THE GENEROSITY OF GOD
I have been thinking about the generosity of God lately. In fact, I think that phrase is a good definition of what “grace” means. It’s the overarching theme of the Bible. Ultimately, it’s what Jesus showed us and why we killed him. I’d like to explore that idea in the weeks leading up to Easter.
A little generosity is nice. Too much can be scary.
God is too generous for most of us. When he blesses us a little, we like it. If he blesses us abundantly, we get scared. Think of Peter and his miracle catch of fish! Or think of you waiting for the other shoe to drop when things are going too well.
If God blesses the right people who deserve it, we like that. But when he blesses the bad guys or our enemies, we are not so crazy about his generosity. We may even resent it.
When Jesus announced his mission in Nazareth talking about setting captives free and forgiving debts, people thought he was great. But when he started talking about God blessing outsiders, things got ugly.
If it feels good, you might not get it.
Here is a good rule of thumb. If Jesus’ words make you feel warm and fuzzy, you probably don’t understand him. Until his grace (aka: God’s generosity) makes you uncomfortable because of how freely it is given out to the wrong people, you may be missing the point.
When you realize how much grace is given to you when you least deserve it, the feeling isn’t comfort as much as repentance. Think of Peter with the catch of fish: “Get away from me Lord, I’m a sinful man!”
Of course we should be grateful and give thanks. That should result in us being generous to others. But our first response to the generosity of God is often deep sorrow and brokenness. God’s kindness leads us to repentance.
As you prepare your heart for Easter, read through the gospel of Luke with me and ask yourself, “What does Jesus show us about the generosity of God?”