Day 251

Ten Reasons to Give Generously

Wisdom Psalm 106:1-15
New Testament 2 Corinthians 9:6-15
Old Testament Isaiah 14:1-16:14


Mick Hawkins was the most generous person I have ever met. He was always giving and always offering to pay for everything. We thought he must be very rich. Actually, he wasn’t. He was just very generous. His life overflowed with thankfulness for God’s grace. This opened his heart and his wallet in a way that inspired all who knew him.

I want to be like Mick. I long for the church of Jesus Christ to be full of people like him because, as we see in today’s passage, grace, thanksgiving and generosity are very closely connected.


Psalm 106:1-15

1 Praise the Lord.

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
   his love endures forever.

2 Who can proclaim the mighty acts of the Lord
   or fully declare his praise?
3 Blessed are those who act justly,
   who always do what is right.

4 Remember me, Lord, when you show favour to your people,
   come to my aid when you save them,
5 that I may enjoy the prosperity of your chosen ones,
   that I may share in the joy of your nation
   and join your inheritance in giving praise.

6 We have sinned, even as our ancestors did;
   we have done wrong and acted wickedly.
7 When our ancestors were in Egypt,
   they gave no thought to your miracles;
they did not remember your many kindnesses,
   and they rebelled by the sea, the Red Sea.
8 Yet he saved them for his name’s sake,
   to make his mighty power known.
9 He rebuked the Red Sea, and it dried up;
   he led them through the depths as through a desert.
10 He saved them from the hand of the foe;
   from the hand of the enemy he redeemed them.
11 The waters covered their adversaries;
   not one of them survived.
12 Then they believed his promises
   and sang his praise.

13 But they soon forgot what he had done
   and did not wait for his plan to unfold.
14 In the desert they gave in to their craving;
   in the wilderness they put God to the test.
15 So he gave them what they asked for,
   but sent a wasting disease among them.


Thank God for grace by your worship

When we begin to experience God’s grace, gratitude is the natural and appropriate response. The psalmist is overwhelmed by gratitude and worships God, saying, ‘Praise the Lord. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures for ever’ (v.1).

He goes on to say, ‘We’ve sinned a lot… We’ve fallen short, hurt a lot of people… forgot your great and wonderful love’ (vv.6–7, MSG). They had ‘rebelled’ against God (v.7d).

Years ago, by this psalm, I wrote in the margin of my Bible: ‘I sometimes wonder whether I sin more than any other Christian… how can God go on forgiving?’ If you feel like that sometimes, you are not alone.

But, the next verse starts with the word ‘yet’. This is grace. In spite of everything:

  • he saved them for his name’s sake’ (v.8a)
  • he led them’ (v.9b)
  • he redeemed them’ (v.10b).

As a result of God’s amazing grace, ‘they believed his promises and sang his praise’ (v.12). But ‘they soon forgot what he had done and did not wait for his counsel’ (v.13).

Again, I have written in my margin: ‘This is the history of my Christian life – for a day or two, or even a week or two, I believe his promises and sing his praises… but then I soon go out and forget what he has done and fail to wait for his counsel, or to ask his advice about everything.’

Let’s not be as they were – complaining every step of the way and always wanting what they did not have (v.14). They ‘lusted exceedingly’ (v.14, AMP) and God ‘gave them their request, but sent leanness into their souls’ (v.15). Sometimes God says, ‘Your will be done’, and gives people what they ask for, even if it is not the best thing for them. Rather than craving after more, enjoy and thank God for what you have through his grace and kindness to you.


Lord, thank you for your amazing grace and forgiveness. Thank you that you have redeemed me and you lead me. Help me to believe your promises, sing your praise and not forget what you have done for me.

New Testament

2 Corinthians 9:6-15

Generosity Encouraged

6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 9 As it is written:

“They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor;
their righteousness endures forever.”

10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.

12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. 13 Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 14 And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!


Thank God for grace by your giving

In this passage Paul gives us at least ten reasons to give generously:

  1. Giving is the best investment you can make
    Like the harvest, giving is planting seed. The farmer will reap far more than what was sown (v.6): ‘A stingy planter gets a stingy crop; a lavish planter gets a lavish crop’ (v.6, MSG).

