How to Cultivate a Heart of Generosity

Woman sitting on a bench watching the sunset

You will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God.

2 CORINTHIANS 9:11
(emphasis added)

Give — to offer to something higher, to make a present of, to place in the possession of another for their use.

What’s your most prized possession? It might be the most valuable thing you own, like the house you’ve worked your whole life to afford. But it could also be a photo from a special time you spent with someone you loved. Or it could be a meaningful gift from a friend.

The value we assign to our “things” is tangled up with our emotions. How we choose to use the things we cherish most reveals our true priorities.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

MATTHEW 6:21

There’s nothing wrong with having things, or with enjoying them. The problem comes when our things have us. God modeled what generosity looks like when He sacrificed his greatest treasure for us. When we give like He does, and we honor Him with that giving, it draws us closer to Him.

This is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

JOHN 3:16 (emphasis added)

Here are 3 simple ways you can begin to practice generosity:

Invest Your Time

Are you engaged in what’s going on in your community? On your street? With your next-door neighbors? You can practice being a better listener almost anywhere: taking your trash out, shopping at a grocery store, working out at the gym. Look for common ground with people, and meet them wherever they are in life, with kindness and respect.

Challenge: The next interaction you have with someone, ask how their day is going. Then listen. Be genuinely interested in them. Make the moment about them, not about you.

Invest Your God-Given Gifts

In what areas are you uniquely gifted? Are you putting your gifts and talents to work in ways that will point people toward Jesus? One of Jesus’ most famous parables is about making the most of what God has given us.

Challenge: Find someplace where you can begin using your gifts to serve others. Start small and local, or go big. Just start.

Invest Your Money

The body of believers that you consider home is the first place where you should invest.

Beyond the tithe, here are two options to prayerfully consider giving to:

Bible Translation

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YouVersion

Green arrow

But these are just two ideas. God is moving in the hearts of His people all over the world.

Challenge: Find a movement of God that you feel passionate about, and put your treasure where your heart is: Give.

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Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

2 CORINTHIANS 9:7

What does it mean to worship God?

Woman worshipping

You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

1 PETER 2:9 (emphasis added)

Worship — to express honor to God through extravagant respect, reverence, and devotion.

What are you grateful for? When life is good, we tend to take basic things for granted, like having enough food and a safe place to sleep, enjoying good health and people who love us, etc. But research shows that being intentional to “count our blessings” makes our lives better.1

Maybe you already practice gratitude. Do you also reflect on where your good things come from? The apostle Paul reminded his friend Timothy that God “gives us all we need for our enjoyment.” (1 Timothy 6:17 NLT) What can we do to respond to this truth?

Honor the Lord for the glory of his name. Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.

PSALMS 29:2

Think about this: God made His own universe. He built one of His planets with an atmosphere that could sustain life, where he placed humans… and gave them everything they would ever need. And then, in spite of all our faults and failings (in fact, because of them) He invited us to join His family, adopting us as His daughters and sons. That’s reason to celebrate Him!

Lord, you are our most powerful king. Your name is famous in all the wide world.… When I look at your skies that your fingers made, I see the moon, I see the stars.… Then I ask: Why do you remember men and women? What makes you visit them? You made their place a little below God.… You made them to rule everything that your hands made. You put everything under their feet.

PSALMS 8:1, 3-8

Here are 3 practical ways we can worship God:

Sing Praise

James says that when things are going well, we should sing praises to God. Don’t know any songs you can sing to Him? Then you’re in for a real treat: you can find thousands of songs that will help you give glory to God. Whatever your taste in music, it’s a safe bet that talented artists have created worship in that style.

Challenge: Look for “worship,” “praise,” and “Christian music” on any streaming services you use. It’s worth investing some time to explore.

Thank Him in Prayer

When Jesus was teaching His disciples to pray, he told them to start like this: “Our Father in heaven, help us to honor your name.” It’s fine to ask God for things, but real relationship includes both take and give. But what do we have to offer God? Our honor, respect, and gratitude.

Challenge: At least once a day for the next week, go to God in prayer, and thank Him for something He’s done for you, without asking Him for anything.

Share Your Story

The writer of Hebrews encourages us to honor God by “proclaiming our allegiance to his name.” God is always working for good for the people who love Him. Isn’t it thrilling to know that God chose you for a specific purpose in His kingdom? Are you actively spreading the word about God’s goodness?

