Missed a devotion in this generosity series? Read them all here.
There is a concept among Native American tribes, originally from the Great Law of the Iroquois, that states all of our actions should be done with regard to our children seven generations into the future (roughly 140 years). By looking at the long-term consequences and gains of our actions, we can more easily and effectively make good decisions.
The same applies to our generosity.
LESSON #2: Give everything you can to better the lives of your children, grandchildren, and every generation to come.
Instead of merely thinking about how one donation might affect us tomorrow when we want to buy a fancy latte, or next week when we have to pay our mortgage, our thoughts should be focused on the legacy we can leave for future generations.
The same thought applied to the generous gift of Jesus Christ.
Mary's Song in Luke says:
My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me—holy is his name. his mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. (Luke 1:46-50)
Jesus was not the Savior for just the generation of people who lived alongside Him. He died and rose again for every generation to come - way more than seven generations. The children being born today are part of the 100th generation still being saved because of the birth, death, and resurrection of our Savior more than 2,000 years ago.
God sees more than today and tomorrow. He sees the whole picture from creation and the fall into sin through Jesus' triumphant return and all of eternity.
We can't, and that makes it hard to think beyond this month's bills and next month's Christmas shopping. But, when we try to look at our generosity like God, in terms of generations and eternity, we can more easily give of ourselves to help those around us with our time, talents, and treasures.
I can give up that new pair of shoes this month to help a child learn about the love of Jesus.
I can skip Starbucks once a week to help counsel victims of abuse.
Jesus tells us to "store up for yourselves treasures in heaven... For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matthew 6:20-21). What better way to make sure our hearts are focused on our eternal life than to help this and future generations to find their way to Jesus.