“Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.” Genesis 15:1
The Book of Genesis is the first book in the Bible and marks the beginning of mankind. Within the pages of this detailed account of God’s work in the world is Abram who eventually came to be called Abraham. God created a covenant and promised to bless Abraham. Abraham became the father of the people of Israel and the line through which the Messiah Jesus came to earth.
Genesis 15:6 says, “Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.” Abram was a man in whom God could entrust his message and blessing to all of mankind through a wonderful unfolding plan passed down in time.
Genesis chapters 11 through 25 provide detailed accounts of many of the most important events in Abram/Abraham’s life. In particular Abraham is a wonderful example of generosity to others.
Chuck Bentley, author and ministry leader, shares six ways to be generous from the life of Abraham that may help you to be more generous:
1. In Genesis 12, God told Abram to go to a new land. Abram obeyed and took his nephew, Lot, with him. Lot’s father had died, and this was an incredible act of generosity on Abram’s part. God may be leading you to care for people, such as elderly parents or a family in crisis, in the same way that Abram cared for Lot.
2. Abram showed generosity by giving Lot the first choice of the land. Has God called you to be generous with another member of your family as you divide an estate? Or, are you being called to forgive someone who took advantage of you in a past estate settlement?
3. When Lot was captured, Abram rescued him. Lot’s foolish behavior had cost him everything, but Abram loved him anyway. We should be willing to serve, help, and be generous to those in need—even those who have been foolish.
4. As a result of rescuing Lot, Abram and his servants captured treasures that had been stolen. From these treasures, Abram gave a tithe to Melchizedek, king of Salem, who was a “priest of God Most High” (Genesis 14:18 NIV). He knew that everything he had came from God. Has God called you to have a greater focus on supporting His Kingdom?
5. Abram gave back all the captured treasures except what his men needed for refreshment. If you’re an employer, be generous to your employees. Share your company’s victories with them, and let them know you couldn’t make it without them.
6. Abram gave back all the (remaining) captured treasures to the King of Sodom. Has God called you to be generous even with those who don’t deserve your generosity?
Consider reading these chapters in Genesis and applying lessons of generosity in your own life. As you are generous to others, you will experience the generosity of God through his spiritual riches in Christ.