BEYOND – GENEROSITY - WEEK 2
BEYOND – GENEROSITY – 13 OCT 2019
WHO’S LOOKING AFTER YOU?
The decision to leave Brisbane and go to Melbourne to plant a church seemed exciting at the time, but God was at work to grow us and build our faith. The sale of our home fell through at the same week we left Brisbane. Arriving in Melbourne – no jobs, rent plus mortgage – How will we make ends meet?
POINT – We learned that God was able to supply our needs.
Who’s looking after you?
Matt 6:25-34 AMP
25 Therefore I tell you, stop being [v]perpetually uneasy (anxious and worried) about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink; or about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life greater [in quality] than food, and the body [far above and more excellent] than clothing?
26 Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father keeps feeding them. Are you not worth much more than they?
27 And who of you by worrying and being anxious can add one unit of measure (cubit) to his stature or to the [w]span of his life?
28 And why should you be anxious about clothes? Consider the lilies of the field and [x]learn thoroughly how they grow; they neither toil nor spin.
29 Yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his [y]magnificence (excellence, dignity, and grace) was not arrayed like one of these.
30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and green and tomorrow is tossed into the furnace, will He not much more surely clothe you, O you of little faith?
31 Therefore do not worry and be anxious, saying, What are we going to have to eat? or, What are we going to have to drink? or, What are we going to have to wear?
32 For the Gentiles (heathen) wish for and crave and diligently seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows well that you need them all.
33 But seek ([z]aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness ([aa]His way of doing and being right), and then all these things [ab]taken together will be given you besides.
34 So do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries and anxieties of its own. Sufficient for each day is its own trouble.
We worry because we do not have faith… we think it all depends on me. God doesn’t care!!!! I must take steps to make ends meet, to make the dollar stretch further.
Jesus: stop being perpetually uneasy (anxious and worried) about your life…. Do you think He knew something about how we live??????
MYTH BUSTER 1
Only poor people worry about money!
NO! even the richest people on earth still worry and stress about money – not having enough or not being able to meet needs. “I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it's not the answer.” ― Jim Carrey.
MYTH BUSTER 2
I don’t need to grow my faith.
Do you worry each day about whether your sins are forgiven? Do you assume? Or do you have a confident assurance that you are forgiven, in right standing with God. Many people think that the faith I use to receive forgiveness is different to the faith I use to receive provision or healing or something else – NO – it’s the same faith.
We must grow in faith daily! Grow in your capacity to trust God!!! How you handle your money is one way God is training you to grow in faith.
MYTH BUSTER 3
If I give any money away – it’s less for me.
It’s a good thing you’re not a farmer…. There would be no crop next year. This is called fixed pie mentality. More for you means less for me. There’s only so much to go around and I have needs.
Firstly…. So what? Who are you putting first here?
Secondly – it’s wrong. God says the pie multiplies…
Luke 6:38 AMP Give, and [gifts] will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will they pour into [the pouch formed by] the bosom [of your robe and used as a bag]. For with the measure you deal out [with the measure you use when you confer benefits on others], it will be measured back to you.
Or what about this promise…
2 Corinthians 9:6 AMP [Remember] this: he who sows sparingly and grudgingly will also reap sparingly and grudgingly, and he who sows generously [that blessings may come to someone] will also reap generously and with blessings.
MYTH BUSTER 4
All the church wants is your money.
Firstly – you are the church. The church is the body of Christ, the people who make up the congregation are the church. What I think we mean is the institution, the leaders, want your money. And because of a few badly-behaved individuals, we use the excuse that trust is blown so we don’t need to give. But for the great majority of churches, there is openness and accountability. Leaders give full reports of how money is accounted for and you can be involved in how money is spent – here we ask every year for nominations for the Committee of management who make all the big decisions about how we spend the money given here is spent.
MYTH BUSTER 5
My bit won’t make a difference.
What does Jesus mean when He says….Matt 6:33 AMP But seek ([z]aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness ([aa]His way of doing and being right), and then all these things [ab]taken together will be given you besides.
After talking about how we worry about money Jesus says – make your priority the Kingdom. Then all these things will be taken care of. God wants you to be a partaker in building His kingdom. Then you activate His process of provision.
Generosity is very much about you and your relationship with God. He is asking you to trust Him. Will you walk on water or still keep rowing against the tide? It’s up to you. Your generosity will bless others, but God’s chief goal is to get you into a trust relationship with Him. Can you see that?
How little can I give and still be blessed? Wrong question. You’re hanging onto money and that leads to losing it.
Prov 11:24-25 AMP There are those who [generously] scatter abroad, and yet increase more; there are those who withhold more than is fitting or what is justly due, but it results only in want. 25 The liberal person shall be enriched, and he who waters shall himself be watered.
Your bit makes a difference – Just as when a part of your body is not functioning properly – the whole body suffers, also when part of the body withholds – the whole body suffers. But Craig, shouldn’t the rich ones carry the load, I’m struggling at the moment. Actually, your answer is to give because you’re in worry not in faith. But God made a way to have giving equal across the board for rich and poor. God asks us to give the same percentage – the first 10% of our income to Him. It’s the same level of generosity for rich and poor.
Putting the kingdom first with our money is the heart of generosity - so that others may find Christ. In a million years from now, what will it matter if you had Gucci shoes, or a big house or a new car, - the only thing that will really matter is who found Christ.
Think about who gave so that you could find Christ? What if that church never started? That church planter never was sent, that building was never paid for?
Together we can do great things for God. Let your generosity be stirred into action. Choose to step out in faith and really trust God.
Give the tithe, the first tenth of your income to the work of the church, as an expression of your faith and trust that God is able to add all these things to you.
Give to Kingdom Advance – a special offering that moves the kingdom forward in new ways.
Give to the poor, as an expression of God’s love and He says when you do that you are lending to the Lord and He will repay.