    This applies to everything in life. What you give to the Lord he multiplies – your time, gifts, ambitions and money.

  2. Giving should be fun
    Giving should never be forced or grudging, but rather voluntary and cheerful ‘for God loves a cheerful giver’ (v.7). The Greek word for cheerful is hilaros. We always quip at HTB that our giving should be hilarious! It should be fun to give. Generosity leads to happiness.

  3. Giving takes away the burden of financial worry
    Paul writes, ‘and God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work’ (v.8). Giving does not mean handing over financial responsibility to God – but it does mean handing over the worry and the burden of it.

  4. Giving ‘enriches’ you
    When God invites you to give, he is appealing not just to your emotions but also to your reason: ‘Thus you will be enriched in all things and in every way so that you can be generous’ (v.11, AMP). Materially, you will have enough to give away generously (v.11). Your character will be enriched (v.10). God will be praised (v.11).

  5. Giving transforms your character Paul speaks of ‘the harvest of your righteousness’ (v.10b). Giving purges the character from the constricting grip of materialism that destroys lives.

  6. Giving inspires others
    ‘… your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. … Because of the service of which you approved yourselves, people will praise God…’ (vv.11b–13a).

  7. Giving meets people’s needs Generous giving blesses other people and supplies the needs of God’s people – ‘helping meet the bare needs of poor Christians’ (v.12, MSG).

  8. Giving is evidence of real faith
    Generous giving is an act of obedience, which should accompany ‘your confession of the gospel of Christ’ (v.13). Giving is an act of trust – in doing it you are saying that it is God, not yourself or anyone else, who ultimately provides for your needs.

  9. Giving makes you a stakeholder in the church
    Paul speaks of ‘your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else’ (v.13b). In the same way as when you share a flat or apartment you share in the bills, as you share in the needs of the community you reap the benefits of that community. For example, every time someone comes to know Christ through the community you share in the blessing.

  10. Giving is a response to God’s gift to you
    God so loved you that he gave his one and only Son so that you might have eternal life (John 3:16). Our giving is a response to God’s amazing grace. His ‘indescribable gift’ (2 Corinthians 9:15) is the gift of his Son. ‘Thank God for this gift, his gift. No language can praise it enough!’ (v.15, MSG).


Lord, thank you for the indescribable gift of your Son, Jesus Christ. Help me to respond with generosity and grace to your amazing grace.

Old Testament

Isaiah 14:1-16:14

14 The Lord will have compassion on Jacob;
   once again he will choose Israel
   and will settle them in their own land.
Foreigners will join them
   and unite with the descendants of Jacob.
2 Nations will take them
   and bring them to their own place.
And Israel will take possession of the nations
   and make them male and female servants in the Lord’s land.
They will make captives of their captors
   and rule over their oppressors.

3 On the day the Lord gives you relief from your suffering and turmoil and from the harsh labour forced on you,
4 you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon:

How the oppressor has come to an end!
   How his fury has ended!
5 The Lord has broken the rod of the wicked,
   the scepter of the rulers,
6 which in anger struck down peoples
   with unceasing blows,
and in fury subdued nations
   with relentless aggression.
7 All the lands are at rest and at peace;
   they break into singing.
8 Even the junipers and the cedars of Lebanon
   gloat over you and say,
“Now that you have been laid low,
   no one comes to cut us down.”

9 The realm of the dead below is all astir
   to meet you at your coming;
it rouses the spirits of the departed to greet you—
   all those who were leaders in the world;
it makes them rise from their thrones—
   all those who were kings over the nations.
10 They will all respond,
   they will say to you,
“You also have become weak, as we are;
   you have become like us.”
11 All your pomp has been brought down to the grave,
   along with the noise of your harps;
maggots are spread out beneath you
   and worms cover you.

12 How you have fallen from heaven,
   morning star, son of the dawn!
You have been cast down to the earth,
   you who once laid low the nations!
13 You said in your heart,
   “I will ascend to the heavens;
I will raise my throne
   above the stars of God;
I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly,
   on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon.
14 I will ascend above the tops of the clouds;
   I will make myself like the Most High.”
15 But you are brought down to the realm of the dead,
   to the depths of the pit.

