AWAKE MY SOUL (4): GENEROSITY

Sunday, July 22, 2012

AWAKE MY SOUL (4): GENEROSITY  (Psalm 112)

Psalm 112 is another of the wisdom Psalms that tells us about the different paths of life we have the options of taking –  along with their consequences.  The Psalmist shameless displays his partiality toward choosing the right way.

The Bible is full of instructions to pursue godly living and make wise choices.  In the wisdom Psalms, as with many other “commands” of Scripture, these “commands” are more like guidelines and principles.  The Bible is saying that if you follow a certain guideline or principle that you have a better chance of success (receiving God’s blessing).  However, always remember that guidelines aren’t guarantees and principles aren’t promises.

Psalm 112 begins by telling us that a blessed man a) fears God (shows reverential awe and respect for God, gets to know him intimately) and b) delights in the commands (guidelines and principles) that God gives.

This Psalm is all about the person who is generous and wise with his financial resources.

Generosity is often absent among church people.  The word “sacrifice”, especially when related to finances, is seldom heard in our American culture.  Bottom line = church people don’t turn loose of much of their money for the Kingdom of God.  This, in light of the fact of all that Scripture says about giving, generosity, and stewardship.  As a result, many church members’ souls are dead financially and never experience the blessing of God financially.

The Psalmist makes some observations about generosity…

1.  Generosity brings financial stability (vs. 3).

It sounds like a paradox, this idea of giving to get.  But Scripture tells us on many occasions that when we generously give, God in his supernatural way provides our needs and makes sure that we ALWAYS have what we need.

2.  Generosity brings good will to you (vs. 5).

Generous giving results in God, from time to time and down the line, doing extraordinary if not miraculous things for you financially.  Just this week the church I pastor helped a struggling family with a substantial amount of money.  Later that afternoon a check arrived in the church mailbox for the EXACT amount that we had given the family hours earlier in the day.  That is good will coming to you from God.

3.  Generosity brings victory (vs. 9).

The Psalmist says a generous person doesn’t penny-pinch or nickel-and-dime it when it comes to giving.  The generous person “scatters abroad his gifts to the poor.”  In so doing, his “horn will be lifted up high in honor”.  What does that mean?  In the times of the Psalmist, soldiers wore helmets into battle.  On these helmets was a face mask called a “horn”.  While in battle the horn was worn over the face, obviously to protect it.  If the army lost the battle or war, it would return home with its horns (face mask) pulled down in shame and defeat.  But if an army won a battle or war, it would return home with its horns (face mask) pulled up over the head.  The city would cheer the bravery of the army.  Their face mask told the story of their victory…or defeat.

The Psalmist says that this is the way it is with the generous giver – he wears his horn in victory.  God provides victory to the financially generous.

Verse 10 says there is another way to live, a way of greediness, selfishness, and clenched fist.  But this way ends up with the greedy person “gnashing his teeth”  when he sees the stability, good will, and victory of the generous person.  Some people live financially gnashing their teeth (“I wish I’d saved more”, “I wish I hadn’t bought that new car”, “I wish we hadn’t bought so much house”, etc.)

Here is some practical advice for awakening your soul and becoming a generous person…Give alot.  Save some.   Spend little.

The most spiritual thing some of us could do today is, not sing another Jesus-song, pray another prayer, or read another Bible verse, but sit down around the table with our families and realign our attitudes about money and restructure our family budgets to show a more hardy generous spirit.

Heavenly Father.  AWAKE OUR SOULS – financially.

 


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