Summary: We were created to reach out to others. We are commanded in Scripture to give generously of our time, talents and finances in ministry. But what is or should be our modivation for giving and serving?

In his book Run with the Horses, Eugene Peterson tells how he saw some birds teaching their young to fly.Three young swallows were perched on a dead branch that stretched out over a lake. “One adult swallow got alongside the chicks and started shoving them out toward the end of the branch – pushing, pushing, pushing. The end one fell off. Somewhere between the branch and the water below, the wings started working and the fledgling was off on his own. Then the second one.The third one, however, was not to be bullied. At the last possible moment his grip on the branch loosened just enough so that he swung downward, then tightened again, bulldog tenacious. The parent pecked at the desperately clinging talons until it was more painful for the chick to hang on than risk the insecurities of flying.The grip was released and the wings began pumping. The mature swallow knew what

the chick did not - that it would fly - that there was no danger in making it do what it was designed to do.”

Peterson writes, “Birds have feet and can walk.

Birds have talons and can grasp a branch securely.

They can walk; they can cling. But flying is their characteristic action and not until they fly are they

living at their best, gracefully and beautifully. Giving is what we do best. It is the air into which we were born.It is the action that was designed into us

before our birth.Some people try desperately to hold on to themselves, to live for self. They look so bedraggled and pathetic doing it, hanging on to the dead branch of selfishness and self-centeredness, afraid to risk themselves on the untried wings of giving. Yet many people don’t think they can live generously because they have never tried.” We were created to live generously by giving generously of our time,talents and finances. We were meant to soar.

We were created to give. In giving we are able to soar, to reach new heights in living. Luke 6:30 says, “GIVE AND IT SHALL BE GIVEN UNTO YOU….” Ecclesiastes 11:1 commands us to “CAST YOUR BREAD UPON THE WATER…” We were created to reach out to others.

We are repeatedly commanded throughout Scripture to give generously of our time, talents and finances in ministry. We were created in such a way that we can experience fulfillment, contentment, and meaning in life only as we look beyond ourselves and soar on the wings of giving. Selfish, stingy, self-centered people miss out on life’s best blessings.

We were created in such a way that we experience richness and fullness of life only as we know the joy that comes from giving. We truly were created to soar on the wings of giving. That is the way God made us.

Dr. Gordon Allport says that “to be truly alive and growing, an individual must move beyond self-fulfillment.” Self-centeredness, selfishness and stinginess ruin life. Howard Hughes certainly illustrates this biblical truth. In his youthful days, he was a typical playboy, with a passion for pleasure seeking and “an aversion for giving. As he grew older and turned an inheritance into a vast fortune, he became more and more closed-fisted. He was stingy, selfish and self-centered. He let his wealth create an

ever-increasing barrier between himself and other people.” Needless to say, he died a hopeless, miserable recluse. Without question, we were created to soar on the wings of giving.

“In sharp contrast to Hughes was George Mueller who, like Hughes, inherited wealth, but established a lifelong pattern of generous sharing. His life was characterized by serving the needs of others. He was not stingy, selfish or self-centered. He poured out his life and wealth caring for thousands of orphans in

London during the war. His life was marked by joy, fulfillment, meaning, purpose and contentment. Giving leads to life itself. That is why someone has aptly said, “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”Accumulating wealth, acquiring positions and hoarding possessions does not result in a meaningful, fulfilling, satisfying life. It is only in giving of ourselves, our time and our finances that we experience the intangibles of life that make life worthwhile. No wonder God commands us to give generously of our time, talents and finances.It is for

our own good!

Touched by God’s grace we cannot help but support the Lord’s work by giving of our time, talents and finances.Graced by God we cannot help but give. Our study of grace brings us quite naturally to the subject of finances.It is a subject that I have avoided and, perhaps, been remiss or negligent in my duties. I have not preached on the subject in years out of fear that you would get the wrong impression thinking that we, as a church, are primarily interested in your money. Nothing could be further from the truth. In the process of avoiding the subject I have kept some of you from discovering the way God blesses us as we financially support His work.I will make up for that neglect by preaching the next ten sermons on giving!! No, I’m just kidding!

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