Join us this weekend as Pastor Josh gives a message on generosity.
Join us this weekend as Pastor Josh gives a message on generosity.
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No, the Lord's house burned to the ground. That means one less responsibility for me.
His reaction didn't stem from a denial of reality. Rather it sprung from life's most basic reality that God is the owner of all things and we are simply his stewards.
The fact that we would probably not respond like John Wesley shouldn't disconnect us from the reality that, in reality, we should.
Jesus talked about money three times more than he talked about love, and seven times more than he talked about prayer.
He talked about money more than he talked about heaven, hell, or eternity.
17 of Jesus' 39 parables, 43.59%, were about money, and around 25% of Jesus' overall teaching is directly about material generosity.
Jesus spoke about wealth and possessions because they are deeply connected to our spiritual lives and priorities."
This is what the Lord has commanded: 'Everyone is to gather as much as they need. Take an omer for each person you have in your tent.' The Israelites did as they were told; some gathered much, some little. And when they measured it by the omer, the one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little. Everyone had gathered just as much as they needed.
The manna in the wilderness reminds us that God's provision is not based on our efforts but on His grace. Whether we gather 'much' or 'little,' He ensures we have just what we need."
Notwithstanding they did not heed Moses. But some of them left part of it until morning, and it bred worms and stank.
“When you harvest the crops of your land, do not harvest the grain along the edges of your fields, and do not pick up what the harvesters drop. 10 It is the same with your grape crop—do not strip every last bunch of grapes from the vines, and do not pick up the grapes that fall to the ground. Leave them for the poor and the foreigners living among you. I am the Lord your God.
A portion of what is produced through your work isn't for you.
Do not deprive the foreigner or the fatherless of justice, or take the cloak of the widow as a pledge. Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the Lord your God redeemed you from there. That is why I have commanded you to do this.
Remember that you were slaves
Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.
“What should we do then?” the crowd asked. 11 John answered, “Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.” 12 Even tax collectors came to be baptized. “Teacher,” they asked, “what should we do? 13 “Don’t collect any more than you are required to,” he told them. 14 Then some soldiers asked him, “And what should we do?”He replied, “Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely—be content with your pay.”
No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
Mammon = money, wealth, or possessions
Mammon = that in which one trusts
Through Mammon, Satan makes promises.
God is the only one that can provide identity, and security and peace and joy and love.
More money is not the answer in your life, even if what you need is more money.
The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. 17 He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ 18 “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. 19 And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’ 20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ 21 “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”
“Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
If we’re not careful, the greed of the cultural times we are living in will infiltrate and influence our spiritual and moral life.
Affluenza is a painful, contagious, socially transmitted condition—a burning envy and obsessive desire to keep up with the Joneses that can lead to severe depression and anxiety. It entails placing a high value on acquiring money and possessions and looking good in the eyes of others."
What you possess can either become a stepping stone towards spiritual growth and kingdom fruit or a major hindrance to achieving it.
It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.
Now then, you Pharisees Clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. 40 You foolish people! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also? 41 But now as for what is inside you—be generous to the poor, and everything will be clean for you. 42 “Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone.
Jesus endorses the tithe in the New Testament
In Jesus, we see a radical raising of the moral bar, not a lowering of it. He calls us to a higher standard of love, righteousness, and holiness."
All the believers were united in heart and mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had. The apostles testified powerfully to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and God’s great blessing was upon them all. There were no needy people among them, because those who owned land or houses would sell them and bring the money to the apostles to give to those in need.
“They never fail to help widows. They save orphans from those who would hurt them. If they have something, they give freely to the one who has nothing."
Roman Political Documents
For they are not spent upon banquets nor drinking-parties nor thankless eating-houses; but to feed the poor and to bury them, to supply the wants of boys and girls destitute of means and parents, and of old persons confined now to the house; such, too, as have suffered shipwreck; and if there happen to be any in the mines, or banished to the islands, or shut up in the prisons, for nothing but their fidelity to the cause of God’s Church, they become the nurslings of their confession.
These impious Galileans not only feed their poor, but ours also; welcoming them into their agapae, they attract them, as children are attracted, with cakes.
Julian the Apostate
The early church was strikingly different from the culture around it in this way - the pagan society was stingy with its money and promiscuous with its body. A pagan gave nobody their money and practically gave everybody their body. And the Christians came along and gave practically nobody their body and they gave practically everybody their money.
For from time to time, those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales, and put it at the apostles' feet. And it was distributed to anyone who had need.
What assumptions have I made about what I'm entitled to without ever consulting Jesus?
Generosity is an act of faith. When we give with an open heart, we demonstrate our trust in God's promise of abundance and His willingness to pour blessings upon us."
The more we give, the more room we make for God to work in our lives. Generosity and God's blessings are intertwined like a sacred dance."
God has always worked with people humble enough to surrender everything to him and courageous enough to believe that in doing so he would catch them on the other side.
Treat your material wealth like it's nothing more than a rental to be stewarded on behalf of others for the Kingdom of God.
Begin by being honest. Do honest people rob God? But you rob me day after day. “You ask, ‘How have we robbed you?’ “The tithe and the offering—that’s how!
The tithe is the foundation, it’s the start, it’s where we begin.
Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. 42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents. 43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”
Is your giving sacrificial or is it mostly unconscious.
Everything I have is from you. You are the owner of all things. My money and possessions are rentals to be stewarded in love for the sake of others.
Jesus generously gave himself on my behalf, and as His apprentice, I am learning to live my life in the key of extravagant generosity. I am committed to following the pattern of Christ in all areas of my life. To take what you have given me and use it only for myself is the way of the world.
You have called me to swim against selfishness and to live sacrificially making your Kingdom my priority. I desire to be a person of increasing, mindful, and joyful generosity until no one is in need among us. I yield to the transformative power of Christ in me.
True generosity is measured by the extent of our sacrifice, not the size of our surplus."
To give sacrificially is to reflect the nature of God, who gave His Son for us.
God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son