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July 24, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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"And I have been a constant example of how you can help those in need by working hard. You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’"—Acts 20:35 (NLT)
On the final day of this devotional reading plan, we want to take a few minutes to help you put it all together. As we have seen, generosity is a lifestyle. It’s something that takes commitment, discipline, intentionality, and most of all, God! True generosity is a response to our Father and His immeasurable generosity. It’s an outpouring of His love, compassion, grace, kindness, and the servant-hearted nature of Christ spilling out of us. It’s a byproduct of our growing, healthy discipleship journey—as we are conformed to the image of Christ, we begin to live and act more like Christ.
What we’ve seen working in our church and in the lives of so many who have come before us is that generosity in the little things leads to generosity in the large things! When we are lavish givers in the mundane, minor, minute, miniscule areas of life, we bear fruit in the major areas of our lives.
Practice generosity today.
Tip your server an extra buck or two. Spend five minutes praying with someone—right then and there—instead of just saying you’ll pray. Pay for someone in line behind you at the toll, the coffee shop, or the grocery store. Phone a family member or friend. Listen and encourage. Forgive. Let go of grudges. Practice extravagant kindness.
As we’ve seen over the last four weeks, generosity is a discipline. It does not come automatically or easily. So start small and work your way up, just like you would with physical exercise. When you start seeing the effect of generosity, it will become its own reward. You will see it as an opportunity, not a duty, as a response to God, not a responsibility.
Generosity can be the new apologetic, the new evangelism. It can be the catalyst for a gospel revolution in our city and world. If you look at early Church history, you can see that the Church was respected for being generous. This was a huge contrast to the established Roman culture. It’s the same way today. Western culture is immensely self-driven, self-motivated, and self-centered. It’s all about me, me, me . . .
What do I get out of it? What’s in it for me? I’m looking out for number one. You do you, let me do me. I must do what’s best for me.
Let’s be different, Christ follower! Let’s put on Christ and live a lifestyle of lavish, extravagant, service-oriented, excited, joyful generosity! Let the Church be known once again for being generous, not motivated by a works-mentality, but by a desire to glorify God.
We’re so glad you decided to take this 28-day journey with us. We hope the Lord has used this study and group experience to impact your life and draw you closer to Him, and that you have already begun to put these principles and habits into practice. I promise you that your life will change drastically as you walk fully and passionately in the footsteps of generosity that our Lord laid out for us. And I promise that, as you respond to God's generosity by modeling it, you will experience fulfillment, blessing, and joy in ways you never thought possible.
We pray that in this season, we’ll see a church-wide movement of generous people responding to a generous God! With that in mind, we invite you to join us in making a personal commitment to living generously. Join us in praying about specific areas where you can make a difference in your life and the lives of others through your generosity!
Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.