Summary: Generosity is an important aspect of Christianity. This sermon explores not only why we should be generous but also how we can be generous Christians.
When it comes to generosity,
who are the first people that come to mind?
Does the church come to mind?
Is the church the first thing you think of when you think of generosity?
In other words, are we generous people?
Well it’s a matter of perspective.
Some of us have been richly blessed by the generosity of people in this congregation.
There have been people who have offered to give up their time.
There are examples of people who have freely donated extra money for God’s mission.
Michelle tells me that she has received donations from people for her upcoming trip to Indonesia.
People have told me that they have come to church here and received anonymous donations in their pigeon hole when they have been going through a rough patch.
And when we read the letters from Australian Lutheran World Service we realize how generous people are in our church, donating money.
Even our donation of a toilet block from the school to the Pella church has been seen as a huge blessing by them.
And through our generosity together we have a designated person to co-ordinate care in this congregation
and we have a person to equip and encourage our small group leaders
People in this congregation bless others from time to time in many different ways, whether it be a meal, babysitting, some words of comfort, or anything else you can think of
If you have experienced these things then you would say
That there are times when this congregation is generous.
But there are also times when the church is not generous.
When we haven’t been generous.
Think about those times when a need has been placed before you
either as an individual or leader in the congregation
and you have avoided it.
Or when you have looked for the easiest and cheapest way to help someone rather than the most appropriate…
And at times we have to reexamine whether we are still being generous.
A few years ago a pastor told me the story of his congregation .
75 years ago this congregation began in a blue collar working class suburb.
They scraped together things.
They even offered coffee and tea after church.
However in recent years the area had changed.
There were now more European cars than Australian cars in the main shopping area.
And one day a young couple moved to the area and attended their church.
But what happened after the church caused them a problem.
You see after church they were served International Roast Coffee….
Not wanting to be seen as complainers they offered to buy a small coffee percolator,
To be told be the person responsible for coffee and teas
Ahh we don’t need that and beggars can’t be choosers if they are getting it for nothing they shouldn’t complain.
Some people think that when it comes to money at church that we are actually doing a good job when we discover new ways on how not to spend money…
They think that is stewardship…
That maybe worldly stewardship….
but biblical stewardship is using the money, the time and the talents God has given so as to share the Gospel with others.
Who here believes that we are called to reveal God to others?
Well being generous reveals God’s grace to others.
And therefore from the bible’s perspective being generous is an essential part to being a Christian.
It reveals who God is.
Being generous is part of being spiritual.
If you think you are a spiritual person,
then you also need to be a generous person.
Listen to this from 2 Corinthians 8 verse 7
7 But just as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us see that you also excel in this grace of giving.
Now for some people this comes naturally.
My father is one of those…
Although he never had a lot of money…
He always was willing to help.
Some people have the gift of naturally being generous..
If you are one of these people I thank God for you.
If you are not
If you are someone who hears about a problem or sees someone in need and thinks do I really have to help.
Or surely the government should be looking after that
or who can I pass this onto
or how can I get out of helping
or I really have to look after myself
then it means you need to be more intentional about being generous.
Being generous is one aspect of Christianity.
Now you maybe thinking
Doesn’t Pastor Richard know the current state of the world financial situation?
The answer to that is yes…
And if you are suffering and life is difficult then come and see us…