Play

Generosity.001Introduction

  1. Last week I talked about what it was going to take to build up our compassion.
    1. We serve a compassionate God!  Amen?  We follow a compassionate Lord!  Amen?
    2. Psalm 37:21 – a compassion person is also a generous person.  Compassion demonstrates itself in generosity.
    3. Are you a generous person – giving of yourself, to meet the physical, emotional and/or spiritual needs of others?
    4. I’m often afraid to be generous.
      1. Afraid of being taken advantage of or being taken for granted.
        1. You know what?  Generous people are taken advantage of and are taken for granted by some people.
        2. You know what?  People do that to God and they did that to Jesus!
  2. Afraid that if I’m generous, I won’t be able to meet my own needs.
  3. If fear is holding you back from being the generous person you know God wants you to be, then I’ve got good news for you today!
  4. If you’re a Christian, a true disciple of Jesus, you’ve got no excuse for being stingy and every reason to be generous.  Why & How?

WE CANNOT BE MORE GENEROUS TO OTHERS THAN GOD WILL BE TO US (Luke 6:38)

  1. This is a biblical principle that never fails.
    1. Even at our most generous, when we’ve given till we’ve got nothing else to give, yet still want to give more – God is more generous than we are.
    2. Bottom line – we simply cannot give more to others than God gives to us.
    3. The point is – God will meet our needs more completely than we will meet the needs of others (e.g., Philippians 4:19)
    4. If our needs (not our greeds) are not being met, then maybe God’s waiting for us to give of ourselves to meet the needs of others!  Just something to think about!
    5. We don’t always get back in kind, whatever it is we have given, but we get back what human effort cannot achieve and material things cannot satisfy.
      1. Store up treasures in heaven (Matthew 6:33).  So how do we do that?
      2. Paul answers that question very clearly and once for all (1 Timothy 6:17-19)
      3. Question: Where are we storing up treasures?  If we are not being generous with what we have, we are for sure more concerned about living now, than living in eternity.

GIVE OURSELVES FULLY FIRST TO THE LORD, THEN TO OTHERS (2 Corinthians 8:1-5)

  1. When we become Christians we give all that we are and all that we have to God.
    1. That’s what it means when we confess Jesus is Lord – his is now Master of all that we are and all that we have; we are his servants and stewards of what he gives us.
    2. The bible says that we have been bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:20) – body, soul and spirit – with the blood of Christ!
    3. Now everything we have and everything we are belongs to Jesus – the goal of our lives as his disciples is to do our best to use what we have and who we are according to HIS will, not ours!
    4. So, as blood bought disciples whatever we give to others is not ours, it is God’s and by giving it, we are showing that we are God’s.
      1. That’s why the Macedonian Christians were able to give so eagerly and so freely – it wasn’t their money that they were giving; it was God’s.
      2. Let me illustrate this point.
        1. Shing has just given me $40 to be a steward of; I can use it to meet my needs and to meet the needs of others.
        2. Charles, my brother, comes along and he has a need for $20, but he doesn’t have $20.  So I have no problem giving him $20 of Shing’s dollars.  And I’ve still got $20 left!  Amazing!
        3. If I told shing that I didn’t have $20 to give him, that’d be really selfish and it would be tantamount to lying, wouldn’t it?  Certainly I would be missing the point of why Shing gave me $40 in the first place.
  2. But the Macedonians didn’t just give according to their ability; they gave beyond their ability.
    1. In other words, they sacrificed meeting some of their own needs, temporarily while trusting God, in order to meet the needs of others.
    2. Why would they do that?  See the next two points!

JESUS IS THE STANDARD FOR OUR GENEROSITY, NOT THE O.T., NOT THE WORLD (2 Corinthians 8:8)

  1. Jesus gave out of love for us; he gave of himself.
    1. He became poor so that we could become rich!
    2. That’s crazy love!  That’s over the top love!  Most people would say that is insanity!
    3. The standard of giving that Jesus set is to give to meet the need!  The depth of need is the measure of what we are to give.
    4. But isn’t there some percentage we are supposed to give?
      1. No!  That was for the Jewish people under the first covenant, and even then they didn’t just give 10% and that was the extent of their giving to others.
      2. Our giving is not measured by amounts or percentages, but by need and by what we truly are able to give – the measure is sacrifice.

OUR GENEROSITY GLORIFIES GOD (2 Corinthians 8:8-15)

  1. We’ve come full circle – we simply can’t give more to others than God gives to us.
    1. God will always bless those who give of themselves and what they have.
    2. God is looking for channels into which to pour his blessings; he will not pour his blessings into private reservoirs.
    3. Generosity, Christ-like generosity, impacts people, because it obviously comes from God!
      1. People don’t care what we know unless we show them that we care.
      2. Jesus said, “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)
      3. Generous disciples may be a little more tired, a little more poor, get a little less sleep, live in smaller homes or drive older cars, etc., but they are energized and excited because through their generosity God was praised…and that is what they live for!

Practical Application

  1. HOPEww of Canada
    1. I need a core of volunteers who will work together to help organize and oversee our National Day of Service on May 25th.
    2. I will set up a meeting in early March and all those interested in pouring themselves into this project, can meet with me then and we’ll get going.
    3. HOPEww of B.C. ChildRun Team
    4. Weekly contribution
      1. Everyone can give something toward the functioning of the church as a whole.
      2. The more we are willing to give the more we can do to meet physical, emotional and spiritual needs within the church and the more we can do to get the gospel out!
      3. Special Missions contribution
        1. Set for June 15, 2013.
          1. Having had two years of Special Ministry contribution in 2010 & 2011.

i.     Got our campus ministry going and off the ground.

ii.     In two years we gave $165,000 above and beyond the weekly.

We are working things out so that we will give to Missions this year:

  • The Ural region of Russia – along with several other Canadian churches.
  • Mission work in the United Kingdom (led by Canadian Andy Fleming) – along with several other NW churches.
  • Mission work in Istanbul, Turkey
  1. Starting praying, planning and doing whatever you can to give to this contribution; I’m praying that we can give at least $25,000!
  2. Let’s pray now!

 


Brian Felushko

Brian is a certified coach and trainer using the Leading From Your Strengths model (www.ministryinsights.com) and also offers training in Nonviolent Communication. He authors a blog that provides insight and inspiration for all who desire to grow spiritually (http://brianfelushko.blogspot.ca).

Related Posts

Podcast Sermons

2017.10.01 – Mike Morettin – Sunday Service

Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSunday Service

Podcast Sermons

2017.09.10 – Matt Rollins – Oikos Pt. 2

Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadOikos

Podcast Sermons

2017.09.03 – Matt Rollins – Oikos

Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadOikos