2 Timothy 1:16–18

The virtues God desires to form in us are best modelled in some of the obscure characters in Scripture. In fact, the virtue of generosity is often mentioned but rarely seen or experienced.

Tucked away in Paul’s final letter to young Timothy is a delightful story of joyful generosity. It’s the story of Onesiphorus...no, I didn’t just sneeze! That really is his name (it isn’t a misprint). Perhaps you’ve not heard of him. He wasn’t a New Testament fat cat with deep pockets, but his life was marked by a spirit of remarkable generosity.
Paul wrote of him:

May the Lord show special kindness to Onesiphorus and all his family because he often visited and encouraged me. He was never ashamed of me because I was in chains. When he came to Rome, he searched everywhere until he found me. May the Lord show him special kindness on the day of Christ’s return. And you know very well how helpful he was in Ephesus. (2 Timothy 1:16–18)

What an encouraging portrait Paul paints with his words of this humble servant.
Does generosity mark your life? I don’t mean only that you give generously to God’s work. Barnabas is mentioned in the Bible not only for his financial gift but also for his gift of encouragement:

There was Joseph, the one the apostles nicknamed Barnabas (which means “Son of Encouragement”). He was from the tribe of Levi and came from the island of Cyprus. He sold a field he owned and brought the money to the apostles. (Acts 4:36–37)

While financial generosity is certainly noteworthy, my question above includes your time and personal presence and assistance, given liberally, with no strings attached. Do words of encouragement and gratitude flow easily from your lips? That’s generosity. You know it when you see it...but most especially when you receive it.


Devotional content taken from Good Morning, Lord...Can We Talk? by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright © 2018. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries. All rights reserved.