Introduction: Abraham learned to receive God’s blessings, and he learned how to “turn off the valve” of the blessings. Had he learned the secret to blessing others?
Secret #1: Know the Source of Generosity (13:2-4)
Abraham’s generous heart was rooted in the knowledge of his undeserved blessing from God. Coming from a defeat in his life, God cleansed his heart, and God’s grace marked Abraham’s relationships. Principle: A right relationship with God nurtures a generous heart, and curbs a critical and judgmental heart.
Secret #2: Understand the Problem (13:5-7)
Generosity and other person-centered living is not the norm in our world. People are self interested, which causes constant strife (James 4:1). Principle: When my heart is truly generous toward others, there will be those who cannot understand what I am doing!
Secret #3: See Problems as Opportunities to be Generous (13:8-9)
Generosity is “acts that are based on a deliberate intention to help another gain what they need to become what God intends them to be (to reach their potential for God).” When Abraham saw the tensions, he used the opportunity to better Lot’s fortunes! Principle: Opportunities are either viewed as obstacles (and chafed at) or as opportunities (and carefully responded to).
Secret #4: Delight in the Progress of the Other (13:10-11)
Abraham was energized by the progress of his nephew, Lot. He was not resistant, but reinforcing and encouraging. Principle: Nothing kills a generous heart more than the venom of jealousy.
Secret #5: See God’s Promises to YOU as the continued source of Happiness and Security (13:12-18) Abraham got a Divine endorsement of blessing in light of his generous heart. You cannot out give God, and He will care for those whose heart is truly generous toward others.
Principle: We are never so tall as when we stoop to help others! Is your heart generous?