You likely do not know Beth Hughes, a stay at home mom from Oklahoma, but it's a story worth hearing. In November of 2014, Beth, like most Americans began preparing for Thanksgiving with a visit to the local grocery store. As she pushed her cart to the checkout line she received a tap on the shoulder from a customer and was told, “Ma’am, I’m going to pay for your groceries.” The women paid for Beth’s $214 grocery bill and disappeared. Beth was left speechless and astonished by a complete stranger's generosity.
Stories like this warm our hearts and surprise us because stories of generosity are far too rare in this world. Ironically they shouldn't be, especially considering a third of the world's population is made up of Christians. Consider that for a second. There are 2 billion Christians who pledge their allegiance to a man who devoted His whole life to being generous, and ultimately, culminated with giving His life by dying on a cross to pay for our sin debt as the greatest act of giving. Generosity should not be an exception to a disciple's life, rather a norm.
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. - 2 Corinthians 8:9
Jesus' death wasn't pleasant. Historically, it's been noted by Roman Philosopher Cicero about the horrendous nature of crucifixion,
"the very mention of the cross should be far removed not only from a Roman citizen's body, but from his mind, his eyes, his ears."
Jesus gave all of His life sacrificially for others with His death on the cross; doing it joyfully and gladly. Jesus sent us out to do the same. A disciple of Jesus lives generously in all areas of their life: time, talents, and treasures. A disciple of Jesus seeks to faithfully bear the image of Jesus to those who are not believers.
Generosity by Pastor Boyd Bettis
Generosity of God by Pastor Matt Chandler
Money by Jamie Munson
Should A Christian Tithe by Geoff Ashley
Mark 12:41-44; 2 Corinthians 8-9; Philippians 2:1-11; Acts 4:32-37