Friday, September 27, 2013

Be Generous

Are you a generous person?  A great example of generosity in Scripture is Rebekah.  Genesis 24 tells us Isaac was looking for a wife.  Abraham also wanted his son to have a wife and sent Eliezer his servant to look for Isaac a wife.  Eliezer prayed and asked God to bring the right girl to him.  He stopped one day in the city of Nahor and saw a beautiful woman named Rebekah.  She stood out among the rest of the girls who had come out to draw water not only because of her beauty but because of her generosity.  She gave Eliezer a drink but also watered his ten camels.  That might not sound like much but consider this:  each camel could drink about 25-30 gallons, about 250-300 gallons total.  Water wells were set down low in the ground and you would need to walk about fifty steps to draw about three gallons of water at a time.  That means Rebekah made about 8-10 trips per camel - approximately 100 trips with nearly 5,000 steps!  With water weighing a little over 8lbs per gallon, she toted 2,000-2,500 lbs. of water!  Now that’s a generous, hard-working, humble, hospitable woman!  That’s more than bringing him a nice glass of tea! 

Eliezer reported about this beautiful and generous woman and she became Isaac’s wife.  Because she desired to be a blessing, she would be blessed.  Genesis 24:60 says she would become “thousands of ten thousands“ and possess much.  She gave much and received much in return.  Her humble and generous nature changed her life and destiny and she became the mother of a great nation.  This moment could have seemed insignificant.  I’m sure she had watered many camels of many strangers in the past.  Her willingness to be a blessing in this situation led to her being blessed beyond measure.  This one act of humility, generosity, and hospitality determined her destiny. 

How generous are you?  When you are asked to help or give, are you like Rebekah – willing to help till the last camel is watered and taken in its fill?  Or, do you do as little as possible?  I want challenge you to implement the “Rebekah Principle” in your life.  Here is how you do it.  First, you must be generous and not legalistic.  You can’t complain about the sacrifice or that the person asking you for help hasn’t equally helped you.  You help even if they are capable of doing it themselves and if they cannot give anything in return.  When we give to the Lord, 2 Corinthians 9:7 says to give what you have decided in your heart and not be reluctant or guilt-driven.  God loves a cheerful giver.  Second, to go the extra mile you must first walk the first mile with them.  Rebekah served greatly but she had to draw the first pitcher of water and take the first steps.  That started in her attitude and heart.  Some people are never generous and hospitable because they never attempt anything or give even a little and therefore are never blessed greatly.  Luke 16:10 says if we can be trusted with little then we can be trusted with much.  If you are dishonest with little then you will be dishonest with much.  Most people who are greatly blessed are a great blessing.

The third principle in being like Rebekah is giving with a Kingdom mindset.  I love the statement, “you can’t take it with you but you can send it on ahead.”  Matthew 6:19-20 tell us to store up treasures in heaven, not on earth because earthly treasures don’t last.  Kingdom generosity may not be rewarded on this earth but will always be rewarded in eternity.  Don’t give to get on this earth.  Just know that giving on this earth will return to you in heaven.   Another principle is give even if you don’t feel like it.  Give like Jesus – generously, lovingly, and humbly.  Give like you are giving to Jesus.  Giving to others is giving to Jesus (Matthew 25:40) just like not giving to others is not giving to Jesus (Matthew 25:45).  Be like Rebekah and give generously!

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