The Power of Generosity

Over 8 weeks, a group of young adults from Vintage (a young adult ministry in Buffalo) came together to help raise money for Agape International Missions, an organization that fights sex trafficking in Cambodia. Over the eight weeks there were multiple fundraisers going on and collectively we raised over $27,000!

Myself and a group of friends came together to do our 3rd annual Spa Day Fundraiser. If you came you could get a mini-massage, paraffin treatment, facials, hair-styling, manicures, plus more. For a few hours our small group raised just over $4,000! Every year it’s amazing to see what can be accomplished and how God provides thru a small group of willing people just trying to make a difference in this world. Generosity can do more than we could ever dream of.

For our spa fundraiser, companies from across the nation donated merchandise for our basket raffle. I don’t even know why I started to reach out, but we emailed different non-profits and companies to see if they would support our efforts with a donation. To our surprise, over 20 companies donated to our fundraiser, giving us beautiful and unique items. We had beautiful handmade items from survivors of trafficking such as purses, tote bags, jewelry, a leather journal, plus body products. As these donations came in, every time I opened a package I was blown away by their generosity over and over again.

A definition for “generous”, is “showing a readiness to give more of something, as money or time, than is strictly necessary or expected.”

When you see a definition like that, it really gets you thinking that changing the world is possible thru generosity. If you and I could take a step back from our busy lives and look in the needs in our world, but then put the action into filling those needs, could you imagine the kind of impact we could make?

Generosity is simple, really. It’s going above and beyond to give what’s expected or even what’s needed. But like I said, far too many of us are so consumed with our lives that helping others is simply not a priority. We are so consumed with taking care of ourselves first that helping other people, families, or causes is too much to ask (and we need to take care of our bills, family, payments, etc. But sometimes God calls us to give away to bless other people). There is so much work to be done in this world if we want a better future for our children and grandchildren. There is so much evil and suffering in the world that there is PLENTY for you and I do to help put an end to it. We can’t do it all alone, but when we come together, we could make a huge impact of transforming our world for the better. 

Too many of us complain about evil and suffering, but are not willing to do anything to stop it. I want to say something in love but with boldness:

Don’t complain about the evil in the world if you’re not willing to do anything to stop it.

Many people don’t believe in God or Jesus because of all the evil in the world. As a Jesus follower, I believe that all the evil in the world is a result of a fallen world. Sin is in all of us, and unless we are connected to Jesus who can help us overcome our sin and selfishness, sin will always be a-part of life.  But, as a Christ follower, what God commands me and His children to do is to FIGHT the evil in the world. Christians are not meant to sit back and pretend like evil and suffering doesn’t exist. Instead, God calls us to look suffering and evil straight in the eyes, and stand up with the power of God to do something about it. God is a personal God. When He sees His creation suffering, He doesn’t enjoy it. His heart breaks because He loves us so much. But Christians are called to be the hands and feet of Christ. If you follow Jesus, you are called to make an impact on this world for the kingdom of God- to love people radically. To serve relentlessly. To be humble and help those no one else wants to help. To serve the poor, orphans, widows, the least of the least because Jesus died for all people.

God is calling all of us to band together and fight the injustice in the world today. Righteousness and justice, this is what God is calling us to be about.

As you and I who love Jesus and want to make Him known do what God is calling us to do, the world will come to know Him. That’s what our lives are all about anyways- to love Jesus, know Jesus, and for everything we do to point to Him.

God wants everyone to come into a relationship with Himself thru His Son Jesus. As we join together to help this world, the power of generosity might just have the power to transform someone’s life for the kingdom of God.

 

 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Matthew 5:14-15