Summary: A discussion about what we can do to become people of generosity like our Father in heaven.
Open Hearts, Open Hands
Deuteronomy 15:1-15 1 At the end of every seven years you must cancel debts. 2 This is how it is to be done: Every creditor shall cancel the loan he has made to his fellow Israelite. He shall not require payment from his fellow Israelite or brother, because the LORD's time for canceling debts has been proclaimed. 3 You may require payment from a foreigner, but you must cancel any debt your brother owes you. 4 However, there should be no poor among you, for in the land the LORD your God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, he will richly bless you, 5 if only you fully obey the LORD your God and are careful to follow all these commands I am giving you today. 6 For the LORD your God will bless you as he has promised, and you will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. You will rule over many nations but none will rule over you.
7 If there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the towns of the land that the LORD your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother. 8 Rather be openhanded and freely lend him whatever he needs. 9 Be careful not to harbor this wicked thought: "The seventh year, the year for canceling debts, is near," so that you do not show ill will toward your needy brother and give him nothing. He may then appeal to the LORD against you, and you will be found guilty of sin. 10 Give generously to him and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to. 11 There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land. 12 If a fellow Hebrew, a man or a woman, sells himself to you and serves you six years, in the seventh year you must let him go free. 13 And when you release him, do not send him away empty-handed. 14 Supply him liberally from your flock, your threshing floor and your winepress. Give to him as the LORD your God has blessed you. 15 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the LORD your God redeemed you. That is why I give you this command today.
Intro: God is a God who gives! God so loved the word that He gave…. Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it. God is very generous to us! And He can afford to be. He’s very rich! But He doesn’t just give us what comes easy. He has given sacrificially of Himself. The rest of John 3:16 tells how sacrificial His giving is. He gave it all!
-I’m planning to take a few weeks to talk about generosity and becoming more like our Father in heaven. God’s heart is open to us. Consequently, His hands are open to us as well. And He instructs His people all through the Bible to be generous, to give to the poor, to help those in need, and He warns us not to get too attached to wealth and the material things of this world. He calls us to learn to be content in whatever financial situation we are in. He commands us to seek His kingdom and His righteousness first and foremost in our lives. When we do, all that we need will be available to us.
-As much as we think we need to live the American dream, let me just say that God’s dreams are a whole lot better! The American dream can be very short-sighted and self-serving. But a God-breathed dream will bring life and blessing to many, and a deep sense of fulfillment as we partner with Him! So, from these verses in Deut. 15, let’s see what we need to do to be a generous person before God.
1. Generous people deal with a selfish heart
Deuteronomy 15:9 Be careful not to harbor this wicked thought: "The seventh year, the year for canceling debts, is near," so that you do not show ill will toward your needy brother and give him nothing. He may then appeal to the LORD against you, and you will be found guilty of sin.
-Sometimes there seems to be a fine line between being stingy and being a good steward. But the bottom line here is this: If your primary concern is “What’s in it for me?” then it is possible that you have crossed over into the stingy zone. Nowhere in the Bible are we instructed to base our giving on personal gain.