9 Bible Verses on Generosity for Your Next Devo or Sermon
Bible Verses on Generosity of Christian giving. One translation of the famous 1 Corinthians 13:13 verse says, “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.”
That charity is love, but it’s not love like the world has come to define it. Christian love is active. It’s giving to others, in spirit and also in physical ways, and generosity is one way to do that.
But speaking from the pulpit, devotional writing, or Sunday school classroom about the importance of generosity in a Christian life can begin to sound like constant prescriptive preaching, and that can turn your congregation off.
One way to better convey the value of generosity is to meditate on some new Bible verses about generosity so you can fold different thoughts into your message to others. Consider these nine Bible verses on generosity — how do they apply to your life, the gospel, your congregation, or anecdotes you can share?
1. 2 Corinthians 9:7
Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
Many people look at tithing and other giving as a must-do rule, and it can be hard to get excited about something like that. In reality, the Bible encourages every believer to give with a full and loving heart.
Understanding that giving in itself is a wonderful blessing from God can change hearts and minds about the nature of generosity.
2. Luke 6:38
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
This isn’t a verse explaining some sort of divine investment opportunity where you give and God returns it tenfold. Jesus says these words just after telling his followers they should love their enemies. If you love someone who loves you, Jesus says, that’s easy. What credit should you get for that? You have to love your enemies, too, and not be judgmental of others.
Then he says to give, graciously and in good measure, to others. That giving isn’t tied only to money. It also refers to giving time, attention, love, grace, friendship, prayer — anything of good value.
And you should give not because God is going to give it back to you — though he will — but because he already has.
3. Proverbs 21:13
Whoever shuts their ears to the cry of the poor will also cry out and not be answered.
This one is pretty straightforward. Certainly, we can’t always solve a need when we hear of it, but Christians are not to shut their ears to those needs. They are to listen and act in whatever way they can, knowing that God will bless and multiply those good efforts as long as they are in his name and according to his will.
4. Psalm 41:1
Blessed are those who have regard for the weak; the Lord delivers them in times of trouble.
The 41st Psalm starts out with three verses about God’s promises for those who care for the ones who are weaker than them. A generous spirit is flexible in its giving, caring for those who are less fortunate, those who are in special need, or even those who rely on giving on a regular basis (such as church staff). This is a great Psalm to meditate on when considering personal or corporate mission projects or giving.
5. Galatians 6:2 Bible Verses on Generosity for Your Next Devo or Sermon
Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
This verse comes in the context of Paul’s letter to the Galatians where he’s talking about how they should support each other in proper Christian living. He tells them they should gently guide each other out of sin, but to be careful because everyone can be tempted.
Paul sweeps a pretty wide brush when talking about carrying each other’s burdens here. Burdens can be emotional, mental, or physical, and it’s important to live generously on all accounts.
The “law of Christ” isn’t defined here, but you might think about what Jesus said when he was asked about the greatest commandment. It was, he said, to love God with all your heart, soul, and mind. And right below that, Jesus added, was the command to love your neighbor as yourself.
6. 1 Timothy 6:18-19
Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.
Paul writes these words to Timothy in the same chapter as he writes about the dangers of the love of money. He says that we should be content with having our needs met and not fall into the trap of wanting to get rich so badly that we forget to be generous or forget to lead lives in line with Christ’s spirit.
Paul encourages Timothy to “flee from all this.” Not from money itself, which is obviously a necessary tool now as it was then. But to flee from the love of it, which can create a barrier to your relationship with God and others. Someone who flees from the love of money is much more able to part with it cheerfully and generously when God calls them to do so.
7. Matthew 6:19-21 Bible Verses on Generosity
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
In 2021 and beyond, it’s easy to see why people would want to store up things — from food and toilet paper to money. These things can make us feel more secure, especially in seemingly troubled times. But in his sermon, Jesus reminds his followers of the temporary nature of this “security.”
Better to share and to give, storing up love and kindness, which are everlasting. Because putting too much stock in the safety of those earthly treasures can cause your heart to dwell in short-lived abundance on earth alongside them.
8. Acts 20:35
In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
Before he leaves Ephesus, Paul speaks with the people of the church one last time. The final recorded part of this message is in Acts 20. Paul uses himself as an example, saying that he never coveted the material possessions of those around him. Even while serving them and sharing the message of the Gospel, Paul says, he used the work of his own hands to meet the needs of him and his companions.
He says that he did this as a way to demonstrate for others how they should work for God. That they should embrace hard work that aligns with their skills and abilities and use the fruits of those works to help themselves and others.
9. John 3:16 Bible Verses on Generosity
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
This might not be a Bible verse on generosity you would think of when considering church or Christian giving. But it’s actually the template for that type of giving:
- God loved us so much that he gave his only Son, a gift that is priceless and infinite in value.
- Jesus loves us so much that he gave his life.
- We should love each other so much that we are happy to give just a little of what we have been blessed with.