Summary: Series on Christian Stewardship
Title: Tips for a Generous Heart
Place: Oakdale Wesleyan Church
Date: February 13, 2005
Subject: Living the Uncomplicated Life
Americans per capita are the wealthiest people on earth and it is said of us that we are also the most generous people on earth. From the experiences I have encountered in this life I would have to agree. For the most part we American’s are pretty generous.
Let me share something that depicts this from my life this week. I am getting back into Model Airplane flying. I fly extensively a few years ago but haven’t picked up a transmitter box and worked the sticks for years now (except for one very brief flight and subsequent crash, and one other short flight about two years ago). I have joined a flight club and am starting to fly at the field on Manning and I-94. A retired gentleman is helping me get back into the flying and it is a good thing because my hands are rusty and shaky when taking the sticks to fly the plane. Well, we are heading out to the fields on Friday’s mornings to fly and this past Friday was no exception.
We got our planes ready, I put my all together and he worked on getting his wing fastened on and ready to go and after a few minor fixes and putting the prop back on his plan was off and running. He held the transmitter and I had the buddy box which he can give me control of the plan and allow me to fly it safely while he can take back over at any second if I get into trouble. He had me taxi around a bit and take off and up into the air I went. I flew for a little while and then I set up to land, he took back over and softly put the plane on the ground to have me taxi and take off again which I did.
I flew the whole flight this time and then he had me set up for the landing and told me to bring it on in. I made circled the field two times to loose some altitude, swung out to the north and west and then made a big circle to come into the cross breeze and set up my landing. As I made my final turn the plane’s wing was caught in the stiff breeze and for some reason I turned the wrong way and drove my trainer’s plane straight into the ground. He mentioned well, let’s go and check out the pieces which we did.
This guy wasn’t upset, wasn’t made. Instead, he said don’t worry about it, if I didn’t want to bring it home in pieces, I shouldn’t have brought it to the field. Once we gathered all the parts and pieces and accessed the damage he decided the plane had probably seen it’s better days. So he would go get another for me to be able to use next Friday.
I guess we Americans are pretty generous people. But is generosity all that God requires of us in this realm of giving? While I believe God requires us to be generous, I also believe that God’s standards are higher than just the world’s standards of generosity. You see, God not only sees our generosity and giving, but he also sees our hearts. God desires that we be generous, but that we be generous with right hearts and motives. I want to give you five tips this morning that can help develop a Christian’s heart of generosity.
OPEN IN PRAYER
1. We Need to be marked by our __________________
Have you ever considered how generous God is? Let’s pause for just a moment and think about God’s generosity through some talk back. What are some ways that God is generous? You tell me.
As Christians we are to reflect God in our world. The attitudes, attributes, and affections of God we should display. If God is generous we should also be generous. I think a genuinely distinguishing mark of the Christian is his or her generosity towards others. The church for ages has been marked by it benevolence and care of the poor, the widows, the needy, the sick. As Christians we are called to be generous.
Let’s take a look at a parable or story that Jesus told us in Luke 10:33-35.
What I find curious about this story is not that two religious men of this man’s own nationality walked by or that a despised foreigner was the one who actually did something but rather I find it fascinating how generous this foreigner was. He picked up the guy who was probably pretty nasty after having been beat up, he took time out of his own schedule to do it, he then took him to an Inn to take care of his needs out of his own expenses, and then he even paid for his stay plus a couple more days and promised to cover whatever expenses were incurred when he would return to check on the man once again. That’s some generosity. Then look at Jesus final words, “Go and do likewise.” We too are to be marked by our generosity toward others.