Posts Tagged ‘Generosity


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.


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.

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.

Blessed For Generosity

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


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.



The sermon from October 20, 2013 from Griffith First Christian Church.

Mine! from Shawn Cornett on Vimeo.


Giving From The Heart

Here in Exodus 25, we see that God is going to have the people build some physical reminders of His presence with them.  He instructs Moses to take up an offering:

The Lord said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites to bring me an offering. You are to receive the offering for me from each man whose heart prompts him to give. – Exodus 25:1-2 (NIV)

This was a special offering that was different than the regular tithes that the people would give.  This was over and above their regular offerings.  This was for a special project.  There was no prescribed amount for this offering.  It was to be given from anyone whose hearts were prompted to give.
The New Testament describes our giving in much the same way.

Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. – 2 Corinthians 9:7 (NIV)

When it comes to giving our tithes and offerings, we need to give what we’ve decided in our hearts.  True giving comes from the heart, not out of guilt or shame or from being coerced.  Rather, our giving should come from cheerful, grateful hearts, not with reluctance.  God has generously poured out blessings upon us from a generous heart that a Father has for His children.  We should return a portion of His blessings to further His Kingdom here on earth.  So whatever you have decided to give – a set amount or a set percentage, the attitude matters more than the amount.  If you’re not giving out of gratitude, you’re giving with the wrong motivations.
My challenge for you today is to check your heart’s attitude toward giving.  I’ve discovered in my own life that giving begins with understanding just how much I’ve received.  When I have a better understanding of God’s goodness and generosity, I am more generous toward His Kingdom.  When I am focused on my own wants and desires, I am less generous and pretty miserable.  Greed creates misery and generosity fuels joy.

Exodus 25

New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)

Offerings for the Tabernacle

25 The Lord said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites to bring me an offering. You are to receive the offering for me from each man whose heart prompts him to give. These are the offerings you are to receive from them: gold, silver and bronze; blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen; goat hair; ram skins dyed red and hides of sea cows; acacia wood; olive oil for the light; spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense; and onyx stones and other gems to be mounted on the ephod and breastpiece.

“Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them. Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you.

The Ark

10 “Have them make a chest of acacia wood—two and a half cubits long, a cubit and a half wide, and a cubit and a half high. 11 Overlay it with pure gold, both inside and out, and make a gold molding around it. 12 Cast four gold rings for it and fasten them to its four feet, with two rings on one side and two rings on the other. 13 Then make poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold. 14 Insert the poles into the rings on the sides of the chest to carry it. 15 The poles are to remain in the rings of this ark; they are not to be removed. 16 Then put in the ark the Testimony, which I will give you.

17 “Make an atonement cover of pure gold—two and a half cubits long and a cubit and a half wide. 18 And make two cherubim out of hammered gold at the ends of the cover. 19 Make one cherub on one end and the second cherub on the other; make the cherubim of one piece with the cover, at the two ends. 20 The cherubim are to have their wings spread upward, overshadowing the cover with them. The cherubim are to face each other, looking toward the cover. 21 Place the cover on top of the ark and put in the ark the Testimony, which I will give you. 22 There, above the cover between the two cherubim that are over the ark of the Testimony, I will meet with you and give you all my commands for the Israelites.

The Table

23 “Make a table of acacia wood—two cubits long, a cubit wide and a cubit and a half high. 24 Overlay it with pure gold and make a gold molding around it. 25 Also make around it a rim a handbreadth wide and put a gold molding on the rim. 26 Make four gold rings for the table and fasten them to the four corners, where the four legs are. 27 The rings are to be close to the rim to hold the poles used in carrying the table. 28 Make the poles of acacia wood, overlay them with gold and carry the table with them. 29 And make its plates and dishes of pure gold, as well as its pitchers and bowls for the pouring out of offerings. 30 Put the bread of the Presence on this table to be before me at all times.

The Lampstand

31 “Make a lampstand of pure gold and hammer it out, base and shaft; its flowerlike cups, buds and blossoms shall be of one piece with it. 32 Six branches are to extend from the sides of the lampstand—three on one side and three on the other. 33 Three cups shaped like almond flowers with buds and blossoms are to be on one branch, three on the next branch, and the same for all six branches extending from the lampstand. 34 And on the lampstand there are to be four cups shaped like almond flowers with buds and blossoms. 35 One bud shall be under the first pair of branches extending from the lampstand, a second bud under the second pair, and a third bud under the third pair—six branches in all. 36 The buds and branches shall all be of one piece with the lampstand, hammered out of pure gold.

37 “Then make its seven lamps and set them up on it so that they light the space in front of it. 38 Its wick trimmers and trays are to be of pure gold. 39 A talent of pure gold is to be used for the lampstand and all these accessories.40 See that you make them according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.

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