God’s desire from the very beginning is to live with us, to walk with us, to be amongst us. Sin separated us from God, but sin would not have the final say.
For God so loved the world that He gave…
Our brokenness, our sin, the darkness in our hearts was not able to convince God the Father that we are unworthy of His love and of a relationship with Him.
Romans 5:8 (NLT)
But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.
God sends, God gives, God the Father sacrifices His only son in order to create a path that would extend the light of His love to pierce the darkness of our hearts.
Matthew 1:23 (NLT)
Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means God is with us.
The very name given to the Son, Immanuel, echoes the truth of God’s heart toward humanity. God’s generosity was neither easy, nor was it comfortable. The Son’s generosity in laying down His life would require sacrifice and pain, and it is through this gift from heaven that we are able to receive all that comes with being in a relationship with Jesus. It is His presence in our lives that makes us rich as He continues to be generous in love, grace and mercy.
If we are to reflect the heart of the Father, what does generosity look like for you and me? A life of generosity says, I am eternally indebted to offer the hope and freedom I so undeservedly received. Gratitude moves our hearts in the direction of generosity. It isn’t always easy to live generously in a culture that is self indulgent. We are constantly bombarded with opportunities to satisfy our needs, our egos and opportunities for “Likes” on social media.
The Zapatista women in Chiapas believed that it was their responsibility to provide protection, education and rights for their generation and future generations. It would require, blood, sweat and tears, but they would not relent. Because of these women the Zapatista Army established Women’s Revolutionary Laws. These laws granted rights to women regarding work, marriage, health, education, children, political and military participation, and it protected the women from violence. Now there’s a squad you want to belong to.
See, when you realize that your actions can actually impact the quality of life for an entire generation, then there’s no excuse that is big enough or valid enough to keep us with our arms crossed and our hands closed.
So how can we shift from being ME centered to generously sharing our time, talent and treasure? Well, I’d suggest you get in the company of those who are generous with their lives. Luke 1 tells us the story of Mary visiting Elizabeth. Both of these women were pregnant and both had responded with a yes to God. Talk about being generous with your entire being, carrying a baby that would prepare the way and offer salvation to everyone. Sometimes you just need to make the time to be around women who have discovered the joy of giving, of laying down their own will and lives. These are women who much like Mary and Elizabeth thrive on seeing people freed and transformed as a result of their obedience.
There are some incredible movements, like the Zapatista Women, throughout planet earth that are impacting our world in beautiful ways. As a matter of fact I just founded a non-profit called Brave Global, and we are creatively connecting girls in foster care to the local church. I am thrilled about this and I am finding ways to be generous with my time, talent and treasure. All of this to say, there is not one organization, nonprofit or movement that can do what the Bride of Christ is doing in our world. The number one place to display our generosity for serving, giving and expanding is the local church. There’s nothing that God is more passionate about than the church. So this last month of 2017, I encourage you live generously in the house of God and make a personal commitment that goes beyond a New Year’s resolution, to walk closely with Jesus, to listen closely to his invitations to participate in giving and enjoy the company of The Creator, who so lovingly gave heaven’s treasure to be in relationship with you. We could never outgive God.
ABOUT NOEMI CHAVEZ
Noemi Chavez pastors at 7th Street Church in Long Beach, CA. She is an international speaker and is the founder of Brave Global, a catalytic event that connects girls that are in probation and the foster care system with the local church. Noemi also serves on various boards, some of which include Student Outreach Board at Biola University and The Imagine Foundation. Noemi is committed to raising leaders and uniting generations to serve the future of the Church and their communities.