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Some People are Called to Extravagant Generosity
34 There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time, those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales
35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.
36 Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means Son of Encouragement),
37 sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.
It’s been said that one of the best reasons to buy real estate is because it is the only thing they’re not making any more of. This is a lighthearted way to note the importance of land. Residential real estate is one of the most significant purchases a person can make. Home ownership is so important to people that they will pay for that home for 30 years of their life! The home people live in is very commonly the most valuable possession they have.
The book of Acts records the growth and development of the church in the early days after Jesus ascended to heaven. In chapter 4 of this book, it describes how some believers went so far in their generosity that they were selling their houses and land in order to provide money for the church in its need. Just as it would be no small decision if you were to sell your home, or whatever you own that is most valuable, it was undoubtedly no small sacrifice for these believers either. So why did they do this? They saw a need and they felt called to be extravagantly generous to meet that need.
Not all generosity is extravagant. In fact, daily and regular generosity is a great Christian witness in and of itself. But, some people might have both the means and the calling to be extravagantly generous. Is that you? If you think the Spirit might be leading you to be generous in this way, do yourself a favor. Pray about it faithfully and seek the counsel of the Word of God and people you trust. Investigate the need and investigate what kind of generosity you might be able to show. If you, after all, this you still think you are called to be generous in an extravagant way, then go ahead and be generous unto the Lord.
Are you balking at the decision because it would be such a large act of generosity? It’s totally understandable if there are some nerves involved, big decisions are like that. Sit down and think it through again. If you already have the desire, if it is not a foolish choice, and if God through his word and through prayer seems to be confirming your desire to be generous, then perhaps, the only way you are going to be happy is if you follow His call to live generously. And lastly, remember this: Extravagant generosity is also a privilege. Few people in history have had the chance to support God’s work with extravagant generosity. Go ahead and enjoy the opportunity before you!
Today’s Generosity Challenge:
Go back to your challenge from day 12 and review it again. Did you follow through? If not, why not do it today? If you did: Congratulations! Now, do it again and allow the Lord to show himself faithful. This time I want you to write down your experience below.
About Michael Stickler
Mike is an author, radio host, and a highly sought after motivational speaker. His best-selling book, A Journey to Generosity, is widely acclaimed throughout the Christian community. He is the publisher of Generous Living Magazine and writes for the Christian Post, 'A Generous Life' column.