The Generous Heart

A generous hearted person understands that every resource we have in life comes from the gracious hand of Almighty God and is to be multiplied for Kingdom priorities and purposes. There is nothing that we own or steward that belongs fully to us, no matter how it was initially acquired. We enter this world with nothing in our hands but life itself, and we exit this world with nothing short of our final breath.

So why do we cling to the attachments of this world? An attachment to food can lead to gluttony. An attachment to passion can lead to lust. An attachment to winning can lead to bullying. An attachment to resources can lead to selfishness. An attachment to power can lead to manipulation. An attachment to our capabilities can lead to pride. An attachment to liberalities can lead to anarchy. An attachment to chemical substances can lead to addition.

The abundant life we’re invited into by Jesus requires a healthy detachment from the things of this world so that our hearts can fully attach to the heart of Christ. Only then will we know what inner contentment looks and feels like. Only then will we live a life of true joy, harmony, justice, continuity, effectiveness, faithfulness, obedience, sacrifice, mercy, and love. The abundant life of the Christ follower is experienced when we prayerfully make God’s priorities our daily priorities.

Jesus makes this profoundly clear in John 12: 23-26, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.” The amazing paradox of this passage is contained in three insights: only by death comes life; only by spending life do we retain it; and only by service comes greatness.

In other words, it is only as we give that we genuinely receive. It is when we have sacrificed that we truly understand the fruitful blessing of the cross. It is when we die to ourselves, our own selfish ambitions, and our personal possessions, that we recover the true meaning of joy. When we fully understand the importance of sacrifice, we live generously for God’s glory and another’s good.

A generous heart knows with certainty that God prospers us not to raise our standard of living, but to raise our standard of giving. Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. Therefore, detach from your kernels of possession (your time, talent and treasure) with an open hand of generosity toward Kingdom priorities and purposes, and then watch them reap a multiplied harvest more than you could ever ask, dream or imagine. It is in giving that we receive…so what do you have in your hand that needs to fall to the ground and die today?

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Steve Macchia

Steve Macchia

Founder & President

Steve is a graduate of Northwestern College (IA) and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (M.Div. and D.Min.). His prior ministry includes serving on the pastoral staff at Grace Chapel (Lexington, MA) and as president of Vision New England. Since July 1, 2003 Steve has served as founder and president of Leadership Transformations, director of the Pierce Center for Disciple-Building, and adjunct faculty in the Doctor of Ministry department at Gordon-Conwell. He is the author of fifteen books, including the Baker bestseller Becoming a Healthy Church, and Crafting a Rule of Life (IVP). He lives in the Boston area with his wife Ruth and is the proud father of two grown children, Rebekah and Nathan, daughter in-love Ashley, and papa to his beloved granddaughter, Brenna Lynn. “My soul comes alive singing the great hymns of the church and enjoying the beauty of God’s creation. I’m in awe of God for fulfilling the dream for LTI that he birthed in my heart, for the team he has assembled, and the transformational impact experienced in the leaders and teams we serve.

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