In the spiritual fight we always must go to our shield of faith and sword of the Spirit. They are our best defense and means of fighting back. Jesus teaches us how to fight, and His apostles amplify the effectiveness of His approach. Because people are not the source of our conflict (though it sure appears so) we wear the armor of God and carry the weapons of God to war against our enemy, the devil.
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.” – 2 Corinthians 10:3,4
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” – Ephesians 6:12
If these things are true about spiritual warfare (and they are) we must prepare and execute accordingly.
But regarding others consider: “But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.” (Matthew 5:39)
This teaching is direct as well:
Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” – Matthew 18:21-22
So we understand that the generosity of forgiveness is powerful in the lives of men and women. It is the ultimate generosity. Where does forgiveness elude you? Where have you embraced it?
Here are a few things to remember when we are taking up the weapon of generosity:
1. Everything belongs to God.
“and you belong to Christ; and Christ belongs to God.” – 1 Corinthians 3:23
“His master said to him, ‘Excellent work faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things and soon I will put you in charge of many things. Enter into the celebration with your master.” – Matthew 25:21
2. Eternity is our great prize.
“Being then the children of God, don’t think that true God’s Nature is like gold or silver or stone, a mere image formed by the art and thought of man. He is overlooking the centuries of ignorance, and is now declaring that all people everywhere should turn away from sin and futility and turn toward Him. He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in truth by a Man He has appointed, having furnished proof of His authority to all men by raising Him from the dead.” – Acts 17:22-28
3. People are God’s eternal capital, and our God is incredibly generous.
Jesus said to His followers, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit will come to a person if they gain the whole world and loses their own soul? And what exactly is your soul worth? “ – Matthew 16:24-26
When we 1) relinquish ownership, 2) live for what is to come, and 3) emulate our incredibly generous Creator as we are lavish in our forgiveness of others – we honor our King.
√ In what ways has the generosity of another shaped you?
√ Where does your own generosity come out?
√ How do you feel about God’s generosity (and why)?
Easier said than done for sure,
Dave and Burnadette