Summary: Challenges people to be generous with time, talents and treasure.
This Sermon and series based on sermon series by Nelson Searcy and the Journey Church.
The Challenge of Generosity
Welcome to Hickory Creek Community Church.
We are glad that you are here today. We hope that because of your being here, God would speak to you
through the message,
through the musical worship and
through His people who are part of this church.
We consider it an honor that you have come today to worship the risen Lord with us.
We would ask that you please be patient with the crowding in the parking lot and in the sanctuary.
We will be adding a second service on March 15th to help alleviate some of these crowding issues.
While we approach that time, Hickory Creek has embarked on the New Testament Challenge.
Those who have been here for the last couple of weeks, how is it going?
Have you been keeping up with your reading?
For those who may be joining us for the first time today, the New Testament Challenge is a Challenge to
1. Read through the New Testament over a 9 week period. We have a reading plan that gives us what to read each day. You can find that on our website or pick one up at the resource table.
a. Suggestion if you want to join us. Skip Matthew and Acts right now and catch up with Romans and start Mark tomorrow. Or Skip Matt, Acts and Romans (do them at the end) and start with Mark and 1 Corinthians.
2. Strive to attend each of the Sunday messages over the next 7 (more) weeks. We talk about some of the main teachings of the New Testament.
3. Allow God to speak to you through reading and teaching
4. Strive to take steps He wants you to take to grow you.
That is the Challenge. If you want to join with us, then you are welcome to come up after the service and sign a commitment card and have it put up on our wall to help you stay true to this commitment.
Today in the New Testament Challenge, we are going to talk about the Challenge of Generosity.
We have been reading in the book of Acts these past 2 weeks
This morning we are going to look at a passage in Acts 20 (p.788 in Bibles)
Here we encounter Paul and he is near the end of his second missionary journey. He is going to be heading back to Jerusalem so he calls the Ephesian elders to say farewell and to remind them of the example in life that he is leaving them.
I want to read this as we talk today about the challenge of generosity because generosity is truly a challenge. It is much more than giving money or writing a check. It really is a lifestyle, a lifestyle that Paul exemplifies.
Let’s read a bit about Paul and we will jump off from here to take a look at the whole of living a generous life.
17 From Miletus,(my lee tus) Paul sent to Ephesus for the elders of the church. 18 When they arrived, he said to them: "You know how I lived the whole time I was with you, from the first day I came into the province of Asia. 19 I served the Lord with great humility and with tears, although I was severely tested by the plots of the Jews. 20 You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house. 21 I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.
22 "And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. 23 I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. 24 However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me-the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.
25 "Now I know that none of you among whom I have gone about preaching the kingdom will ever see me again. 26 Therefore, I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of all men. 27 For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God. 28 Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. 29 I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. 30 Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. 31 So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.