If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
When someone is born again, they begin a new life and are adopted into the family of God. This new child of God, in whom the Holy Spirit now dwells, begins increasingly to display characteristics of the Father. In other words, over time God’s children should grow to resemble their heavenly Father.
One prominent feature of who God is—an aspect of His character displayed throughout Scripture—is His generosity. James says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father” (James 1:17). Paul makes a similar point with a rhetorical question: “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32). Our Father is generous, and it is the assumption of Scripture that God’s people will be too. This applies to all of our lives—including, of course, our finances.
God-honoring generosity is displayed in response to God’s grace. This is important, because so much talk of and thinking about finances goes awry at this very point. Any attempt to encourage ourselves to give to gospel work that doesn’t begin with the grace of God is flawed from the start. It almost always results in the kind of giving in which God has no interest: the joyless type. If we give because we’ve been coaxed into it, we will be giving not with gladness but with a grudge. Begrudging giving says, “I have to.” Dutiful giving says, “I need to.” But thankful giving says, “I want to.” That is the approach we should aim to take.
Growing in this kind of generosity requires growing in gratitude for God’s grace. If you want to be more Christlike in your giving, you need to understand that you have absolutely nothing that you did not receive, from your physical existence to your faith in God and everything in between (1 Corinthians 4:7). It is all of grace. Knowing that, how could you and I respond with anything but joyful generosity?
This means that if we are stingy with our investment in gospel ministry, it may reflect a shallow grasp of God’s character and goodness. The what, where, when, why, and how of our giving says something about our relationship with God and our commitment to Jesus Christ. Our banking records can speak volumes.
Ask yourself, then: What do my financial habits say about my commitment to Christ and my grasp of God’s grace? What will change if my giving is an overflow of my gratitude to God for all He has given me? God is a giver, and He gives His children the calling and the joy of being like Him.
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Devotional material is taken from the Truth For Life daily devotional by Alistair Begg, published by The Good Book Company, thegoodbook.com. Used by Truth For Life with permission. Copyright © 2021, The Good Book Company.