Monday, May 23, 2016

Generosity and the Fruit of the Spirit

Yesterday I had the privilege of preaching on “Joyful Generosity” from 2 Corinthians 8-9.  You can hear or watch the message at

For joyful generosity to occur in our lives, we must be filled with the Spirit because joy is a fruit of the Spirit.  This truth got me thinking about the other fruits of the Spirit and how they tie into generosity.  Here are my thoughts on that:

Love: We give because we love God and we love people and want to financially help people that don’t love God come to know Jesus.
Joy:  The inward work of the Spirit and realizing it is an eternal investment provides great joy as we give to the Lord. But what about my own needs?
Peace: We have a peace that God will provide all of our needs even when we sacrificially give.  He promises this in Philippians 4:19.
Patience: God gives us the ability to patiently wait on him to provide for our needs. Furthermore, it requires patience to wait on a good deal instead of spending top dollar for something we want.
Kindness:  The giving of time, talents and treasures comes from a kind heart that wants to help others and serve the Lord.
Goodness:  We give from the goodness of our heart made possible by the indwelling Holy Spirit.  God works “in us both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13).
Gentleness:  We do not showcase our giving before others.  Instead, we give in a quiet and pure-hearted manner (i.e., gentleness).  Jesus said the left hand should not know what the right hand is doing (Mathew 6:3).
Faithfulness:  We give faithfully, consistently, regularly and repetitively because that is what God calls us to do.  “Do not grow weary in well doing, for in due season we will reap if we faint not” (Galatians 6:9).  Finally,
Self-control:  It takes self-control to not spend on things that are temporal and wasteful, and to keep our priorities where God wants them, so that we joyfully give of our time, talents and treasures for the Gospel.

Make God make us joyful givers by the power of the Holy Spirit!