Generous God, Generous People

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November 5, 2017

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    Getting Started

    Blessed to be a blessing. Genesis 12:2-3 It is more blessed to give than to receive. Acts 20:35 Honor the Lord with your wealth. . . Proverbs 3:9 2,350! That is the number of Bible verses that speak about money.

    10%. That is the percentage of the Gospels where Jesus talks about money. Sixteen of the thirty-eight parables are about money and possessions.

    Your money is really God’s money on loan to you. What you do with your finances is important to God. How you handle your resources is a vital part of your discipleship.

    Our God is a generous God. He is a God who never tires of giving. He never stops being gracious (which is giving that is unearned and undeserved, but given anyway). As we are remade in his image we, too, become generous, giving, and gracious givers.

    This week, six Bible passages are provided that will teach and motivate you about financial faithfulness. For each passage:

    • Read it carefully.
    • Read it a second time, as needed.
    • Look for the best teaching insights.
    • Look for the motivations provided for being generous.
    • Consider your own habits and patterns of giving.
    • Pray for grace, faithfulness, and the ability to become more generous.

    Also this week, consider the following regarding your financial faithfulness:

    • Have necessary conversations with family members, so it is a family commitment.
    • Attend Financial Peace University for great help on living with financial wisdom that enables you to be generous.
    • Take the Tithing Challenge OR the Next Steps to Generosity Challenge (coming next week)

    Day 1 | Exodus 35:4-29 Everyone who is willing ...

    These verses describe the first big, community-wide fundraising for the work of the Lord. This is an amazing response from willing hearts.

    Day 2 | 1 Chronicles 29:1-20 Who are we to give as generously as this?

    This is one of my favorite passages. Here is a grateful and generous response to the overwhelming goodness of God.

    Day 3 | Matthew 6:19-24 Your treasure, your heart, your God, your money

    These strong words of Jesus reveal how important it is to be generous. What you do with your money is one of the most important indicators of the condition of your heart toward God.

    Day 4 | 2 Corinthians 8:1-9 To excel in the grace of giving

    This is where Paul uploads his best teaching on generosity that comes from a loving heart. That is what charity is.

    Day 5 | 2 Corinthians 9:6-11 Cheerful giving empowered by God’s generosity

    This passage is loaded with motivation, love, and blessing. We are blessed to be a blessing.

    Day 6 | 2 Corinthians 9:12-15 Your generosity makes a real difference

    God is glorified in the generosity of his people as the needs of others are met.


    Motivations for Generosity

    Part of the Sunday message explored motivations. Here is a brief summary of those that work . . . and those that don’t!
    1. Guilt, Fear, and Shame. These motivations don’t work. Or, if they do work, they work for the moment, and then are quickly forgotten. Generosity does not arise from nor is it sustained by the spirits of guilt, fear, and shame.
    2. Giving to Get. Ugh! This is self-centered and self-focused. This is when you are giving for your own sake and not for the sake of others. By the way, this is one of the most common reasons used by the prosperity movement. When you give, then God will give even more back to you. Selfishness becomes the motivation! That is not authentic Christianity.
    3. Duty and Responsibility. These are worthwhile motivations. Sometimes people speak negatively of duty and responsibility. That is not a Christian mindset. There are better motivations than these, but these motivations are a good foundation that God will use to create still higher motivations.
    4. Faithfulness to the Will of God. This is another great motivation. Once again, I am surprised that some Christians do not use this motivational energy more often. God loves the faithfulness of his people. God asks us to be faithful to his will, his purposes, his plans, and his invitations.
    5. Love of God and Love of Others. This is the Great Commandment, simply applied to how you spend your finances. This motivation is either clearly spelled out or is implied in most of the great passages on giving. Closely tied to this is your loving desire to do your part, be involved according to your capacity, and be a part of a larger church community who together make a great difference. You are needed. Love says, “I will do my part.”
    6. Habits of the Heart. As you steadily create patterns of faithful and loving obedience to the will of God, you create a habit of the heart. Giving becomes a natural way of living. You hardly even notice you are doing it because it becomes who you are. You are now, like God, generous, giving, gracious, and full of charity.
  • Songs We Sing
    • Song Artist Watch
    • Found In YouVertical Worship
    • This I Believe (The Creed)Hillsong Worship
    • At The Cross (Love Ran Red)Chris Tomlin
    • 10,000 ReasonsMatt Redman
  • Other Messages in Series