Open Hands – Living A Generous Life

“Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast.” Hebrews 6.19
Matthew 22:37-40

The only way we can ever really serve God is to love and serve others. We are to demonstrate a spirit of generosity and always be ready with an open hand.

The principle of the open hand:
When my hand is closed and I don’t give to others, God can’t give to me either.
When my hand is open and I give to others, it is open for God to give back to me.

It’s a no-brainer!! Take a look at your hand. Let each of your five fingers represent these attributes:

1.Generosity – Romans 12: 8 says “…contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously.” Generosity is the ability to give your material goods and financial gifts with joy and eagerness…openhanded and openhearted giving with singleness of purpose. Barnabas was such a man. He sold a piece of property and brought the proceeds and laid it at the feet of the apostles for it to be used as needed. The people of God ought to be the most generous people on the face of the earth! The generous person says “God, this is what you’ve given me and I know I can use it anyway I want, but I don’t want to hold it for selfish purposes…it’s really Yours.”

2.Sincerity – I Peter 1:22 tells us to “love one another deeply, from the heart.” Don’t be generous because you want people to think well of you…be generous because, deep down, that’s who you are.

3.Humility – Romans 12:10 says, in part, “Honor one another above yourselves.” Ouch!! We are instructed to give preference to others! Put others in the place of honor. It takes humility to do this. We can’t really be a Christ-like person if we have pride. If we have a servant’s spirit, there is really nothing that is beneath our dignity. Would we wash Jesus’ feet if he were to miraculously appear in front of us? Of course we would…no doubt! However, would we wash our neighbor’s feet after they’ve come in from a hard day’s work?

4.Sympathy – Romans 12:13 tells us to “share with God’s people who are in need.” Giving is often motivated out of the needs others have. Deuteronomy 15:7-8 says “If there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the towns of the land that the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother. Rather, be openhanded….”There’s that “open-hand” concept! He wants us to show compassion to the needs around us. How do we treat those we come into contact with who have real needs? Do we look the other way or do we help?

5.Hospitality – Romans 12:13 also says that we should “practice hospitality.” You know what practice is? It’s doing something over and over again. Athletes “practice” their sport so that they will excel. Musicians “practice” their instruments so they will improve. As Christians we should “practice hospitality.” Look for it! Don’t wait for opportunities to come to you…find them! They are all around us. Make a little extra soup and invite someone home with you from church – even a visitor! That’s what Christ would have us do.

Bottom line, we should leave little pieces of ourselves everywhere each day. Give someone a helping hand, a glass of water, help carry groceries, help a single mother with a tank of gas for her car, pay for a needy family’s meal at McDonald’s, carry a meal to a shut-in along with a book of stamps. When we do these things, we open up the opportunity to share the Gospel. The ideas and prospects are endless, and the rewards are eternal.