“And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me’” (Matthew 25:40)
The human heart can weigh anywhere between 7-15 ounces, or about the same size as a bottle of Heinz Ketchup. It has four chambers: left and right atrium, and left and right ventricle. All the blood vessels, arteries, capillaries and veins when added together are over 60,000 miles long, which is enough to go around the world two times. The average adult heart beats 72 times a minute, or about 100,000 times per day. In a lifetime the heart can beat 3.5 billion times. I say all that to ask this question: what’s your heart beating for?
I’m not talking about the physical heart that’s in your chest. I’m talking about the one that houses your mind, emotions, and will. Does it beat for you or for God?
Over the next 7 weeks I want to take a look at 7 different characteristics of a generous heart. As we enter the holiday season (where I’m from in Chicago it just snowed!!) our minds are often bent toward giving and receiving gifts. There’s Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and other shopping deals to buy stuff for people that, more often than not, we forget about by February. And if we’re all honest there’s always a little something we’re hoping someone will give us for the holidays.
But life is more than that. As Randy Alcorn puts it in his new book Giving is the Good Life, “[God] wants us to enjoy life, but he doesn’t entrust excess [money] to us so we can indulge excessive wants. Money and possessions are not life giving.” Instead, he writes, “God graciously gives us money and possessions to meet real needs, both our own needs and the needs of others.”
The truth is our God is a generous God. And a heart that beats for God is a heart that beats for generosity. God exemplified generosity in the highest form when He gave His only Son for the salvation of the world (Romans 8:32).
I often say that as a Christian, we don’t give to get, we get to give. Everything we have belongs to Him, and we are simply stewards, managing His resources for the Kingdom.
There is a world of hurt out there, and no matter where you find yourself God has blessed you with resources and placed you in a circle of influence to model His generous love to those around you.