This week, Pastor Chris began a two-week mini-series on generosity. He shared how we are created to live generously because our Father has been abundantly generous to us. Culture tells us to store up our treasure on Earth, and the enemy tempts us to harden our hearts against joyfully giving our lives away. As we enter into the Thanksgiving season, we have an opportunity to stop and remind ourselves of how good God has been to us, allowing thanksgiving and generosity to change our hearts.
Luke 16:10–13 (ESV)
10 “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. 11 If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? 12 And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own? 13 No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”
“I have held many things in my hands and I have lost them all. But whatever I have placed in God’s hands, that I still possess.” – Martin Luther
- Generosity Defined: showing a readiness to give more of something, as money or time, than is strictly necessary or expected.
1. Generosity Starts in the Heart
Deuteronomy 15:7–8 (ESV)
7 “If among you, one of your brothers should become poor, in any of your towns within your land that the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother, 8 but you shall open your hand to him and lend him sufficient for his need, whatever it may be.”
- God is a Generous Giver
Psalm 19:1 (ESV)
1 The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Psalm 16:11 (ESV)
11 You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Genesis 2:7 (ESV)
7 then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.
1 Timothy 6:17 (ESV)
17 As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.
James 1:17 (ESV)
17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
- Generosity Deals with a Selfish Heart
Deuteronomy 15:9 (ESV)
9 Take care lest there be an unworthy thought in your heart and you say, ‘The seventh year, the year of release is near,’ and your eye look grudgingly on your poor brother, and you give him nothing, and he cry to the Lord against you, and you be guilty of sin.
Proverbs 11:25 (NIV84)
25 A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.
James 3:16 (NIV84)
16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
- We are Created to Live Generously
1. Giving transforms us spiritually.
2. Generosity declares Christ to a watching and needy world.
3. Generosity allows us to invest in eternity today.
Galatians 6:7 (ESV)
7 Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.
1. What are some different ways we can exercise generosity?
2. Be honest: are you a natural giver, or do you struggle to give away?
3. How can a hardened heart influence our decision to give or not (see Deuteronomy 15:7-8)? Have you ever hardened your heart in this way?
4. How does generosity declare Christ to the world? Is the Lord calling you to be generous in a specific way right now?
4. Share with the group 3 ways the Lord has been generous to you in the past year.
1. Do you struggle with generosity? Go to the Lord in prayer this week, asking Him to reveal an area you can step out in radical generosity.
2. Were you stirred to give to missionaries Shane & Elizabeth Roley? Give generously to this missionary family here: https://www.theroleys.com/give.