Challenge: This week, anytime you’re talking with friends, watch for natural opportunities to share some of what God is doing in your life.

These are just a few suggestions to help you start turning intimacy with God into a daily rhythm. Explore more ways to begin worshipping God in one of the Plans below.

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Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.

PSALM 100:1-5


Notes

1 Counting Blessings Versus Burdens: An Experimental Investigation of Gratitude and Subjective Well-Being in Daily Life.

Family Time = The Best Time

Train up children in the way they should go [teaching them to seek God's wisdom and will for their abilities and talents]. Even when they're old, they won't depart from it. - Proverbs 22:6 - Family sitting on grass playing Bible App for Kids

Make the most of Family Time.

When you create safe spaces for your kids to play, experiment, ask questions, and most of all — to have fun with you — you build long-term trust and a deeper relationship. Here are some fun, easy activities you can do with your kids to make the most of your time together.

Take a nature walk.

Where you go doesn’t matter, as long as you’re together. Along the way, talk about God’s place in your family, and about your place in His family.

Play “Where are we?”

Take selfies together with fun or mysterious backgrounds, then post them for your friends and family to guess. (Bonus: Try this one with Bible Lens!)

Decorate your Family Verse.

Pick a verse, write it in fancy letters on nice paper, and decorate it together. Examples: Unity, Generosity, Humility, Love, or find your own.

Explore God’s Word Together

Get free resources like coloring sheets, family challenges, parent guides, and streaming Bible videos at BibleAppforKids.com.

Get More Resources

Listen to your Mid-Year Challenge Plans.

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Are you taking the Challenge? We started the annual Mid-Year Challenge to help you get on track spending time with God in His Word every day:

2019 Mid-Year Challenge Badge

Complete seven days’ worth of Bible Plan content in a row, and you’ll earn this special badge.

Finding Plans is easy. Just go to the Plans tab in the app and try one of our recommended Plans. Or search by topic, keyword, author… even by emotion.

And, if you didn’t know, now you can even have your Amazon Alexa or Google device read your Plans to you! Just try one of these:

“Alexa, ask YouVersion Bible to read my Plan”

“Ok Google, ask YouVersion Bible
to read my Plan”

Find a Plan

How Do I Lead My Children Spiritually?

Father and daughter coloring

Teach [God’s words] to your children. Talk about them all the time—whether you’re at home or walking along the road or going to bed at night, or getting up in the morning.

DEUTERONOMY 11:19

It can be hard to explain your faith to your children in ways they can understand. Fortunately, you don’t have to know everything or have it all figured out. In fact, when you explore your faith together with your kids, you’re giving them something more valuable than just information: your time and attention.


Experience the Big Stories of the Bible, Together.

Of course, you could just open Bible App for Kids on your phone and hand it to your child (maybe so you can get some chores done). But, consider trying this: sit with your child in your lap and ask them to show you a story. Let your child show you how the app works. (Ask lots of questions!) Sharing the app together will create natural opportunities for you to talk… and you’ll learn what’s on your child’s mind.

Get the App


Explore These Free Resources, Together.

BibleAppForKids.com is the companion website to Bible App for Kids. It has coloring pages for them, parent guides for you, activities for you both, streaming video episodes, and more. Consider watching a video together and talking about it. Or print some coloring sheets, then color them together. All of these are completely free. And, just as with the app, exploring the website together will give you plenty to talk about.

Visit the Website


Find Your People.

While you could share your family’s values with your kids (and you should), they’ll actually absorb much more from what they see your family living out every day. It’s a great idea to surround your family with other families that share similar values. And if you don’t have a church home yet, the Events feature in the Bible App can help you find gatherings taking place near you.

Look for Events


Take Some Pictures, Together

Do your kids understand that they live in a world that God made for them? Use Bible Lens to take some selfies together, then talk about the Bible verses it suggests for your pictures. (Experiment with different Bible versions to find one that’s easy for your children to understand.) Let your kids take pictures of things they like, like birds, trees, pets, and toys, and then talk about what Bible Lens says about them. Introduce them to the wonder of God’s world that’s all around them.

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You’re Already Leading Your Family Spiritually

Everything we’ve offered here are just suggestions. We hope they’ll spark even more ideas for ways you can invest in your family. Whether or not you choose to try any of them, realize this: you’re already leading your family. Whatever you choose to do each day, your children are learning from you that those are the things you value. Be intentional about the direction you choose to go as a family… and do it together.

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