Generosity Together—Jesus Style
November 3, 2023
Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose. Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges and he took the humble position of a slave … Philippians 2:1-7 NLT
When generosity is most effective, it’s a team sport. It’s an all-skate. It’s everyone on the floor. It is Jesus-followers working together to achieve His mission with His heart in our world. We can powerfully impact our communities, families, and indeed, the entire world, when we pull together. Just as many raindrops change the outcome of a garden, our efforts together make things flourish or our lack of working together generously allows things to wither and die.
Paul lists several characteristics that are to be true of us because of our relationship with Christ. We should experience encouragement from our relationship with Him, we should be comforted by His love, we should have fellowship with the Holy Spirit and others, we should have tender and compassionate hearts. If we do have this evidence of our relationship with Christ, the next natural thing is for it to lead to generous action, not just alone but in community.
Because of our mutual love for Christ and each other, we work together with one mind and purpose to achieve His goal for the world. It requires adopting the unselfish attitude of Jesus Christ. Jesus was so generous and unselfish that He left the privileges of His perfect heavenly home and the power of operating as God to enter the messiness of our human world with us. He didn’t offer hope from a distance—He dug in and got His hands dirty. He built a team to work with Him and the invitation was to follow Him and do the work that He did. He became a slave and did what slaves did—He cleaned up the messes other people made. He washed feet, served, fed, healed, and taught His followers to do as He did.
He generously and consistently laid down His life by giving all of His resources for the people He came to love and serve—not because they deserved it, just because He loved them. Jesus gave His life because He was committed to the Father’s mission, and so He was committed to overcoming evil with generosity, hatred with love, serving with unselfishness. Generosity marked and still marks all He does. It must be true of His followers.
- Pray. Write your own prayer of commitment to serve with humble generosity in community. Where and how will you join with others to generously fulfill the mission?