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Written by Dynamis Ministries | June 29, 2023

Dallas Theological Seminary is one of the largest seminaries in the United States today. However, if it wasn’t for a miracle of God and the timely generosity of an unlikely donor, its doors would have closed shortly after its inaugural class in 1924. Theologian Lewis Sperry founded the seminary in 1924 in obedience to a call he felt from God. But just after the first class of students arrived, the seminary was already bankrupt and at risk of closing. As the board of directors prayed together just hours before the seminary was set to close, they boldly asked God to send them money to keep their doors open. During this exact prayer time, a businessman walked through door with a generous donation, a check written for the exact amount they needed to remain open!¹

This story is an inspiring example the power of prayer and God’s faithfulness. Yet this story also reveals an important component of generosity that we often overlook:

Generosity is a two-way street.

For generosity to happen, there must be a giver and a receiver. The Bible talks a lot about giving. We know from the Bible that it’s better to give than to receive (Acts 20:35). We know that God commanded his chosen people to tithe in the Old Testament. We see though Jesus how he raised the bar for giving through his own teachings and actions. And, we have the example of the early church of giving freely and sacrificially. There are clearly a lot of teachings and examples in the Bible about giving generously. When we step into it, our faith is strengthened and lives are transformed. That’s one way on the street of generosity.

The other way on the street invites us to be open to receive generosity as well. Throughout scripture, God is portrayed as a loving father who delights in pouring out his blessings on his children. Part of our role as children of God is to live with open hands, ready to receive his good gifts. Oftentimes, God’s blessings toward us comes in the form of generosity from others. Sometimes it’s a miraculous answer to prayer, like in the story above, but more often than not it comes in simple, day-to-day blessings – a friend treating us to a meal or coffee, a word of encouragement from a co-worker, a neighbor helping with a house project. To receive generosity in these ways, we simply need to live in humility and authentically share our story.

God pours out his blessings on us every single day. We just need to be ready to receive them. As we make ourselves available to receive God’s blessings through the generosity of others, our hearts will experience more life to the full. Receiving generosity causes us to remember we are loved, noticed, valued and affirmed by the God of the universe, but also by real people on earth. In turn, it causes us to be filled with thanksgiving and return praise to God. We may even notice that our own generosity grows as an outpouring of the gratitude we feel from receiving the goodness of God and others. This truly makes generosity a great two-way street to travel on!

 

¹William J. Petersen & Randy Petersen. 100 Amazing Answers to Prayer (Baker Publishing Group, 2009).