Be Generous

By Pastor Teck Uy

Many are specially blessed by the Lord with riches. They are living in abundance and we see no evidence that they will ever be in need any time soon. In fact, they take pride in their riches as these provide extra power and influence in the world they are living in. In view of this general attitude, the apostle Paul admonished preachers of the gospel to “command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life” (1 Tim. 6:17-19).

It is a fact that the rich tend to depend on their riches and let their money talk. In the process, they display some forms of arrogance and they claim the glory for what they have attained. They are oblivious of the Lord’s warning: “You may say to yourself, ‘My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.’ But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today” (Deut. 8:17-18). If we are able to understand this truth, we can be more grateful for whatever we receive as blessings. Likewise, this will prompt us to continue to put our faith and trust in the Lord for his continuous provisions. And because we receive these out of the grace of God, we willingly and joyfully share these blessings with others.

In many instances, generosity was espoused in Scriptures for a good reason. The Psalmist cited some benefits of being generous when he said, “Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely, who conduct their affairs with justice. Surely the righteous will never be shaken; they will be remembered forever. They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the LORD” (Psalm 112:5-7). Giving generously to others will be greatly rewarded because such an act falls under the principle of sowing and reaping. If we sow our seeds generously, we shall also have a great harvest. As a result, no bad news will ever shake us because we know that there will always be a harvest time for us. Often, harvest comes at a time when we are most in need. Surely, our labor in the Lord is not in vain. Therefore, let us keep sowing our seed in the lives of people around us and we will reap a great harvest not only in this life but in the life to come.

Sharing our material possessions with those who are less fortunate is the best investment that we can ever make. By doing so, we are actually investing in the kingdom of God. Jesus himself emphasized the importance of knowing where to invest your treasures. He said, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt. 6:19-21). Many invest their treasures in material things – houses, cars, jewellery and businesses. But all of these can be stolen or lost through misfortune. No wonder many rich people eventually found themselves bankrupt in the end.  Their treasures were not enduring because they were invested in the wrong place. On the other hand, treasures that are invested in heaven will be lasting. The benefit will not only be received here on earth but in heaven as well.

In the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31), Jesus presented the horrible end of those who are only rich in this world and not rich in heaven. While the rich man had all the luxuries that this world could offer while still alive, he ended up in hell after his death. On the other hand, Lazarus who was denied the enjoyment of life here on earth ended up in the bosom of Abraham after his death and was being comforted. Needless to say, the return on Lazarus’ investment was far better that that of the rich man because Lazarus will be able to enjoy it for eternity. The rich man was able to enjoy the fruit of his earthly investment only for a few years. Therefore, let us invest in the kingdom of God and be blessed for eternity. Let us be kind to those who are really in need and be generous to them. Hallelujah!