Posts Tagged ‘Generosity

03
Aug
17

The Blessing Of Generosity

God’s Word has much to say about being generous. God blesses us so that we can be a blessing to others. Solomon says that when we share our blessings with the poor, we receive even more in the way of blessings. He says:

The generous will themselves be blessed,
    for they share their food with the poor. – Proverbs 22:9 (NIV)

Rather than pointing fingers at the poor and being generous in insults, let’s be generous with our blessings. Some will say that poor people are ignorant or lazy. That’s not necessarily true. What about the poor who are exploited by tyrannical governments? What about the poor who lose their jobs because of greed? What about the poor who are victims of an economic downturn? Not every poor person is poor because of bad choices. And even if they are, who are we to judge? Let’s make the choice to be generous and invite God’s blessings into our lives.
31
Jul
17

Showing Kindness To The Poor

One of the biggest political debates of our time, among many, is what to do with the poor and poverty-stricken. What do we do with people who are less fortunate or who have fallen on hard times? Solomon said that we should be kind to them and for a very good reason. He wrote:

Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord,
    and he will reward them for what they have done. – Proverbs 19:17 (NIV)

Do you show contempt for the poor or do you want to show them kindness? Let’s face it, many of us are closer to being poor than we want to be. If you were to be laid off or if you were to lose your job, you’d be living in the poor house in a matter of months, if not weeks.  So why would we ever show contempt for the poor? Let’s find ways to be kind to them and to give them a hand up. We who have been blessed must recognize that God has been good and generous toward us.  So let’s be generous with our blessings knowing that God will bless us even more when we do.
03
Jul
17

Rags To Riches

The latest message from Griffith First Christian Church in Griffith, Indiana.  This message is based on Luke 16:19-31 and is about the parable of the rich man and Lazarus.  The audio quality is a bit lacking due to a software update to Windows 10.

07
Jun
17

Fattening Ourselves

When it comes to things like income inequality and issues of social justice such as clean water, God hears the cries of the oppressed and marginalized. This is what James says:

Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. 5 You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. 6 You have condemned and murdered the innocent one, who was not opposing you.​ – James 5:4-6 (NIV)​

We who have been blessed are to be a blessing to others. That is why God blesses us. It is not for the rich to get richer. It is so that we can bless those who are poor, especially in the church. Rather than fattening ourselves, we need to be aware of the needs of those around us so that we can meet them. This is where faith meets action. God, who is so very generous, blesses us so that we can be a blessing to others through generosity.
25
Feb
15

True Riches

Earlier in 1 Timothy 6, Paul told the young preacher that the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil (verse 10).  As Paul concludes this letter to Timothy, he gives one more exhortation regarding those who are wealthy.  He tells them not to put their hope in their money because it is fleeting.  Can’t we all relate to that?  So many of us live paycheck to paycheck.  We literally depend on God for our daily bread.  Those who have been a little more blessed or have invested wisely still face uncertainty based on the fluctuation of markets and interest rates.  How many of us can say with complete confidence that we’re financially secure no matter what happens?  If you were laid off from your job or falsely accused of something and lost your job, how long could you survive?  We shouldn’t put our hope in wealth.
For those who are wealthier, Paul says that they should be “generous and willing to share” (verse 18).  This runs counter to our sinful nature.  Many of us are like little children.  We grasp onto our money and scream, “MINE!”  The wealthy may look down upon those who are poorer and say, “It’s your own fault that you’re in the situation you’re in.  You didn’t plan well enough” or “You didn’t pursue enough education” or “You’re just lazy.”  Though these may be true in some instances, Paul doesn’t say, “Be generous and willing to share with those who deserve it.”  I know hard working, well-educated people who, through no fault of their own, have fallen on hard times.  It is not up to the wealthy to judge their brothers and sisters in Christ in order to determine whether or not they deserve their help.  It is up to wealthier Christians to use the blessings God has given them to do good deeds and share with those in need.  In doing this, they will store up treasures in heaven and those treasures never fade away.
1 Timothy 6:17-19 (NIV)
Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God,who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.
25
Nov
14

Blessed For Generosity

The sermon from Griffith First Christian Church from November 23, 2014 in Griffith, Indiana.

26
Mar
14

Generous Stewards

The people were getting hungrier as the day wore on.  Jesus had been healing and teaching for much of the day.  What would they do for food?  They were a ways off from the town of Bethsaida.  Jesus and His disciples went there to spend some time alone, but the crowds found Him.  Jesus was magnetic.  The crowds flocked to Him everywhere He went.  This is the same Jesus we know, love and serve today.  Why is it that crowds aren’t flocking to Him now?  Approximately 7000 churches close their doors each year.  Could it be that the church has forgotten the ways of the Master?  He loved people with an unconditional love that could not be denied.  He preached Truth, but did it in a grace-filled way.  He didn’t shy away from the broken and the ostracized.  He welcomed sinners of every kind, but did not let them off the hook.  He called them to repentance.  He ruffled the feathers of the self-righteous.  He reached out to those who were far from God and changed their lives.  We should be doing the things Jesus did.
For example, in this story from Luke 9, we see that Jesus met the needs of those who were around Him.  The disciples didn’t get it.  They wanted to send the people into the surrounding towns and villages.  There were over 5000 people out there!  Jesus had a much better plan.  He took a little bit of food and miraculously turned it into an overabundance!  In John’s Gospel, we read that it was a young boy who gave everything he had to eat to Jesus.  He was generous and God multiplied his generosity through the power of Jesus to take care of many.  God can do the same thing with our generosity today.  If we will be generous givers, God can multiply our gifts and offerings to further His Kingdom here on earth.  More people will hear about God’s grace and His Son, Jesus.  Is there anything better that our resources and money could go toward?  May we be faithful, generous stewards of that which God has blessed us.

Luke 9:10-17 (NIV)

Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand

10 When the apostles returned, they reported to Jesus what they had done. Then he took them with him and they withdrew by themselves to a town called Bethsaida, 11 but the crowds learned about it and followed him. He welcomed them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing.

12 Late in the afternoon the Twelve came to him and said, “Send the crowd away so they can go to the surrounding villages and countryside and find food and lodging, because we are in a remote place here.”

13 He replied, “You give them something to eat.”

They answered, “We have only five loaves of bread and two fish—unless we go and buy food for all this crowd.”14 (About five thousand men were there.)

But he said to his disciples, “Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each.” 15 The disciples did so, and everyone sat down. 16 Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke them. Then he gave them to the disciples to distribute to the people. 17 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.




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