Today we're dialing in on the power of radical generosity.
As followers of Jesus, we're called to live as He did, and it's fair to say that Jesus Himself was the most radically generous person to ever walk the earth. Throughout His daily life Jesus would stop to give His time and resources to any person in need, and He also continuously shared parables on the power of generosity, too.
As Christians, generosity is at the forefront of our calling. Since our entire faith is patterned after Jesus, who Himself was a sacrifice for us, bearing our sins and dying on our behalf, it's only fitting that we should incorporate generosity into our lives, too. Not just once in a while, but we should be conscious to establish a daily rhythm of giving.
"A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed." ~ Proverbs 11:25
The foundation of our faith is being others-focused. Throughout Scripture, we're told to put others first, live in community, and focus on the greater good. We were designed to live life alongside other people, and to continuously serve them as we serve Jesus. Our primary allegiance to Jesus requires that we be generous of spirit. As we dive into what it means to be a radical giver, we first have to define what giving really is. To do that, we're first taking a look into Luke 9:1-6.
A Lesson From the Disciples on Living Simply & Generously
"When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. He told them: “Take nothing for the journey—no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra shirt. Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that town. If people do not welcome you, leave their town and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” So they set out and went from village to village, proclaiming the good news and healing people everywhere." ~ Luke 9:1-6
Here we see Jesus calling his twelve disciples at the beginning of His ministry and equipping them to do kingdom work. Many of us are familiar with this story, but upon a second read, we're struck by Jesus' mandate to the disciples. In order for them to follow Him and conduct their ministry, Jesus told them to take nothing with them. In short, to live very, very simply. They could bring no money, no food, no clothing. It's wild to think of this situation happening in our lives. Can you imagine Jesus showing up at your front door, inviting you to join Him in His ministry, but you couldn't bring anything? That's trust. Even more than that, it's a call to give everything we have to Jesus. He doesn't just want some of our time or some of our resources—He wants everything. We must recognize that all we have is a gift from God, and should He call us to abandon our earthly goods and follow Him, then so be it.
But when you think about the reward, it's a startling picture of you allowing Jesus to transform you in an entirely new way. Think of the journey the disciples went on from this very moment to Jesus' death on the cross to their continued ministry in the book of Acts. Their lives were changed forever, and it started with this one, startling event—a simple call to give.
The call to follow Jesus isn't one we should take likely. It will cost us. There will be sacrifices made. Think of Luke 9:23, "Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me." Here we're called to take up our cross, and daily. Essentially, we're told to completely surrender ourselves to God. Everything we have we must freely give to Him. We can't hold anything back. This can be a hard pill to swallow. So many of us are comfortable with our things and our daily lives the way they are. We don't dare entertain the idea of giving these things up! But if you want to answer Jesus' call and let yourself be transformed by the Holy Spirit, and to lead a life of boldness, surrender, and meaning, then we must hold out our hands, and give everything to Jesus.
When we enter into the faith, we are not our own anymore. We are His. It's a beautiful revelation to behold. With this in mind, how do we conduct our daily lives? First, it's about living in step with the Spirit, and inviting God's wisdom into every facet of your life. Ask God if there are specific areas in your life where you need to surrender. Chances are, He'll reveal something to you that you hadn't even considered. The key here is to make space for Jesus' gentle instructions. Second, it's about establishing daily rhythms of generosity. As we mentioned earlier, it's not enough to think about giving once in a while. For us, it must be a conscious practice that we incorporate into our daily lives. We learned earlier that being generous doesn't have to mean that you need to give money or things. Your time is sometimes more valuable! We encourage you be alert and pay attention to those you encounter every day. How can you serve them? How can you be a good friend or co-worker? Finally, set giving goals for each season. This can look like many different things, like weekly tithing to your church or charity of choice, but the goal here is to have a set plan with your family on supporting someone in need that month or season.
When you open up your heart and fully surrender to Jesus, amazing things will happen, and we can't wait to see how He uses you for good!
Put Jesus at the Forefront
We hope this small reminder of what Jesus has called you to can embolden you to move forward in the faith, and to trust Him in every way. If you're looking for other reminders of your faith, look no further than our Christian t-shirts! Shop our selection of our Christian apparel, with collections featuring some of your favorite verses and imagery as a reminder of your commitment to Him.