This week, Pastor Chris continued in our series through the book of Acts with a word on Spirit-empowered generosity. He sought to explain what a Spirit-filled Christian looks like, answering it in one word: generous. Barnabas sets an example for us in our text when he sells his field and lays the profits at the apostles’ feet. When we walk in step with the Spirit of God who has regenerated our hearts of stone, we cannot help but freely and generously give our lives away.
Five Thoughts on a Spirit-Empowered Life
- Spirit-Empowered Generosity – When we are living in step with the Spirit, we will live generously.
Acts 4:31–33 (ESV)
31 And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness. 32 Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common. 33 And with great power…
- Spirit-Empowered Identity – The Holy Spirit empowers the works of the saints to be done in unity.
Acts 4:32 (ESV)
32 Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common.
- Spirit-Empowered Mission – Your life is not here for your happiness, its purpose is to reflect and glorify the Lord.
Acts 4:33 (ESV)
33 And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.
- Spirit-Empowered Love – Love moves us to action.
Acts 4:34 (ESV)
34 There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold
- Spirit-Empowered Trust – This is trusting that when the Lord calls us to give away, He will work on our behalf.
Acts 4:35–37 (ESV)
35 and laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. 36 Thus Joseph, who was also called by the apostles Barnabas (which means son of encouragement), a Levite, a native of Cyprus, 37 sold a field that belonged to him and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
L – Labor – We’re created to be generous in our labor.
I – Influence – God has given you influence. Are you using it to champion someone else?
F – Finances – This is more than giving God a tenth of our tithe.
E – Expertise – This gets the truth and the Word of the Lord out.
Proverbs 11:24 (ESV)
24 One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want.
Psalm 112:9 (ESV)
9 He has distributed freely; he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever; his horn is exalted in honor.
- Give a Shocking Amount
- Assess Your Attitude
- It’s Your Entire Life
- Assess Your Understanding
- Shows Our Revelation of Jesus
For something to be blessed, it must first be given away.
Only what is given away can be multiplied.
- Pastor Chris said that when we live in our flesh, we tend to become stingy and selfish. Have you ever experienced this in your life?
- How can Christians guard themselves against operating in self-protection with our finances and gifts?
- The Holy Spirit convicted Barnabas to sell his land and he followed through without hesitation. Have you ever hesitated to give when the Lord told you to? What was the outcome?
- Which of the areas of generosity could you use some growth in: labor, influence, finances, or expertise? How will pursue this?
- Where can you use an upgrade in generosity: labor, influence, finances, or expertise? Pray for an opportunity to display a generous spirit in this area this week.
- The fruit of sowing generously will be transformed lives and more of the fruit of the Spirit. Are you desiring new fruit in your life? Ask the Lord this week to stir up the Spirit of Generosity in your heart.