Jesus was the most big-hearted and generous out of any man that walked on earth. He came to give of Himself in a way that would benefit everyone around Him; past, present, and future. When you receive His gift of salvation, you receive a heart like His, big-hearted for God and others.
Paul helps believers to understand the big-hearted love of God in 2 Corinthians 8:1-15. There was churches in Macedonia, northern Greece today, that despite a lot of testing and being financially depleted, they were a region that gave generously for God’s Kingdom.
Oxford Dictionaries definition of generous is: Showing a readiness to give more of something, as money or time, than is strictly necessary or expected.
Believers in that region were steadfast in their faith with God. Despite troubles and poverty, they kept their focus on God and followed Jesus through the good, the bad, and the ugly. No matter what they faced, they knew who they were because of Jesus’ presence in them. They lived out the generosity of God.
The Spirit was doing a wonderful work within their repentant hearts. He filled them with abundant joy. Despite their little offerings, they gave generously from willing hearts. They wanted to help other believers in other churches. “They even did more than we had hoped, for their first action was to give themselves to the Lord and to us, just as God wanted them to do.”5
These churches exemplify big-hearts like Jesus. They excelled in so many ways, like faith. God spoke through well-spoken speakers, and they understood. They were enthusiastic over what God was doing in their midst. Paul encourages them to now excel in the gracious act of giving. Essentially, be like Christ; have a big-heart like Jesus.
“You know the generous grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though He was rich, yet for our sakes, He became poor, so that by His poverty He could make you rich.”9
To be big-hearted like Jesus takes stamina. Paul tells believers to finish what they started, keep the eagerness they had for Christ in the early times of their faith, now match that with your giving. Give in proportion to what God has given you. Give according to what you have, not what you don’t have.
What Paul is saying, you are to focus on what God wants you to do in your present moment. If you have plenty, help those in need for tomorrow it may you who needs help. Look at Exodus 16:18 for what Paul was wanting believers to understand.
How can you respond like the believers did in Macedonia? They didn’t let their circumstances deter their faith in God. Even in adversity, they remained joyful in the Lord. Even when their resources ran dry, they gave beyond themselves. They trusted God, and God became their everything. Jesus is enough.
(Side Note: We are heading into the summer months. For the next 8 weeks, family time will be mixed in. I will keep encouraging you in your faith, but it may only be once a week instead of twice a week. Check out my social media posts on IG and FB for daily encouragements.)