My mother was a great example of generosity. In addition to caring for her husband and six children (one of whom was seriously handicapped), she routinely carried food to the aged blind woman and her husband who lived down the street. She prepared meals for a diabetic friend who was no longer able to stand to cook for herself. She brought her elderly father into our home following the passing of her mother. She also took in her aunt and cared for her until she died in her arms. And she ran errands for elderly neighbors who struggled to do for themselves.
But what I cherish most is my mother’s passion for caring for the poor of our community. For years, Mom made deliveries of food and basic supplies from the food pantry of our church, to indigent families nearby. I have often wondered if the bread, milk and meat she always included were purchased from her own pocket. The deliveries were often made well after dark, sometimes in the dead of winter, in crime-ridden neighborhoods, to families she did not know. But when she received a call from Social Services that a family was in crisis or a father had lost his job, my mom responded.
Why did my mother do all these things? She was motivated by a deep love for Jesus, her Savior, who cared for the poor, healed the sick and showed compassion to the needy. She took to heart Jesus’ words, “…as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” (Matthew 25:40) She followed His example by caring for others.
Jesus is our ultimate example of generosity. He left the splendor of Heaven, became a human and gave up His life for each of us. (Philippians 2:6-8) He took on our sin when He died on the cross, allowing us to be made right in God’s eyes. He who knew “no sin became sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21, NASB) There is no more generous gift than this.
How will you respond to Jesus’ example of generosity? How will you reply to His invitation to “come, follow me.” ? (Matthew 19:21b)
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