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Summary: The power of true generosity challenges individualism of consumerism.

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Given to Generosity

Series: ROOTS

Brad Bailey – November 6, 2011

Intro

We’ve entered November…. heading into the holiday season. Which brings us into one of the great conflicts in our nature. In just a few weeks we will have a special day in which we stop and give thanks… we recognize the need to be grateful for all we have… and then within hours we are unleashed to into a shopping frenzy… to become consumed with buying new stuff for the Christmas season.

This past week… sat down as a family and talked about getting some perspective ahead of time.

This morning God invites us to do the same.

As we continue in our series ROOTS… seeking to recapture the life of Jesus in us… by looking at the first followers of Jesus in the Book of Acts…we see the power of being changed in how we related to our possessions.

Acts 4:32-37 (NIV)

All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. 33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. 34 There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need. 36 Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means Son of Encouragement), 37 sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles' feet.

Here we see a quality that flowed into the nature of those who first began living in the life of Jesus… GENEROSITY… they were GIVEN TO GENEROSITY. [1] [2]

As you heard of what unfolded… perhaps like me you heard something both inspiring and intimidating.

Such generosity is inspiring. Generosity is perhaps the greatest quality that can be attributed to anyone. The English word is derived from that which infers nobility...that which reflects what bears the highest dignity. When we speak of a generous portion… it means larger.

A generous person is larger… more truly fulfilling their greatest dignity.

But generosity is often conflicts with something else within us. We love to give… but we really want to get as well… maybe even more.

BOY TELLS BROTHER "TO PLAY JESUS" IN SHARING

A mother was preparing pancakes for her sons, Kevin, 5, Ryan, 3.

The boys began to argue over who would get the first pancake. Their mother saw the opportunity for a moral lesson. "If Jesus were sitting here, He would say, 'Let my brother have the first pancake. I can wait.' Kevin turned to his younger brother and said, "Ryan, you be Jesus!"

So lets stop for a moment and pray… and ask God to help us.

“Father… you have gathered us to grow us… to grow us to become more like you. We are inspired but intimidated. For to become more generous will likely challenge our grip… our control… our sense of ownership. Teach us how to be more like you.”


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