16 Those who see you stare at you,
   they ponder your fate:
“Is this the man who shook the earth
   and made kingdoms tremble,
17 the man who made the world a wilderness,
   who overthrew its cities
   and would not let his captives go home?”

18 All the kings of the nations lie in state,
   each in his own tomb.
19 But you are cast out of your tomb
   like a rejected branch;
you are covered with the slain,
   with those pierced by the sword,
   those who descend to the stones of the pit.
Like a corpse trampled underfoot,
20 you will not join them in burial,
   for you have destroyed your land
   and killed your people.

Let the offspring of the wicked
   never be mentioned again.
21 Prepare a place to slaughter his children
   for the sins of their ancestors;
they are not to rise to inherit the land
   and cover the earth with their cities.

22 “I will rise up against them,”
   declares the Lord Almighty.
“I will wipe out Babylon’s name and survivors,
   her offspring and descendants, ”
  declares the Lord.
23 “I will turn her into a place for owls
   and into swampland;
I will sweep her with the broom of destruction, ”
   declares the Lord Almighty.

24 The Lord Almighty has sworn,

“Surely, as I have planned, so it will be,
   and as I have purposed, so it will happen.
25 I will crush the Assyrian in my land;
   on my mountains I will trample him down.
His yoke will be taken from my people,
   and his burden removed from their shoulders. ”

26 This is the plan determined for the whole world;
   this is the hand stretched out over all nations.
27 For the Lord Almighty has purposed, and who can thwart him?
   His hand is stretched out, and who can turn it back?

A Prophecy Against the Philistines

28 This prophecy came in the year King Ahaz died:

29 Do not rejoice, all you Philistines,
   that the rod that struck you is broken;
from the root of that snake will spring up a viper,
   its fruit will be a darting, venomous serpent.
30 The poorest of the poor will find pasture,
   and the needy will lie down in safety.
But your root I will destroy by famine;
   it will slay your survivors.

31 Wail, you gate! Howl, you city!
   Melt away, all you Philistines!
A cloud of smoke comes from the north,
   and there is not a straggler in its ranks.
32 What answer shall be given
   to the envoys of that nation?
“The Lord has established Zion,
   and in her his afflicted people will find refuge. ”

A Prophecy Against Moab

15 A prophecy against Moab:

Ar in Moab is ruined,
   destroyed in a night!
Kir in Moab is ruined,
   destroyed in a night!
2 Dibon goes up to its temple,
   to its high places to weep;
   Moab wails over Nebo and Medeba.
Every head is shaved
   and every beard cut off.
3 In the streets they wear sackcloth;
   on the roofs and in the public squares
they all wail,
   prostrate with weeping.
4 Heshbon and Elealeh cry out,
   their voices are heard all the way to Jahaz.
Therefore the armed men of Moab cry out,
   and their hearts are faint.

5 My heart cries out over Moab;
   her fugitives flee as far as Zoar,
   as far as Eglath Shelishiyah.
They go up the hill to Luhith,
   weeping as they go;
on the road to Horonaim
   they lament their destruction.
6 The waters of Nimrim are dried up
   and the grass is withered;
the vegetation is gone
   and nothing green is left.
7 So the wealth they have acquired and stored up
   they carry away over the Ravine of the Poplars.
8 Their outcry echoes along the border of Moab;
   their wailing reaches as far as Eglaim,
   their lamentation as far as Beer Elim.
9 The waters of Dimon are full of blood,
   but I will bring still more upon Dimon—
a lion upon the fugitives of Moab
   and upon those who remain in the land.

16 Send lambs as tribute
   to the ruler of the land,
from Sela, across the desert,
   to the mount of Daughter Zion.
2 Like fluttering birds
   pushed from the nest,
so are the women of Moab
   at the fords of the Arnon.

3 “Make up your mind,” Moab says.
   “Render a decision.
Make your shadow like night—
   at high noon.
Hide the fugitives,
   do not betray the refugees.
4 Let the Moabite fugitives stay with you;
   be their shelter from the destroyer.”

The oppressor will come to an end,
   and destruction will cease;
   the aggressor will vanish from the land.
5 In love a throne will be established;
   in faithfulness a man will sit on it—
   one from the house of David —
one who in judging seeks justice
   and speeds the cause of righteousness.

