(this transcript has been lightly edited for readability)
Well, we are walking our way through the beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful themes of Proverbs. I mean, if you want a portrait of life as beautiful as it can become, read the Proverbs! It’s just a portrait of the good life, and part of that is this theme of generosity.
Now, you know if you’ve read the Bible, that the whole Bible is a generosity story. It could be captured by nine words in John, “For God so loved the world that He gave.” God is, in all ways, a giving God, generous, generous in creation. Look at the gorgeous world that He gave to us.
Generous in His revelation-look at this amazing book, the Bible, and it’s glorious heart-rescuing, life-changing wisdom.
Generous in the gift of His Son and in that Son is a guarantee that if God would give us His Son, won’t He give us everything else that we need?
Generous in the gift of His grace: rescuing, convicting, forgiving, transforming, empowering, delivering grace.
Generous in His wisdom.
Generous in His moment by moment care. This One who rules heaven and earth would say, “You come, you cast your cares on me because I really do care for you.”
So, it makes perfect sense that this would be a theme in Proverbs. Now, it is possible to miss the presence of this theme and the dominance of this theme because of the way that the Proverbs talks about it. This is Proverbs 3:9 and 10. “Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the first fruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.” Whenever you see the phrase, “Honor the LORD with your wealth,” He’s saying, “Do something more with your money that spend it on yourself . . . Honor the LORD with your wealth.”
Well, that means asking the question, “With the ultimate in wealth, God being the richest Being in the universe because He owns everything, what is it that God does with His wealth?” He pours His blessing down on us; He meets our needs. He’s a giving generous God. Honor Me by following me in the way you think about what you have.
What makes you more excited? A $100 in your pocket or $100 that you can give to somebody and change their life, even if just for a moment? Be honest, how hard is it for us to honor the Lord with our wealth? Proverbs 14:21 says this, “Whoever despises his neighbor is a sinner, but blessed is he who is generous to the poor.”
Now, how could we be anything less than generous if we know where the Biblical story goes? Here’s where it goes, this is 2 Corinthians 8:9, “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you by His poverty might become rich.” God met us, the One who is rich in every way, met us in the poverty of our sin; how did He meet us? He became poor so that we, through that experience of His, might become eternally rich. If that’s the inertia of the story, if that’s where this story is going, then how could we not honor God with our wealth?
The Proverbs would say, “The key to generosity is to know that what you’ve been given doesn’t belong to you; it belongs to the Giver. Use it His way!”