Be Generous in 2024

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Happy New Year. I hope you managed to take a break over Christmas, and you are starting another year of ministry full of faith, hope and love. On January 8, Susan and I celebrated 30 years of marriage together, and I am overwhelmed with gratitude for God’s abundant generosity towards us. Susan is the love of my life, but I have no idea how people stay married without God’s grace, power and wisdom. It is all because of Him that we still love one another and love serving Him together. God has blessed us with 4 adult kids that love Jesus and 2 beautiful grandkids that we adore. We have been blessed to serve at Gateway and in the QB Movement for 20 years. As we walked on the beach on our anniversary, God reminded me of His abundant generosity, and I began to pray that He would give us a fresh revelation of His generosity towards us as a QB Movement and help us to serve Him with an abundant generosity.

When we think about generosity, we often think about money, but as followers of Jesus we are called to live our whole lives with an abundant generosity. I think we all want to be generous, but we all have some room to grow when it comes to being generous in every area of our lives. One of the reasons that we can be stingy is that we don’t think someone is deserving of our generosity. I don’t know about you, but I am glad that God does not treat me as my sins deserve. Another reason is because we have a scarcity mentality. We think that if we generously give to others that there won’t be enough for us.  But our God is not a God of scarcity, but abundant generosity. It is why David was able to sing, The Lord is my shepherd; I lack nothing (Psalms 23:1)

In the life of Jesus, we see a life of abundant generosity and a living example for us to follow. At the beginning of 2024, I want to give us 6 reminders of how we can be generous in our ministry, like Jesus was generous in His ministry…and they all start with W:

  • Generous with your Watch: I love the way that Jesus was generous with His time. He was on His way to meet an important person (Jairus) to do an urgent task (heal his dying daughter). He had crowds of people pressing against Him, yet He made time to stop and heal an unknown, unwanted, unnoticed sick woman. She was instantly healed with a touch, but He took the time to stop and ensure that everyone in the community knew that she was healed and was welcome in the family of God. In the midst of the pressures of important tasks, make time to ask God this question: “Who do you want me to notice today?”
  • Generous with your Welcome: Jesus tells 3 of His most famous parables because He generously welcomed people to His table and the religious leaders didn’t like it. They muttered, “this man welcomes sinners and eats with them. (Luke 15:1-2). He then tells 3 parables to make 1 important point: Every lost and broken person you ever lock eyes with is valuable to God and He welcomes everyone who repents with open arms. How can you generously welcome people to your table and your church community in 2024?
  • Generous with your Words: Jesus said to a young, uneducated, “foot-in-his-mouth”, speak-before-you-think kind of fisherman: “You are Peter and on this rock I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18). There are young people in your community that need someone to speak to their God-given potential. I don’t think we see a clearer example of the generosity of Jesus words than on the Cross. If there was one time that Jesus must have been tempted to use His words to curse or bruise, it was when He was being cursed and bruised Himself. Yet, He looks down from the Cross and says, “Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). How can you generously use your words to build up and bring healing to those around you in 2024?   
  • Generous with your Wallet. Jesus was insistent that generosity is not about the amount we give, but the trust we have in God to provide for what we need. When a poor woman put one measly coin in the offering, Jesus pulled His disciples aside and said: “This poor widow has put in more than all the others.All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on” (Luke 21:3-4). In a time of increased cost of living, followers of Christ are still called to be generous with their wallets and trust their Father in Heaven to provide. I will be praying for you as you teach, exhort and encourage your congregations to be generous with the resources that God has given them to further His Kingdom.
  • Generous to your Wife. You may need to translate this one according to your life situation and gender, but I really wanted them all to start with W! This is where God started to convict me about generosity. As Susan and I walked on the beach on our 30th anniversary, I recognized that I had not always been generous to her with my watch and my words. There were times I gave my best time to others and Susan and the family got the leftovers. Regrettably there are too many times that I used my words to tear down rather than build up. God convicted me to be abundantly generous to Susan in this next season of marriage. How can you be abundantly generous to your spouse or family in 2024?
  • Generous with your Worship: I don’t think we can wake up in a new year and simply decide to be generous instead of stingy. We need a change of heart that comes from encountering the God of abundant generosity. Your generosity hinges on your worship of a generous God. David was a generous worshipper, and He was generous with his wallet when they were building the temple. Paul was a generous worshipper, and he was generous with his words, giving insight to every generation of life in Christ.

Our God is a God of abundant generosity. I am convinced that He is willing and able to give and do more in our Movement than we can ever ask, dream or imagine. As we are generous in our worship of Him this year, I pray that He will make us generous in our ministry to others.

God Bless

Jason Elsmore
Director of the Queensland Baptist Movement