and obey His Word, when we take refuge in Him and when we trust Him. But He also promises to bless us when we’re generous to others, especially to the poor.

Blessed is he who is generous to the poor. (Proverbs 14:21)

Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will repay him for his deed. (Proverbs 19:17)

God abounds in loving kindness. The Gospel is the story of God’s generosity: He gave His Beloved Son, a fount of a thousand blessings, to enrich bankrupt sinners. The whole earth displays God’s lavish character. There are between 15,000 and 20,000 species of butterflies worldwide, almost 28,000 known kinds of fish, and approximately 40,000 species of spiders, most of whom are in my basement. God didn’t create only red, yellow and blue – he created alizarine crimson and saffron and periwinkle. He’s profuse, bountiful, extravagant, and open-handed.

When we are generous it brings Him delight because He sees His own liberality shining through us.

As Proverbs 19:17 says, God repays us when we give freely, but He may not bless us in the way we expect. He may fill our souls with joy. He may open our children’s hearts to Him or He may heal us. Hey, I’ll take these things. If you water others, God will water you, and when God waters, He drenches.

Believers should be the most generous people on earth. Give something to someone in need this week, then wait for God to surprise you.

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