6 We have heard of Moab’s pride —
   how great is her arrogance!—
of her conceit, her pride and her insolence;
   but her boasts are empty.
7 Therefore the Moabites wail,
   they wail together for Moab.
Lament and grieve
   for the raisin cakes of Kir Hareseth.
8 The fields of Heshbon wither,
   the vines of Sibmah also.
The rulers of the nations
   have trampled down the choicest vines,
which once reached Jazer
   and spread toward the desert.
Their shoots spread out
   and went as far as the sea.
9 So I weep, as Jazer weeps,
   for the vines of Sibmah.
Heshbon and Elealeh,
   I drench you with tears!
The shouts of joy over your ripened fruit
   and over your harvests have been stilled.
10 Joy and gladness are taken away from the orchards;
   no one sings or shouts in the vineyards;
no one treads out wine at the presses,
   for I have put an end to the shouting.
11 My heart laments for Moab like a harp,
   my inmost being for Kir Hareseth.
12 When Moab appears at her high place,
   she only wears herself out;
when she goes to her shrine to pray,
   it is to no avail.

13 This is the word the Lord has already spoken concerning Moab. 14 But now the Lord says: “Within three years, as a servant bound by contract would count them, Moab’s splendor and all her many people will be despised, and her survivors will be very few and feeble.”


Thank God for his grace in your life

How do we explain the evil of Isis – beheadings, crucifixions of Christians and Yazidis, women and children sold into slavery? How do we explain, for example, the Holocaust, Stalin’s exterminations or the Rwandan genocide?

This is one of the few passages in the Bible that hints at the origins of Satan and demonic powers.

The beauty of a diamond is best seen set against a black velvet cloth. The beauty of God’s grace is also seen in its full glory and brilliance against the darkness of evil. The prophet Isaiah speaks of God’s amazing compassion (14:1). The dark background is the evil of the nations around; in particular, Babylon’s cruelty, torture, persecution and slave trade.

Isaiah describes Babylon’s fall: ‘You said in your heart, “I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of the assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” But you were brought down to the grave, to the depths of the pit’ (vv.13–15).

Jesus similarly describes Satan’s fall (Luke 10:18). Perhaps it was pride and arrogance that led to an angelic fall before the fall of Adam and Eve.

But against this dark background there is also a hint of a beautiful diamond.

‘The tyrant toppled,
The killing at an end,
  all signs of these cruelties long gone,
A new government of love will be established
  in the venerable David tradition.
A Ruler you can depend upon
  will head this government,
A Ruler passionate for justice,
  a Ruler quick to set things right’ (Isaiah 16:4b–5, MSG).

Whatever the historical fulfilment may have been, there is only one person who perfectly fits this description – Jesus the Messiah, born in the line of David, who brought together God’s love and his justice. Unlike the satanic ‘I will’ (14:13,14), Jesus denied himself and said, ‘Not what I will, but what you will’ (Matthew 26:39).

The only appropriate response to God’s amazing grace revealed in Jesus Christ is to give him thanks with your worship, your giving, and your whole lives – to surrender your life to him and say, ‘I am willing to do whatever you want.’

Whatever you are facing, you can trust that God’s purposes will ultimately be accomplished: ‘For the Lord Almighty has purposed, and who can thwart him?’ (Isaiah 14:27).


Lord, thank you that we experience your amazing grace, love and faithfulness in Jesus. Thank you that he seeks justice and speeds the cause of righteousness. Help me, like him, to have a concern for the poorest of the poor and the needy (v.30) and to give generously.

Pippa adds

In 2 Corinthians 9:6 it says:

‘Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.’

This is the difference between placing one seed carefully in a neat line behind the other rather than chucking seed everywhere, and not worrying if some misses the target.

I am a little cautious by nature and probably need to take more risks. I have experienced such extraordinary generosity by the body of Christ that it constantly challenges and overwhelms me.



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Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version Anglicised, Copyright © 1979, 1984, 2011 Biblica, formerly International Bible Society. Used by permission of Hodder & Stoughton Publishers, an Hachette UK company. All rights reserved. ‘NIV’ is a registered trademark of Biblica. UK trademark number 1448790.

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