G2 Living: Gospel Generosity – Week 2 – Worry, Generosity and The Gospel
This week we are going to continue to explore the generosity of the early church and discover one of the greatest hindrance to our generosity.
Lets look at Luke 12 to see what we are talking about…
15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
This is an important statement. Jesus is saying materialism is not the answer to your problem. It won’t solve the problems in your life.
He the tells them a parable. WEBSTER – a short allegorical story designed to illustrate or teach some truth,religious principle, or moral lesson. Doc Sherman – A parable is an earthy story with a heavenly meaning.
16 And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. 17 He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’
18 “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. 19 And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’
20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’
21 “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”
Here is the Application:
22 Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! 25 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? 26 Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?
27 “Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 28 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! 29 And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30 For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.
32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Opposite of Generosity is worry – The antidote for worry is Generosity. When we are worried or anxious about what we have we become a reservoir not a river. We lock up tight and and we forget that God is Jehovah Jireh, My provider. (GENESIS 22)
This makes us face our own unbelieving in Who God is. Remember Fruit to Root and Root to Fruit? The fruit of worry in our lives tels us that we believe either God is not good (at least to us), that He is not able to provide (he is impotent), or he is not Lord (ruler over everything).
Do you believe that God is good?
Do you believe that God is able to supply your every need?
Do you believe that God is Lord over all?
Here is a major truth It want you to learn today… God does not want your money! He doesn’t need it God is not interested in your money He wants your heart. And He knows that your trust, your faith, your heart is naturally disposed to trust in what you have. God who owns everything in this universe lacks only one thing… You! He wants you and He is and was willing to give up everything to have the one thing he desperately longs for… that is you!! God does not want or need your money He wants your heart!
2 Corinthians 8
And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. 2 In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. 3 For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, 4 they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people. 5 And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us. 6 So we urged Titus, just as he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. 7 But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you—see that you also excel in this grace of giving.
Remember Paul is writing to the Corinthian Church. If you know much about the Corinthians you know they were a church filled with Spirit filled believers but they were also seriously flawed. They had so much going wrong in their church Paul had to write 2 different letters to them to make sure they got it all worked out. But notice that last verse You excel in everything. God has blessed you with everything! Because He has done this, therefore you should excel in giving. Because… Therefore
But look at what he says next…
8 I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.
He steps right back to talk about the Gospel! God gave up everything for you… so that you might have the riches of Christ!
10 And here is my judgment about what is best for you in this matter. Last year you were the first not only to give but also to have the desire to do so. 11 Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means.12 For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have.
Paul says that giving is based in the Gospel, and that it is to be a willing gift from what you have.
13 Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. 14 At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. The goal is equality, 15 as it is written: “The one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little.”
Paul says I don’t want you to put yourself willingly into debt to to do this instead, it should be based on what you can do. Paul goes on to talk about this through the whole next chapter. Jump to verse 6 of the next chapter
6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
Stop right there, look at that again. These are some of the most powerful 2 verses in all of scripture on the topic of generosity. First Paul gives a principle. What is a principle? A principle is a truth that has implications in every part of life. It is true o matter what you apply it to. (fire, crops, work, faith, generosity)
Then He ties it to our heart, He tells us that that this is to be part of our free will not coerced. This is powerful… Remember being generous does not make God love you more. God loves you no matter what. But God makes a promise to us in the next verse.
8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 9 As it is written:
“They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor;
their righteousness endures forever.”
Do you see that? God says He wants to use you, and He desires to do it through your generosity. You will abound in every God work!!
10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
I love that Because … Therefore… thanksgiving is the result. Gospel + Action = Blessing
12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. 13 Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 14 And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. 15 Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!
And he brings it back full circle to the Gospel. He reminds us that even our generosity is a gift from Him. By nature we are not generous people. We are selfish creature. (look at kids) But God because of His indescribable gift, make us something new… He make us Gospel Generous People. Is that you here today? Have you let Him pour into you His generosity? Has HE transformed your heart into a person who is generous not out of compulsion but because of His grace?
Bow your heads and close your eyes, If this is difficult for you would you as a sign of confession would you raise your hand right now, I want to pray with you.
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