The Recipe For Generosity
Contributed by Richard Schwedes on Nov 9, 2008 (message contributor)
Summary: As Christians we are called to be generous. Sharing God’s love generously. This sermon explores what helps us be generous givers.
Last week we heard the following text from 2 Corinthians 8
Now I want you to know, dear brothers and sisters, what God in his kindness has done through the churches in Macedonia. 2 They are being tested by many troubles, and they are very poor. But they are also filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed in rich generosity.
3 For I can testify that they gave not only what they could afford, but far more. And they did it of their own free will. 4 They begged us again and again for the privilege of sharing in the gift for the believers in Jerusalem. 5 They even did more than we had hoped, for their first action was to give themselves to the Lord and to us, just as God wanted them to do.
6 So we have urged Titus, who encouraged your giving in the first place, to return to you and encourage you to finish this ministry of giving. 7 Since you excel in so many ways—in your faith, your gifted speakers, your knowledge, your enthusiasm, and your love from us—I want you to excel also in this gracious act of giving.
Are you a cheerful giver
or do you need to grow in this area of your faith?
we are all called to grow in being cheerfully generous.
not just with of our money,
but also our time, our talents, the skills.
And anything else God has given us
Giving generously is not an option for Christians.
It is part of being a Christian.
And being cheerfully generous is living out our faith in God.
It is part of being focussed on living a life of loving God
and loving others.
Of living the way Jesus calls us to live.
So how generous have you been with your money, time, talents and skills?
And it may surprise you why God calls us to be cheerful givers.
Many people give because they think God needs it.
But do you really think you can be more generous than God?
Think about it, does God really need your giving?
If everything we have, comes from God
Then God doesn’t need to rely on your or my giving.
So why do we give then?
Some will say it because our church and parish need it.
That is true.
Our church and parish have a budget.
One of the responsibilities of being a member is to contribute to this budget.
This is a practical thing
It is something we are all called to do.
Without your contributions,
our church and parish would not be able to operate.
And this is important because God calls us to come together as a community.
To worship him with others and to share His love.
Thankyou for contributing to the budget.
Thankyou for contributing to the life of this congregation and our parish.
And we should also thank each other.
But this is not the only reason to give.
There are three other more important and more biblical reasons to be generous givers.
First we give in response to what God has done for us.
We give not to get something from God.
But because God has already been generous to us.
Because God has paid the price for you to be in heaven.
And that price was suffering and dieing on the cross for you.
How generous is that?
How generous is God?
And this is not because we deserve it.
We haven’t been perfect people.
We habitually sin.
We constantly would rather think of ourselves first than consider God and what he says.
And consider others.
Despite this God still is prepared to pay the price to make it possible for you to spend eternity with Him.
Now that is truly generous.
And so our generosity is an act of thanks to God.
Secondly being generous reflects God’s love in the world.
Each one of us represents Christ where ever we go.
Sometimes we do a great job at this,
other times we are terrible.
When we are generous.
When we give even though it is inconvenient.
When we go out of our way to help others.
When we give without complaining or wanting something.
People are seeing God’s generosity.
We are being God’s disciples.
Being generous helps others,
experience the generosity of God.
So we shouldn’t be generous so we are noticed, but so God is noticed.
Because our generosity simply reflects how generous God is to us.
Thirdly being generous involves trusting God.
The Old Testament reading from 1 Kings 17:8-16 that we heard earlier is about
The women obeying the prophets instructions.
To do so she needed to trust God that she would still have enough and not miss out.
Many people say they trust God,