Are you a generous giver?
I had the awesome pleasure of being part of the teaching team at Illumination Church (Burnsville, MN) this weekend and completing The Power of One Series. It was truly an honor to speak on the subject of biblical generosity.
You can find a recap of the message below.
We also have a special video that you don’t want to miss from Miss Paisley Irene (Age 3) talking about giving in the church. Check it out (The Power of Giving).
Our primary focus this weekend was: 2 Corinthians 9:6-15(NIV)
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. 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; a]
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.
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!
As we worked through the word, we talked about five different ways to identify a generous giver:
- Generous givers are eternally focused. When we enter into a personal relationship with God, we’re called to walk in a way that is different than the world. Our focus changes to those things that God cares about vs. what the world cares about.
- Generous givers are joyful. Those who have a heart that is transformed into a heart of generosity give without hesitation and with gladness from their hearts.
- Generous givers recognize that God owns everything. Everything we have is a direct gift given from God. God gives us absolutely everything we need and his expectation is that we will be generous. As we invest the resources he provides us, he gives us more so that we’re able to give more.
- Generous givers prefer giving over getting. The heart of a generous giver is to continuously give. It’s not about what they will receive, in fact, they would prefer giving over receiving.
- Generous givers offers gifts as an act of worship. When we are eternally focused, we know that there are lives that need to be saved and we connect with the fact that by and through our generosity; our father’s name will be praised. We give in order to honor and worship our heavenly father.
We continued to discuss how God measures giving and were reminded that he is not impressed with big numbers, but with the condition of our hearts. As we face the week ahead and consider what it means to be a generous giver; we were charged to remember the greatest commandment from Jesus:
Matthew 22:36-40 (NIV)
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment of the law?” Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” All the Law and the Prophets hand on these two commandments.
Action items from this message for the week ahead:
1) Assess where you’re at in generous giving based on the description. Pray and think about it.
2) If you’re not already, determine where you might get involved at IC. Where in your life do you need to increase your giving of your time, your treasure or your talents?
If you’re interested in connecting at Illumination Church in Burnsville, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us on Sunday as we kick off an all new series!