Why Generosity

Why Generosity?

It's hard to resist a good story. If a story can capture your imagination, it can dominate your entire life. As Christians, we are called to life on the basis of the greatest story ever told — the story of divine generosity. This is a great and vast ancient story, but it is not yet finished. Here's how it happens:

Since time immemorial, God has not only existed but has lived in perfect fullness, joy and fun. In his day, the eternal God did the unthinkable: he created everything out of nothing-as a gift. Whether you think of sand or stars, trees or people, God needs nothing, for "he himself gives life and breath to all men and to all other things" (AP.(compare Deuteronomy 17: 25.)

As the Creator, God is king and Lord of all things. God Himself is the artist of this diverse, beautiful, and dynamic world, so this world should reflect the glory and satisfaction of its creator. But we have rejected God's love and mercy. This led to death and disaster. We've turned away from who we belong to. The claim "the land belongs to the Lord" (Ps.24: 1) has come under attack. It has been reconciled and questioned to the extent that God's earthly kingdom has been plundered and seized. When Adam and Eve rejected God's great generosity and his authority over their lives, they risked and lost everything as they reached out to take away the only thing hidden from their good. As a result of this rebellion, the great song of creation turned into a deafening sigh. This rejection of God's Kingdom caused a rupture in the entire cosmos, because if you could hear it, even stones and trees would begin to cry out from the abyss between the creator and his creation.

What could be done?

God could simply decide to crush his creation, like a disappointed Potter crushing a newly formed ship that disappoints and decides to start over. But he went the other way. God decided to restore everything by giving everything.

The creator of all things will come, including mankind. He comes alone and plunges into chaos, frustration, poverty and shame. He comes quietly, humbly, sincerely. And when he comes, he will commit a gross act, for God will become a man. And finally this man-Jesus, the Promised Messiah and King-suffers, dies, rises and rises. From this we learn the so-called" Gospel," God's good news. After giving Jesus all the power and authority to reveal his rule, God revealed God's Kingdom in what he placed on the cross. "The son of man came not to be ministered to, but to minister and to give his life for the redemption of many" (Matt.20:28). So Jesus ' message about the kingdom is a declaration that God's Kingdom came through God's gift.

So God, who created a good and perfect world, but if the world turned away from him, brought restoration through the gift. The father loved the world and gave his son, and the father and son poured out the gift of the spirit into the hearts of mankind, bringing praise, hope, and a new creation. Those who are united by the spirit with the son will then find that their lives are filled with the glorious gift of God's coming kingdom.

This is the story of God’s generosity. This is the drama that drives us to give.

And the story goes on-this is the drama we live in, and each of us has a role to play. The good news is not only that God has made us recipients of his mercy but also partakers of his movement of divine generosity. So while we wait for what God promised to do in the future, we see and share in the work of his kingdom today.

In Christ we rediscover the gift of belonging to God. When we live in God's gifts, we are free to give to ourselves. Those trapped in this story enjoy God's inexhaustible mercy. People who understand and live in this forgiveness and freedom will find that they also forgive others and will give themselves, their resources, all they have to glorify the Great King and his evolving Kingdom again. Those with such a hope keep their treasure in heaven and look forward to a better Earth - a city whose foundations cannot be shaken. In the present we find that it is a blessing to walk with the poor, to communicate with the meek, to weep with those who weep, and to rejoice with those who rejoice. Together we celebrate the gifts of a rich man and his property, and the widow-his money. This is the God who brings forth life from death, from despair of hope, from weakness of power. God's paradoxes also characterize his people. Those who lose experience gain, those who give real wealth. And now the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ will change this new life of faith, hope and love - a life best lived not in isolation but as a community. As we put giving into this great drama of redemption, we not only urge "to give more," but also encourage us to share in the powerful movement of God's great gifts to the world.


This retelling of the biblical story of  generosity is adapted from Kelly Kapic with Justin Borger, God So Loved He Gave: Entering the Movement of Divine Generosity (Zondervan, 2010)